Nail Technician Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuit

A widespread class action suit representing at least thirty members has been filed against a New York City nail salon. The suit alleges the salon has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act in neglecting to compensate employees for minimum wages and overtime premium pay. Xiao Dong Fu is the lead plaintiff filing the suit against Red Rose Nail Salon, Inc.

 

Plaintiff Fu worked as a nail technician and beautician at Red Rose Nail Salon from May 2007 to July 15, 2015. Defendants Wen Chen and Ying Zhou, along with other anonymous persons, are owners and operators of the Red Rose Nail Salon, with the power to hire and fire employees, establish wages, set schedules, and maintain employment records. The lawsuit against their establishment maintains that starting September 1, 2012, non-exempt employees as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act were not paid wages for all hours worked, nor were they paid overtime in time-and-a-half compensation for working over forty-hour weeks. The suit also claims likely well over thirty people are members of the class. Red Rose employed dozens of people through the class period, many of whom would be unlikely to file their own claims due to lack of adequate financial resources, access to attorneys, or knowledge of a potential claim.

 

The complaint alleges that the defendants have acted on grounds applicable to all employees of the class period, clearing up any questions of difficulty in classifying the suit as a collective action. The suit calls into question whether Red Rose Nail Salon employed its staff within the meaning of the New York Labor Law, and if the salon kept accurate time records each day or had another sufficient method of keeping track of hours worked. It also asserts that the salon practiced “spread of hour pay,” which is spreading out the hours worked through a week to avoid paying overtime for a day when longer hours were actually spent working at the salon.

 

Plaintiff Fu in particular claims that upon being hired by Red Rose, she was not informed of its rate or method of pay for its staff. She was not informed of the salon’s contact information. The complaint details Fu’s average schedule, which logs her working between fifty-four and fifty-six-and-a-half hours per week. During the class period, Fu was paid between $65 to $75 hours per day, violating the federal and state minimum wage laws. Other violations in the complaint include Fu not being allowed to take a full thirty-minute lunch break. Additionally, the complaint states that Red Rose Nail Salon failed to post a notice explaining federal and state minimum wage laws that would have informed employees of their rights.

Manhattan Beer Distribution Delivery Drivers Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuit

This class action employment lawsuit alleges that Manhattan Beer Distributors, LLC failed to correctly calculate and pay overtime wages to delivery drivers, routinely made unlawful deductions from drivers' wages and failed to keep proper records concerning wages earned and hours worked by delivery employees.

According to the complaint in this case, the plaintiff seesk to remedy the allegedly illegal labor practices of Manhattan Beer Distributors, LLC and its Chairman and President Simon Bergson. Manhattan Beer is a wholesale regional distributor of popular beer brands and other beverages, and is headquartered in the Bronx with additional area facilities. Servicing over 25,000 customers, Manhattan Beer is oe of the largest distributors of beverages in the nation.

Plaintiff Larry Swanson and other prospective members of the class in this lawsuit are transportation workers who drive or assist drivers on delivery of beverages to the Company's customer base across the region. It is alleged that despite its impressive growth in recent years, Manhattan Beer routinely fails to pay its employees all of the overtime wages they are due and also makes unlawful deductions from wages in order to compensate for its own losses. Specifically, the complaint states that:

  • Plaintiff Swanson regularly works in excess of 40 hours per week,
  • Plaintiff was not paid for 30 minutes of meal breaks per day, which he was unable to take due to the nature of the work being performed,
  • Manhattan Beer makes unilateral deductions from wages of the cost of missing or miscounted beverages from drivers' loads, despite it being the Company's responsibility to cover such losses
  • Wage deductions for such losses are made at retail rates, not the wholesale prices paid by the Company for such goods,
  • The Company did not remit "Spread of Hours" pay for time worked exceeding 10 hours per day, and
  • The Company did not keep adequate or accurate records of hours worked, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law

The plaintiff has brought this action for himself and all similarly situated employees within the three years prior to the filing of the complaint, including Manhattan Beer delivery drivers and driver's helpers who have not been fully compensated for all overtime hours and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all work performed in excess of 40 hours per week.

The Complaint seeks unpaid overtime, unpaid spread-of-hours wages and restitution of unlawful deductions. Plaintiff is also seeking statutory damages for Defendant's notice and wage statement violations, with the total sought for all labor law violations amounting to no less than $50,000,000.

http://www.manhattanbeer.com/

http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapid=4221025

Smiles at Sea Junk Fax Class Action Lawsuit

This lawsuit alleges Smiles at Sea sent unsolicited faxes advertising on-board cruise ship dental continuing education opportunities without providing required opt-out information to individuals in violation of federal telephone consumer protection laws.

