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Reinig v. RBS Citizens, N.A.

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

June 25, 2019

ALEX REINIG, KEN GRITZ, BOB SODA, MARY LOU GRAMESKY, PETER WILDER SMITH, WILLIAM KINSELLA, DANIEL KOLENDA, VALERIA DAL PINO, AHMAD NAJI, ROBERT PEDERSON, TERESA FRAGALE, and DAVID HOWARD, Plaintiffs,
v.
RBS CITIZENS, N.A., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER RE: RULING ON DEFENDANT'S RENEWED MOTION TO DECERTIFY THE FLSA COLLECTIVE ACTION (DOC. NO. 268)

          Arthur J. Schwab, United States District Court Judge.

         I. Procedural Background

         This Court previously certified Plaintiffs' collective action pursuant to Section 216(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) on May 3, 2016. Doc. No. 57. Thereafter, approximately 350 Plaintiffs opted-in to the FLSA collective action between May of 2016 and August of 2017. SeeDoc. No. 112 at 11 (stating 351 individuals opted in); Doc. No. 176 (stating 347 individuals opted in).

         Defendant filed a Motion to Decertify the FLSA Collective Action on April 11, 2017. Doc. No. 111. This Court denied the Motion to Decertify on August 22, 2017. Doc. No. 216. In its Memorandum Order Adopting the Report and Recommendation of the Special Master (Doc. No. 180), this Court stated the following reasons for denying Defendant's Motion to Decertify:

Defendant only objects to the Special Master's recommendations concerning . . . [the] final certification of Plaintiffs' nation-wide collective action under Section 216(b) of the FLSA for Plaintiffs' off-the-clock claims. Doc. No. 202.
* * *
Defendant's argument that the opt-in and Named Plaintiffs are not similarly situated to support final certification of the FLSA collective action under Section 216(b) is without merit. As the Special Master details, the MLOs share the same job description with similar (if not identical) job duties, are paid pursuant to the same compensation plan(s), are subject to the same policies, and assert the same claims for unpaid off-the-clock overtime wages in this lawsuit. Doc. No. 180, p. 32.
The remainder of Defendant's arguments are procedural and regard matters within the sound discretion of the District Court to manage litigation before it. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 16. Trial of a single issue regarding Plaintiffs' FLSA off-the-clock claims is scheduled to commence, and will commence, on September 25, 2017. This is no way interferes with the state subclasses right to receive notice of the pending state-law claims and to opt-out of the action if they so choose.

Doc. No. 216 at 4-5.

         The detailed factual and legal analysis supporting certification of the FLSA collective action is set forth in the Special Master's Second Report. SeeDoc. No. 180 at 1-36.

         II. Precedential Decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

         The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in its precedential Opinion, ruled that it “decline[d] to exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction over the FLSA collective action certification order in this case . . . [and thus] we will leave undisturbed the District Court certifying a collective action under the FLSA . . . .” Reinig v. RBS Citizens, N.A, 912 F.3d 115, 133 (3d Cir. 2018).

         The following is an extensive quotation from the Opinion of the Court of Appeals in this matter:

In addition to challenging the District Court's Rule 23 ruling, Citizens also contests the District Court's non-final FLSA certification order under the doctrine of pendent appellate jurisdiction. This doctrine “‘allows [us] in [our] discretion to exercise jurisdiction over issues that are not independently appealable but that are intertwined with issues over which [we] properly and independently exercise[] [our] jurisdiction.'” Aleynikov v. Goldman Sachs Grp., Inc., 765 F.3d 350, 357 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing E.I. DuPont, 269 F.3d at 202-3). The doctrine is a narrow one that “should be used ‘sparingly,' and only when there is sufficient overlap in the facts relevant to both . . . issues to warrant ...

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