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Taylor v. Pittsburgh Mercy Health System

August 25, 2009

YVONNE TAYLOR, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
PITTSBURGH MERCY HEALTH SYSTEM, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Bissoon

ORDER

Plaintiffs' Motions for Approval of Notice (Doc. 81) and for Clarification (Doc. 84) will be granted, consistent with the discussions below; and Defendants' Motion for a Protective Order (Doc. 87) will be denied without prejudice.

A. Court Approval of Notice and Issuance Thereof

The parties' filings reveal agreement on all aspects of the proposed notice, save a clause in the "consent form." Compare Pls.' Br. (Doc. 82) at 1-3 with Defs.' Br. (Doc. 88) at 2-3. Defendants' proposal, adopted by Chief Judge Ambrose in Kuznyetsov v. West Penn Allegh. Health Sys., Inc., Civil Action No. 09-379 (W.D. Pa.), "specifically tailor[s] the language to include a consent to join in the only claim that has been conditionally certified," i.e., meal break deductions. See Order dated July 15, 2009 in 09-379 (Doc. 115) at 6. The Court agrees with Judge Ambrose that the language is appropriate, and the relevant provisions of the consent form shall read:

I understand that this lawsuit is brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-209, and I hereby consent, agree and opt-in to the above-captioned lawsuit that has been filed seeking payment of overtime compensation resulting from missed meal breaks.

The parties' joint, proposed notice form, as clarified above, is hereby APPROVED and ADOPTED by the Court. Whether the Notice Form is mailed over one or several days, Plaintiffs' counsel shall, for each mailing, ensure that the "postmarked by" provisions in Section 6 reflect the date of mailing, plus sixty days.

B. Plaintiffs' Motion for Clarification, and Defendants' Motion for Protective Order, Regarding Communications with Putative Collective Action Members

Plaintiffs ask that the Court's August 12th directive, requiring them to refrain from utilizing Defendants' employee information for any purpose other than preparing for the issuance of notice, be deemed to have expired upon the Court's approval of notice. See Pls.' Br. (Doc. 85) at 13. In support of this request, Plaintiffs' counsel have represented, subject to the mandates of Federal Rule 11(b), that:

* Plaintiffs' counsel will not engage in private communications designed to mimic the Court-authorized notice or to represent that their communications have been authorized by the Court.

* Plaintiffs' counsel will not engage in private communications that conflict with the Court-authorized notice.

* Plaintiffs' counsel will not initiate telephone or in-person contacts with prospective collective action members for the purpose of soliciting them to join this lawsuit.

* Plaintiffs' counsel will refrain from communications that coerce prospective collective action members into including themselves in the litigation.

* Plaintiffs' counsel will refrain from communications that contain false, misleading ...


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