New Jersey resident Richard Marcus received an unsolicited fax on February 24, 2015 from Smiles at Sea, a provider of dental profession continuing education course opportunities on cruise ships, sent by means of a telephone facsimile machine that had the capacity to transcribe text or images.  Smiles at Sea is alleged to regularly advertise its goods and services to recipients by transmitting fax advertisements.

The fax solicited his business by advising him that Smiles at Sea sells an opportunity to take continuing education courses while on a cruise ship. Marcus had no prior established business relationship with the company, had never used company services, nor had he given the company his consent to receive unsolicited fax advertisements.

On September 15, 2015, Marcus filed a class action suit alleging Smiles at Sea had engaged in violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) for transmitting one or more facsimiles advertising the commercial availability or quality of property, goods, or services, without having obtained prior express invitation or permission to transmit the faxes during the period beginning four years prior to the date he filed his claim.  The TCPA prohibits the use any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send, to a telephone facsimile machine, an unsolicited advertisement, unless:

(i) the unsolicited advertisement is from a sender with an established businessrelationship with the recipient;

(ii) the sender obtained the number of the telephone facsimile machine through—

(I) the voluntary communication of such number, within the context of such establishedbusiness relationship, from the recipient of the unsolicited advertisement, or

(II) a directory, advertisement, or site on the internet to which the recipient voluntarilyagreed to make available its facsimile number for public distribution, and

(iii) the unsolicited advertisement contains a notice meeting statutory requirements.

Additionally, the suit claims the faxed advertisements failed to include the mandated proper notice of the recipient’s ability to opt-out of receiving the facsimiles, in further violation of the TCPA and accompanying regulations.  Smiles at Sea is alleged to have no procedure or means for recipients who do not consent to receiving the faxes to stop receiving them.

Marcus claims the Smiles at Sea unsolicited faxed advertising damages recipients by:

  • depriving recipients of paper and ink or toner and the use of the fax machine;
  • wasting recipients’ valuable time that would have spent on other matters; and
  • preventing recepients' fax machines from receiving and sending authorized faxes, causing wear and tear on fax machines, and requiring labor to attempt to identify the source and purpose of the unsolicited faxes.

Marcus seeks class certification for all U.S. persons in the United States who received any unsolicited fax advertisement on their telephone facsimile machines from Smiles at Sea, and advertisements that failed to properly notify the recipient of their ability to opt-out of receiving such fax advertisements from Defendant in the future. The suit seeks damages and injunctive relief for recovery of economic injury on behalf of the class, requesting $500.00 in statutory damages and treble damages, as provided by statute, up to $1,500.00, for each violation.

The National Hotel Housekeeper Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuit

This lawsuit alleges that a Florida hotel failed to pay overtime wages to a hotel housekeeper and discharged her as an employee following her complaints about her wages, in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Florida resident Beatrice Jean worked as a hotel housekeeper at The National Hotel (New National LLC) located in Miami, Florida from April 15, 2014 to June 26, 2015.

Jean worked an average of 40.5 hours per week and was paid on average approximately $12.00 per hour while employed by New National.  After complaining about her wages on several occasions, New National terminated Jean as a housekeeper on June 26, 2015.

On August 17, 2015, Jean filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  She filed suit against New National in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Miami Division on September 21, 2015, on behalf of herself and other weekly-paid and/or former similarly situated individuals employed as housekeepers whom she had observed working in excess of 40 hours per week without overtime compensation.  Jean claims the hotel did not compensate her and other housekeepers at the statutorily required overtime rate of not less than one and one half times the regular rate at which she was employed.  Jean’s complaint states her intent to amend the pleading when the EEOC issues her a right to sue letter and add discrimination claims against New National for unpaid overtime wages and retaliatory discharge.

Jean’s complaint alleges that New National violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201-219, in failing to pay her required overtime wages and terminating her employment after she requested overtime payment.  The Fair Labor Standards Act provides that it “shall be unlawful for any person “to discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this chapter, or has testified or is about to testify in such proceeding . . . .”

