Cases & Deals

Verizon obtains summary judgment and defeats class certification in putative wage-hour collective action

Clients Verizon Communications, Inc.

Jones Day won summary judgment for Verizon New York in a putative collective/class action alleging overtime violations, resulting in the court denying plaintiffs’ motion for conditional class certification.

Plaintiffs were “Installation and Maintenance” Local Managers for Verizon who claimed that they were misclassified as exempt from the FLSA and New York Labor Law. They sought to represent a class of several hundred current and former Local Managers across New York. Verizon moved for summary judgment on their claims for all years in which they earned over $100,000 annually, including all years of the FLSA period, on the basis that they were properly classified as exempt under the highly compensated employee(“HCE”) exemption. In an August 13, 2015 Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate judge found that Verizon satisfied two of the three prongs of the HCE exemption, but did not meet the prong that the plaintiffs’ “primary duty includes performing office or non-manual work.” Verizon filed objections to this portion of the report and recommendation. The Court ruled in Verizon’s favor, finding that the plaintiffs' duties in fact included office or non-manual work, and granted Verizon’s motion in its entirety. As a result of the ruling in favor of Verizon as to all years of the FLSA period, the Court also denied without prejudice plaintiffs’ motion for conditional certification. The plaintiffs moved the Court for leave to file an interlocutory appeal, which was denied.

Haas v. Verizon New York, No. 13-cv-08130 (SDNY)