Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

YOUNG v. COOPER CAMERON CORPORATION

June 9, 2005.

ANDREW YOUNG, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
COOPER CAMERON CORPORATION, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GABRIEL GORENSTEIN, Magistrate Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

Andrew Young has sued Cooper Cameron Corporation ("Cooper") on the ground that it has failed to pay premium overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 203, 207. Young alleges that he regularly worked more than forty hours per week in his position as a Product Design Specialist ("PDS") and that Cooper failed to pay both him and other PDS's overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of forty hours per week.

  Young now moves for an order authorizing a collective action, directing Cooper to provide the names and addresses of potential members of the collective action, and authorizing court-approved notice to be mailed to such individuals for the purpose of obtaining their written consent to join this action as plaintiffs. For the reasons explained below, the motion is granted. I. BACKGROUND

  A. Facts

  Cooper "is a global provider of pressure control, processing, flow control and compression systems as well as project management and aftermarket services for the oil & gas and process industries." Defendant Cooper Cameron Corporation's Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Approve Collective Action Notice, filed April 8, 2005 (Docket #24) ("Def. Mem."), at 3. Cooper divides the PDS job into three categories: PDS I, PDS II, and PDS III. See Job Descriptions (reproduced as Exhibit E to Notice of Motion, filed January 24, 2005 (Docket #16) ("Notice of Motion")) ("Job Descriptions"). Young was employed by Cooper as a PDS II from June or July 2001 until March 2004. See Declaration of Andrew Young (annexed as Exhibit A to Notice of Motion) ("Young Decl."), ¶¶ 1-3; Def. Mem. at 3. According to the job description, Young's PDS II position required him to, inter alia, "[p]roduce a working design to meet a general industry design or to satisfy a customer's requirements." Job Descriptions at 2.

  Cooper's official job descriptions also set forth the qualifications needed for the PDS I, II and III positions. A PDS I is required to possess "[t]echnical knowledge and 8 or more years related experience" in the field. Id. at 1. A PDS II is required to possess "technological knowledge with 12 or more years? related experience" in the field. Id. at 2. A PDS III is required to possess a "technological background and 15 or more years related experience" in the field. Id. at 3.

  Mac Melton Kennedy, a Cooper representative and Young's supervisor, testified that no PDS has a college degree and that on-the-job training is all that is required to obtain a position as a PDS. See Deposition of the Defendant, Cooper Cameron Corporation, by Mac Melton Kennedy (reproduced as Exhibit A to Declaration of Michael J.D. Sweeney, Esq., filed April 15, 2005 (Docket #27) ("Sweeney Decl.")) ("Kennedy Dep."), at 121-23; Deposition of Andrew Young (reproduced as Exhibit B to Sweeney Decl.), at 78. Although the official job descriptions indicate that a PDS I, II and III have differing responsibilities, see Job Descriptions at 1-3, Kennedy testified as follows concerning their duties:
Q. Do you know what the distinction is between [PDS] I and II is [sic]?
A. I, II, and III are just different grade levels, and they're for the purposes of determining salary.
Q. Do they do different things?
A. No.
Q. So, their job duties are the same?
A. Yes.
Kennedy Dep. at 43. Young concurs that "[t]he defendant employed other [PDS's] that did the same or similar work." Young Decl. ¶ 7. In fact, Kennedy testified that Young's job duties were typical of a PDS at Cooper. Kennedy Dep. at 107-08.

  Kennedy also confirmed Young's claim, see Young Decl. ¶¶ 8-10, that he and other PDS's regularly worked more than 40 hours per week without overtime pay. See Kennedy Dep. at 123, 126. In response to an interrogatory, Cooper stated that "all of [its] employees in the position of [PDS] II, including Young, are classified as exempt employees and are not entitled to overtime under the FLSA." Defendant's Responses to Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories (reproduced as Exhibit C to Notice of Motion) ("Interrogatory Resp."), ¶ 3. Cooper expected PDS's "to get their work done" even if doing so required them to work more than 40 hours in a week. See Kennedy Dep. at 126. B. The Instant Motion

  Young seeks an order "allowing this case to proceed as a collective action," directing Cooper to provide the addresses of members of the putative class, and directing that the collective action notice "be served by mail upon the members of the putative class." See Notice of Motion. Young contends that "[d]efendant should be required to provide the names and addresses of . . . all current and former [PDS's] employed within three years from the date of this Court's order in an electronic format to facilitate notice." Brief in Support of Motion to Approve Collective Action Notice (annexed to Notice of Motion) ("Pl. Mem."), at 5; accord Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion to Approve Collective Action Notice, filed April 15, 2005 (Docket #26) ("Pl. Reply Mem."), at 10.*fn1 Young has also annexed to his motion papers a proposed court-authorized collective action notice and consent form to be sent out to potential plaintiffs. See Notice of Lawsuit With Opportunity to Join (annexed as Exhibit B to Notice of Motion) ("Notice of Lawsuit").

  Cooper opposes this motion. See Def. Mem; Declaration of Jennifer F. DiMarco, Esq., filed April 8, 2005 (Docket #25).

  II. APPLICABLE LEGAL PRINCIPLES

  The FLSA was designed to eliminate "labor conditions detrimental to the maintenance of the minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency, and general well-being of workers." 29 U.S.C. § 202(a). "The purpose of the FLSA . . . was to `guarantee? compensation for all work or employment engaged in by employees covered by the Act.'" Reich v. New York City Transit Auth., 45 F.3d 646, 648-49 (2d Cir. 1995) (quoting Tenn. Coal, Iron & R. Co. v. Muscoda Local No. 123, 321 U.S. 590, 602 (1944)) (alteration in original).

  The FLSA requires employers to pay overtime for "employment in excess of [forty hours per week] at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which [the employee] is employed." 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). The FLSA exempts certain employees from its overtime requirements, including "any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity. . . ." 29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(1). The Second Circuit has held that, "[b]ecause the FLSA is a remedial act, its exemptions are to be narrowly construed" and that the "employer bears the burden of proving that its employees fall within an exemption in the FLSA." Coke v. Long Island Care At Home, Ltd., 376 F.3d 118, 123 (2d Cir. 2004) (citations omitted), petition for cert. filed, 73 U.S.L.W. 3603 (U.S. Mar. 29, 2005) (No. 04-1315).

  Section 216(b) of the FLSA provides, in pertinent part, that
[a]n action to recover . . . liability . . . may be maintained against any employer . . . by any one or more employees for and in behalf of himself or themselves and other employees similarly situated. No employee shall be a party plaintiff to any such action unless he gives his consent in writing to become such a party and such consent is filed in the court in which such action is brought.
29 U.S.C. § 216(b). "Thus, under the FLSA, potential plaintiffs must `opt in' to a collective action to be bound by the judgment (and to benefit from it)." Hoffmann v. Sbarro, Inc., 982 F. Supp. 249, 260 (S.D.N.Y. 1997). A district court may permit an opt-in notice to be sent to potential ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.