Jean seeks unpaid overtime compensation, as well as an additional amount as liquidated damages, costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norfolk Railway Job Applicant Diabetes Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Norfolk Southern Railway, alleging that the company maintains an unfair hiring practice that discriminates against applicants with diabetes and disqualifies them from employment. Plaintiff and Pennsylvania resident Scott Fedorowicz filed the suit on behalf of himself and others similarly situated. Specifically, the suit asserts Norfolk bases their disqualification practices on improper medical inquiries and misuse of diagnostic and treatment measures such as blood and urine tests in the context of screening applicants for employment.

 

Norfolk Southern Railway is a Norfolk, VA-based corporation specializing in railroad transport. Its employees are based in several domestic regions, as Norfolk conducts business in twenty-one different states. Because the company has received federal financial assistance, Norfolk is a covered employer under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which bars discrimination based on a disability. The lawsuit attempts to spotlight a string of specific actions by Norfolk, which illustrate their violations of federal Rehabilitation Act in regards to hiring people with disabilities.

 

On September 27, 2013, plaintiff Fedorowicz received a letter from Norfolk Railway medically disqualifying him from employment as a freight train conductor, a position for which he had recently applied. Fedorowicz had completed an on-line application, oral interview, and a background check. In disclosure of his diabetes, Fedorowicz had also submitted his medical records to Norfolk, as well as a letter from his physician that certified he was medically qualified for the requirements of the conductor position. On September 4, 2013, he had received a letter from Norfolk that stated, “Congratulations on your selection for employment.” Yet, the September 27, 2013 letter from Norfolk informed him of his disqualification for employment due to his diabetes and an 8.7 score on the glycosylated hemoglobin scale that was deemed “too high.”

 

Fedorowicz wrote a letter to Norfolk informing them of their violations of the Rehabilitation Act and improper use of medical testing for employment. The suit alleges his score on the glycosylated hemoglobin scale does not impair his abilities to do the job. Fedorowicz soon reapplied twice for the same position with Norfolk, but was denied employment based on more qualified applicants, and then told he did not pass the written test.

 

The class action suit asserts that Norfolk Southern Railway denies employment opportunities to applicants based on discriminatory medical data. Fedorowicz maintains he can fully and safely perform all duties for the position, despite his diabetes, and that Norfolk’s urine and blood testing practices confuse treatment goals with employment laws. The class is seeking to recoup for front and back pay, benefits, and compensatory damages, among others.

Busboy Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuit

This lawsuit alleges a Florida based restaurant group intentionally violated the Federal Fair Labors Standards Act by failing to pay required overtime and minimum wages to employees (busboys).

Florida resident Raymundo Jose Gonzalez was an employee at Hunan Gardens, a Palm Beach County restaurant owned and operated by H & L FOODS, LLC, from February 15, 2010 through May 1, 2015. Gonzalez worked an average of 75 hours per week as a busboy at Hunan Gardens. 

Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 206(a)(1), an employer must pay a minimum wage of $5.15 per hour to an employee who is engaged in commerce, which rate was raised to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009.

As alleged in the complaint  an FLSA covered employer (gross sales or business done in excess of $500,000 annually) that employs an employee for more than forty hours in any workweek must compensate the employee for hours in excess of forty “at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is employed.”  

Gonzalez alleges he was paid an average of $5.33 per hour, but was never paid the overtime rate for any hours worked over 40 hours in a week, as required by the FLSA.  The half-time overtime rate claim is based upon the applicable minimum wage rate for each hour worked above 40 hours in a week.  Gonzalez seeks the difference between his average hourly rate of $5.33 per hour and the applicable federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked during the claim period.

Gonzalez brought suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida as a collective action on behalf of himself and similarly situated individuals alleged not to have been paid overtime and minimum wages for work performed in excess of 40 hours weekly for the three year prior to the filing of the complaint.  Specifically, Gonzalez alleges the restaurant owners/operators:

  • knowingly engaged in federal overtime and minimum wage violations in wages paid to employees by willfully and intentionally refusing to pay employee overtime wages as required by the FLSA; and 
  • knew of the overtime requirements of the FLSA and recklessly failed to investigate whether its payroll practices were in accordance with federal law.

The suit seeks double damages and attorney fees from Hunan Gardens, as authorized by the FLSA. 

Whole Foods Animal Treatment Rating System Class Action Lawsuit

This class action alleges that the 5-Step® Animal Welfare Rating system used by Whole Foods and its subsidiaries, Whole Foods Market California and Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Food Markets, does not significantly improve animal welfare.

The class for this lawsuit is defined as all consumers who purchased meat products at a Whole Foods retail store in California during the four years prior to the filing of the complaint.

