Former Coast to Coast Installer Seeking Overtime Pay Amends Complaint to Pursue Collective/Class Action
February 4, 2011

Raymond Nelson Mejia, a former installer for Coast to Coast Auto Glass who filed suit against the company in November has amended his original complaint to include "others similarly situated" and is attempting to pursue a collective/class action suit against the company. Mejia alleges that the company regularly requires installers to work more than 40 hours per week, but refuses to pay overtime, "often paying on a 'per-piece' basis with no additional premiums for overtime worked."

In the amended complaint, filed last week in a New York federal court, Mejia makes a "claim for relief as a collective action" under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) "on behalf of all non-exempt individuals employed by the defendant on or after the date three years before the filing of the … complaint."

"The FLSA Collective Plaintiffs are similarly situated, in that they have substantially similar job duties, have been subject to a common pay practices and decisions on the part of the defendant," writes Mejia's counsel, Penn Dodson of the law firm of Goldberg and Dohan LLP.

Mejia proposes that his Second Claim for Relief as a Class Action, filed under the New York Labor Law (NLL), apply to "all non-exempt individuals employed by the defendant on or after the date six years before the filing."

The amended complaint suggests that there "are easily more than fifty (50) individuals in the proposed NYLL class," and claims that a class action suit would be beneficial to all of them.

"In wage and hour litigation involving low-wage workers in particular, the individual class members more often than not lack the financial, language, time and other resources to vigorously prosecute a lawsuit against a defendant having a superior bargaining position," writes Dodson. "A class action will allow those similarly situated to prosecute their common claims together and minimize the need for duplicative efforts expended on their behalf."

In addition to Mejia's overtime claims, he also charges Coast to Coast with "record-keeping failures," stating that the company "failed to make, keep and preserve accurate records regarding the wages, hours and other conditions of employment."

He further alleges that the company violates the NLLL by "[failing] to provide [him] and others similarly situated at least thirty minutes for the noon day meal" on days in which shifts of more than six hours extending over the 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. meal timeframe are worked.

Likewise, Mejia claims that when Coast to Coast installers work a shift that starts before 11 a.m. and continues past 7 p.m., they should be provided "an additional meal period of at least 20 minutes between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m."

Mejia is seeking certification as a collective action and class action suit; unpaid wages and overtime allegedly due for himself and others similarly situated; liquidated damages in the amount of the claimed "unpaid FLSA wages;" appropriate interest; and court costs and attorneys' fees.

No other plaintiffs have been named in the complaint.

This is the second suit filed against Coast to Coast related to such claims; the first was filed in October by a former Florida sales representative, Ulysses Mejia, and was resolved outside of court in late November. During an interview in late-November, Dodson advised glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR™ magazine that she was unaware of whether Raymond Nelson Mejia and Ulysses Mejia are related.

At press time, Dodson had not responded to requests for comment to the latest update in the case.

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