Denied: Court Says No to Requested Expansion of Safelite Solutions CSR Class Action Suit
October 19, 2011
A federal court in Ohio has denied the motion of several Safelite Solutions customer service representatives who had motioned to expand a suit they filed last August to be amended to include the company’s sales representatives. The plaintiffs in the class action suit, who claim they are owed overtime pay, had motioned to file an amended complaint expanding the case, but had filed this motion four months after the April 1 deadline for amendments, according to court documents.
In its denial, the court notes that while the plaintiffs have claimed that moving the deadline to amend—and allowing them to amend “is not undue when the delay results from securing ‘supporting information … through discovery and investigation and research’ … plaintiffs do not identify what information they obtained through discovery and only after April 1, 2011.”
“This omission is particularly significant in light of the fact that plaintiffs were on notice prior to April 1, 2011, that sales representatives might be members of the class,” writes the court, adding that several sales representatives actually completed opt-in forms for the class action suit in early May 2011, even though they were not eligible to be part of the class. “Therefore, although plaintiffs were on notice of this information as early as may 2011, plaintiffs waited until four months after the deadline had passed before filing the motion to amend.”
In addition, the court argues that if sales reps were added to the suit, a new notification would need be sent out to potential members of the class and the opt-in period would have to be re-opened.
The CSR plaintiffs had further argued that they could file a separate action on behalf of the sales representatives that eventually would be consolidated with the current case, and so it would make sense to amend this case.
“This court disagrees,” writes the court. “Although some overlap between the two actions could exist, the court has discretion to deny a request to consolidate if the schedules of the two actions are incompatible.”
While the original suit focused on the time CSRs spend booting up their computers each day and the allegation that this time is not calculated into their pay, the plaintiffs had also sought to seek compensation for the time spent "locating a working computer in a vacant cubicle, securing a headset or other equipment essential to using that computer” with the recent motion. The court denied this request, along with the plaintiffs request to add claims of spoliation—“the intentional destruction of evidence that is presumed unfavorable to the party responsible for the destruction.” The CSRs had alleged that some documents imperative to their case had been removed from the Safelite Solutions computer system since the case was filed. However, the court ruled that the plaintiffs’ argument is based on speculation.
The only portion of the plaintiffs’ motion to amend accepted by the court was the removal of one of the named plaintiffs, Patrick Heaps, who claimed “he is no longer able to serve in that capacity.”
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