Whole Foods is a nationwide grocer offering a wide array of food products, including the unprepackaged chicken, turkey, pork, and beef meat products at the center of this complaint. To ensure the premium nature of its meat products and appeal to those concerned about animal welfare, the complaint alleges, Whole Foods advertises that its meat products as subject to a multi-step certification program, a 5-Step® Animal Welfare Rating system from Global Animal Partnership (GAP).

According to the complaint, the 5-Step® system outlines specific standards and practices to promote animal welfare. Step 1, for example, requires that Whole Foods suppliers “focus intently on the welfare of their animals and meet approximately 100 species-specific standards.” The complaint says that Whole Foods requires at least a Step 1 rating for meat products sold in its retail stores, and that for Steps 2-5+, Whole Foods represents that each successive step requires progressively more intense animal-centered practices. In the meat section of its stores, the complaint claims, Whole Foods advertises these standards using signs, placards, and napkins, and even displays meat according to 5-Step® classification.

According to the complaint, GAP, the organization that set the standards, was set up with funding provided by Whole Foods; it continues to receive the majority of its funding from Whole Foods, and its board members include current and former executives of Whole Foods.

Also, the complaint alleges that key standards required under the 5-Step® rating system are no better or only marginally better than common practices in the industry. For example, according to the complaint, Step 1 specifies that “NO CAGES” are permitted for poultry, yet it is already standard industry practice not to raise broiler chickens (as opposed to egg-laying chickens) in cages.

In addition, the complaint alleges that the Whole Foods audit process and its penalties for noncompliance are insufficient. According to the complaint, GAP requires that producers be audited only once every 15 months, and audits are scheduled rather than surprise visits. Since, according to the complaint, broilers are slaughtered at only seven to eight weeks old, the vast majority of flocks are never inspected.

The complaint also notes that violations of most standards are considered “minor” so that they can be repeated without repercussions. Only if a “minor” violation or nonconformance occurs during a third audit will the supplier lose certification—a full three years and nine months after the violation was first identified. The complaint claims that suppliers with major nonconformances will only lose their certification after the second audit—and possibly not even then, if “efforts to address that non-conformance have been made”.

The complaint thus alleges that Whole Foods and its subsidiaries have violated California consumer protection laws, including the Unfair Competition Law, Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and False Advertising Law.

 

LVNV Funding & Resurgent Capital Services RICO Class Action Lawsuits

This class action alleges that LVNV Funding and Resurgent Capital Services violated RICO and debt collection laws by attempting to claim payment in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases for debts they did not own or for “stale” debts.

The proposed class for this action includes all persons who filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in the US where one or both of these companies filed a proof of claim for a debt that they were not the valid owners of or that was time-barred at the time the case was filed, and that they received payment on. The class period is the 48 months prior to the filing of the complaint. There is also a proposed California subclass with a class period of only 12 months prior to the filing of the complaint.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is essentially a repayment plan, allowing an individual who files for bankruptcy to pay back their creditors according to a court-confirmed plan. The debtor makes a monthly payment to the chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee, who disburses the money to pay  creditors.

In a chapter 13 bankruptcy case, creditors received a notice containing a bar date by which they must file proofs of claims that serve as the basis for the amounts owed to each. State law controls whether the claims filed are enforceable. If the creditor has no valid right to collect the debt, or if the statute of limitations makes the debt unenforceable (“stale” or “time-barred”), then the proof of claim will be disallowed and the creditor will not be entitled to collect the debt.

Debtors may object to a proof of claim, but in order to do so, they must pay the costs of preparing and filing the objection. Thus they may not be willing or able to pay for many proofs of claim, especially for smaller amounts. Creditors may take advantage of this by filing many proofs of claim that they know are not valid.

The complaint says that LVNV and Resurgent did exactly this. According to the complaint, LVNV purchases consumer debt while Resurgent manages and collects debts for LVNV. The complaint alleges that LVNV and Resurgent share many of the same executive management personnel and that these companies have colluded to segregate their operations to shield the shared executive management from liability, confuse investigative agencies, and perpetuate their false enterprises.

The complaint therefore charges that LVNV and Resurgent have violated RICO laws in forming a criminal conspiracy and acting in concert with one another to file hundreds of thousands of proofs of claim in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, even though they are not the owners of the debts or the debts are time-barred. The complain also charges that they have violated consumer debt collection laws. 

