United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
JEFFREY SAWYER, individually and on behalf of a class of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
HEALTH CARE SOLUTIONS AT HOME, INC; and LINCARE INC., Defendants.
Pre-Discovery Motion for Conditional Certification and
Court-Supervised Notice Pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b),
ECF No. 18-Granted in part
F. LEESON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before this Court is Plaintiff's Pre-Discovery Motion for
Conditional Certification and Court-Supervised Notice
Pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). ECF No. 18. For the
reasons that follow, this Court grants Plaintiff's Motion
Background and Procedural History
October 2016, Plaintiff Jeffrey Sawyer filed a complaint
against Defendants Health Care Solutions at Home, Inc. and
Lincare Inc., on behalf of himself and all similarly situated
hourly workers employed by Defendants. Sawyer contends that
Defendants falsely altered the timekeeping records of their
hourly employees to deduct 30-minute lunch breaks from hourly
employees' hours, even when they worked during that time,
and failed to factor bonuses into the overtime rate for
hourly employees, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards
Act (“FLSA”) and Pennsylvania law. ECF No.1.
are in the business of delivering respiratory devices and
treatment services directly to patients' homes, and
maintain over a thousand service centers in forty-eight
states. Pl.'s Memo. in Support 2, ECF No. 19. Defendants
employ hourly-paid delivery drivers, known as “Service
Representatives, ” and Customer Service Representatives
throughout Pennsylvania.Id. Driver/Service
Representatives' responsibilities include delivery,
setup, and maintenance of respiratory equipment at
customers' homes. Id. at 3. Customer Service
Representatives communicate with patients regarding refills
of supplies and educate customers about available products
and services. Id. Both Driver/Service
Representatives and Customer Service Representatives are
hourly-paid and overtime-eligible employees. Id.
employed Sawyer as a full-time Driver/Service Representative
at their service center location in Wyomissing,
Pennsylvania. Compl. ¶ 21. Because of his busy
schedule of visits to customer sites, he often did not take
an uninterrupted lunch break. Compl. ¶¶ 26, 34.
Sawyer alleges that Defendants nevertheless adopted a
corporate policy of automatically deducting a half-hour lunch
break from employees' time logs, regardless of whether
they actually took a break. Compl. ¶ 36. As a result,
Defendants deprived employees of wages owed for work
performed during the “lunch breaks” Defendants
deducted, and, since some of these deducted hours were
overtime, Defendants deprived the employees of overtime
compensation. Compl. ¶¶ 41, 43.
maintained a non-discretionary bonus policy that awarded a
$15 bonus each time an employee convinced a patient to buy
medication directly from Defendants. Sawyer alleges that
Defendants did not include the bonus compensation as part of
the regular rate of pay for purposes of calculating overtime
pay for Driver/Service Representatives and Customer Service
Representatives. Compl. ¶¶ 44-45.
brought suit against Defendants, alleging a violation of the
FLSA based on Defendants' failure to pay overtime, a
violation of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, 43 P.S.
§§ 333.101-333.15, based on failure to compensate
employees for work performed, a violation of the Pennsylvania
Wage Payment and Collection Law, 43 P.S. §§
260.1-260.45, and breach of contract. Sawyer now moves for
preliminary certification of an FLSA collective, defined as
All current and former drivers, customer service
representatives, and other hourly employees who worked for
Health Care Solutions at Home Inc. and/or Lincare Inc. d/b/a
Lincare in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at any time in
the last 3 years.
Mot. 1. Sawyer also asks this Court to order Defendants to
identify all potential members of the proposed collective and
to authorize dissemination of his proposed notice by
first-class mail, email, and text message.
Legal Standard-Motion for Conditional Certification Under the
in 1938, the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., was designed
‘to aid the unprotected, unorganized and lowest paid of
the nation's working population; that is, those employees
who lacked sufficient bargaining power to secure for
themselves a minimum subsistence wage.'”
Symczyk v. Genesis HealthCare Corp., 656 F.3d 189,
192 (3d Cir. 2011) (quoting Brooklyn Sav. Bank v.
O'Neil,324 U.S. 697, 707 n.18 (1945)),
rev'd on othergrounds, 133 S.Ct. 1523
(2013). Among other things, the FLSA “requires all
employers to pay their employees for all ...