Federal Court Grants Class Certification in Safelite CSR Suit
April 14, 2011

A federal district court in Ohio has granted class certification to a group of former and current customer service representatives (CSRs) who filed suit against Safelite Solutions last summer, alleging that the company has failed to compensate them with overtime pay when they have worked more than 40 hours per week.

The debate as to whether the CSRs and “those similarly situated” should be certified as a class began in October when the named plaintiffs in the case, two former CSRs, Patrick W. Heaps and Richard Ruppert, and a current CSR, Joshua Pursley, motioned for the decision. Safelite had filed a memorandum opposing the motion in early December, claiming that “Safelite does not require CSRs to boot up their computer[s] before logging into the phone system.”

In the recent ruling, issued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Judge Gregory Frost writes that Safelite’s argument against class certification “misses the mark.”

“Safelite does not contend that it has no common policy applicable to all of its CSRs,” writes Frost. “Indeed, Safelite admits that it has such a policy.”

He adds, “Safelite’s argument, however, relates to the merits of this action and is not relevant inquirty at this stage of these proceedings … thus Safelite’s argument does nothing to dispute that it applies a common ‘clocking in and clocking out’ policy to all CSRs at all of its call centers.”

A related motion by the plaintiffs, requesting expedited discovery in the case, also was granted.

“Safelite is ordered to provide to plaintiffs’ counsel the putative class members’ names, last known address, telephone numbers, and, if known, e-mail addresses within 10 days of [the] date of this opinion and order,” writes the court.

However, the plaintiffs’ motion regarding its proposed notice for potential class members was denied, with several suggested changes by the court, such as removing references to the Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act, adding information about the fact that opt-in plaintiffs may be required to participate in discovery, and that potential plaintiffs could be held liable for Safelite’s court costs if the company prevails in the suit.

Safelite officials declined to comment on the case.

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