Gold’s Gym Male Employee Gender Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit

This lawsuit alleges Gold’s Gym engaged in a pattern of discriminatory practices in failing to promote male employees to sales director positions in violation of the Federal Civil Rights Act.

Grayson Wood, a male, was employed as a manager and sales representative at Gold’s Gym South York located in York, Pennsylvania from July 2014 and November, 2014.  Gold’s Gym is a privately held chain of fitness gyms headquartered in Texas.

Wood worked as a manager prior to  becoming a members sales representative at Gold’s Gym in July 2014. On October 29, 2014, after a Sales Director position with a substantial pay increase became available, Wood expressed interest in the position to the general manager of the York Gold’s Gym.  The complaint states that when Wood expressed interest in the position, the general manager informed Wood in writing that he did not have "tits or a [vagina]," which were the "real requirements" for the position. Wood claims the general manager deliberately discouraged him from applying for the Sales Director position and that he understood neither he nor any other male should apply, or would be hired, for the position of Sales Director.   According to the complaint,  all Sales Directors have been mostly or exclusively female during the general manager’s tenure and that he had stated he was only hiring females for certain sales jobs because "women can sell memberships with their breasts."  A female was reportedly hired for the October 2014 Sales Director position at issue.

On September 15, 2015, Wood filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania seeking class action certification individually and on behalf of class of all males who applied for the position of Sales Director and/or were not allowed to apply for the position of Sales Director at Gold’s Gym at any time from September 2010 to the complaint filing date.  The complaint alleges Gold’s Gym owners/operators refused to hire or promote males, solely or primarily on the basis of their gender, for the higher paying Sales Director positions at the gyms, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, as amended.  The complaint requests an injunction requiring Gold’s Gyms  to cease its discriminatory and retaliatory practices, and seeks back and front pay, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

Volkswagen Clean Diesel Class Action Lawsuit

This class action alleges that the Volkswagen Group of America built devices into certain of their cars that deliberately provided false readings when the cars were tested for emissions. The Volkswagen Group of America makes and sells vehicles under the brand names Volkswagen and Audi throughout the US.

The class for this class action includes all persons in the US who, from 2009 through the present, purchased or leased:

  • 2009-2015 VW Jetta;
  • 2009-2015 VW Beetle;
  • 2009-2015 VW Golf;
  • 2014-2015 VW Passat; and
  • 2009-2015 Audi A3.

There is also a subclass of persons from Pennsylvania who purchased or leased these vehicles.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets legal standards for emissions that vehicles in the US must meet, under the Clean Air Act. Among the emissions regulated by the EPA are nitrogen oxides, or NOx, measured during normal operation. NOx can be dangerous to human health and have been linked with ozone depletion and other negative environmental effects. The EPA regulate these and other emissions to protect human health and the environment.

Every vehicle sold in the US must have a certificate indicating that its emissions meet federal requirements. A “defeat device” is an auxiliary emission control device that that reduces the effectiveness of the emission control system under conditions of normal vehicle operation and use. It is illegal to manufacture or sell such devices or install them in vehicles. Vehicles with such devices cannot be certified under federal emissions requirements and so cannot be sold in the US.

The complaint alleges that, from at least 2009 through the present, Volkswagen has marketed certain diesel vehicles as environmentally-friendly “CleanDiesels”. It claims that Volkswagen has touted its CleanDiesel vehicles as not only complying with federal standards, but as possessing a superior combination of low-environmental impact and performance. These characteristics, it says, were used to justify higher prices for these vehicles.

However, according to the complaint, Volkswagen’s claims of low-environmental impact, performance, and even minimum compliance with federal emissions standards were false. On September 18, 2015, the complaint alleges, the EPA issued a Notice of Violation to Volkswagen declaring that Volkswagen “manufactured and installed defeat devices in certain model year 2009 through 2015 diesel light-weight duty vehicles” and that the defeat devices bypass, defeat, or render inoperative parts of the vehicles’ emission control system that exist to comply with Clean Air Act emission standards.

In other words, the complaint claims, Volkswagen installed software that sensed when the vehicle was being tested for emissions standards and caused a fraudulent, compliant result to be registered. In reality, it says, the vehicles were not compliant with EPA emissions standards at all. It claims that the vehicles’ emissions of NOx are actually up to forty times higher than the EPA allows.

According to the complaint, then, the company has violated the Clean Air Act and sold the cars fraudulently and deceptively, violating consumer protection laws as well.