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Hollis v. Alston Personal Care Services, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

August 3, 2017

MICHELLE HOLLIS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
ALSTON PERSONAL CARE SERVICES, LLC, and TINY MICHELLE VANHOY, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          OSTEEN, JR., District Judge.

         Presently before the court is the Motion to Conditionally Certify Collective Action, Approve Notice and Expedited Consideration filed by Plaintiff Michelle Hollis (“Plaintiff”). (Doc. 12.) Defendants Alston Personal Care Services, LLC (“Alston”) and Tina Vanhoy (“Vanhoy”) (collectively, “Defendants”) have responded (Doc. 20), and Plaintiff has replied (Doc. 25). The matter is ripe for review and, for the reasons stated herein, this court will grant Plaintiff's motion in part.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Facts and Procedural Background

         According to its website, Alston “provides patients with a broad range of medical care services in the comfort of their homes.” (Pl.'s Mem. of Law in Supp. of Mot. to Conditionally Certify Collection Action (“Pl.'s Br.”), Ex B (Doc. 13-2) at 3.)[1]Vanhoy is Alston's “owner and managing member.” (Pl.'s Collective/Class Action Complaint (“Compl.”) (Doc. 1) ¶ 11.) Plaintiff worked at Alston's Forsyth County location “from approximately June 12, 2013 through approximately October 21, 2016 as a home health care worker who provided companionship services.” (Id. ¶ 3.)

         Plaintiff alleges that her “hours varied from week to week in 2015 and 2016, but she regularly worked more than 40 hours a week, including some weeks in which she worked in excess of 62 hours.” (Id. ¶ 4.) Plaintiff alleges that, “[d]espite her overtime work, she was not properly compensated for all overtime hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week for work performed from January 1, 2015 to October 21, 2016.” (Id. ¶ 5.)

         B. Claims

         Plaintiff brings two claims “on behalf of herself and all other similarly situated individuals.” (Id. ¶¶ 6, 7.) Plaintiff brings her first claim under 29 U.S.C. § 207, alleging that “Defendants suffered and permitted Plaintiff and the FLSA Collective to routinely work more than 40 hours in a workweek without proper overtime compensation . . . .” (Id. ¶¶ 63, 64.) Plaintiff brings her second claim under N.C. Gen Stat. § 95-25.4 making the same allegations. (Id. ¶¶ 69, 70.)

         In seeking relief, Plaintiff requests “[a]n award to Plaintiff and those similarly situated in the amount of unpaid overtime wages and liquidated damages.” (Id. at 15.) Plaintiff also seeks “[a]n award of prejudgment interest” and “[a]n award of reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.” (Id. at 16.)

         C. Class Definition

         Plaintiff defines the class, or collective under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), to be certified as “[a]ll current or former home health care workers employed by Alston Personal Care Services, LLC and Tina Michelle Vanhoy from January 1, 2015 to the present.” (Id. ¶¶ 27, 28.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The FLSA provides that an action for unpaid overtime wages can be brought “by any one or more employees for and in behalf of himself or themselves and other employees similarly situated, ” but that “[n]o 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); see Sheffield v. BB&T Corp., No. 7:16-CV-332-BO, 2017 WL 1831091, at *1 (E.D. N.C. May 4, 2017); Rosinbaum v. Flowers Foods, Inc., No. 7:16-CV-233-FL, 2017 WL 818323, at *3 (E.D. N.C. Mar. 1, 2017).

         “Courts employ a two-stage certification procedure for FLSA collective actions.” Solais v. Vesuvio's II Pizza & Grill, Inc., 1:15CV227, 2016 ...


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