MIAMI — Carlos Martinez and Ricardo Babich, who worked as international agents at DHL’s Miami International Airport facility, filed a proposed class action suit against the company for violating their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The federal court certified the class, stating that the claimants had produced enough evidence that potential class members in the Miami facility were similarly situated. However, the court rejected their request to include workers at the John F. Kennedy and Los Angeles international airport facilities.
Wage Claims on Behalf of DHL Employees in Three Facilities
According to the suit, DHL used illegal wage practices at the Miami, JFK, and LAX international airport facilities, including:
- Configuring time clocks in the facilities to round down and artificially reduce the amount of time that employees are credited with compensable time;
- Deducting thirty minutes for meal breaks from employee paychecks automatically even when employees have signed back in and are working prior to the end of the meal breaks;
- Requesting employees perform work off-the-clock before clocking and and after clocking out.
DHL opposed certification of the class, arguing that the plaintiffs had failed to show that they are similarly situated to other class members, and that other members are interested in joining the litigation.
Class Certification in FLSA Cases
FLSA allows a plaintiff to bring a collective action on behalf of other employees who are similarly situated who file a written consent with the court. To grant certification, the court must find that there are other employees who:
- Are similarly situated with regard to job requirements and pay provisions; and
- Desire to opt-in to the case.
In this case, the plaintiffs argue for class certification because the same timekeeping software was used for all three airport facilities, all agents were subject to the same timekeeping violations, and all the agents were not paid proper overtime compensation. The court found that the plaintiffs do not have knowledge regarding the experiences of the agents at JFK or LAX facilities, and that it was unclear how the plaintiffs would know the alleged violations occurred at the LAX or JFK facilities. Therefore, the court found that they failed to carry their burden of showing that the LAX and JFK agents are similarly-situated with the Miami agents. However, the court found that they presented enough evidence that the same policy and practice violations apply to all Miami agents and that they can be certified as a class. Therefore, the court certified a conditional class consisting of all Miami DHL agents who were employed for three years before the suit was filed.
Under FLSA, employees may be able to bring collective actions on behalf of similarly-situated co-workers whose wage rights were also violated. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page to consult with an attorney as to whether you might be able to bring a collective action against your employer. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.