District Court Denies Recent Safelite Motion in CSR Suit
January 25, 2011

A U.S. District Court has denied Safelite Solutions’ recent motion in an ongoing suit filed by two former and one current CSR who allege the company failed to compensate them overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours a week. Safelite had motioned in mid-January to strike the plaintiffs’ “reply memorandum in support of their motion for conditional [class] certification” and the exhibits that accompanied it. In that motion, the plaintiffs had alleged that the company had changed its CSR policy—in which it is alleged to have required CSRs to boot up their computers prior to starting their official shifts—after the suit was filed.

Safelite had motioned that the memo be struck on the grounds that company officials believed it contained “new evidence in support of new arguments that Plaintiffs were required to have submitted, if at all, in their motion.”

“Plaintiffs may not introduce new arguments or offer new evidence in a reply memorandum,” wrote Daniel Clark of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, the law firm representing Safelite in the suit.

However, the plaintiffs argued in their January 18 response to the motion that Safelite had “mischaracterize[ed their] ‘primary argument’ or focus in this collective action.”

“Safelite would reduce this action to a misunderstanding about whether for payroll purposes the daily hours of CSRs are commenced via telephone or computer,” write the plaintiffs.

They continue, “Plaintiffs have not based this action on such a trivial distinction. Instead, they have consistently asserted that Safelite has not paid them for time spent booting up, training during breaks, and signing off. Safelite opposed the collective action motion by arguing and submitting through affidavit testimony that it was indeed paying CSRs for all their time, and plaintiffs responded by rebutting that argument with their own and other CSRs’ affidavits.”

In the court’s denial, U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost writes, “The court does not agree that plaintiffs have changed the theory of their case. Plaintiffs filed this action alleging that defendant Safelite failed to compensate its CSRs for overtime pay as mandated by Ohio and federal law.”

He continues, “Plaintiffs still contend that defendant Safelite failed to compensate its CSRs for overtime pay as mandated by Ohio and federal law. Defendants’ argument goes to how Safelite accomplished its failure to pay CSRs for their time spent booting up their computers—not whether Safelite failed to pay the CSRs for time spent booting up their computers. That is, whether Safelite omitted time integral to the job duties of CSRs is now and has always been the primary liability issue.”

Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com™ for more on the case as it becomes available.

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