District Judge Roslynn Mauskopf
A magistrate judge’s Sept. 24 memorandum and order (M&O) granted plaintiff supermarket workers conditional certification of a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The magistrate stayed the M&O pending defendant supermarket operators’ objections seeking its vacatur. Finding the M&O neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law, the court rejected defendants’ objections to the M&O and denied their set aside motion. Plaintiffs’ declarations alleging a common scheme to deny overtime pay—based on personal knowledge and conversations with coworkers—met the “fairly lenient standard” in Summa v. Hofstra University as to whether to conditionally certify an FLSA collective action, and whether they made “a modest factual showing sufficient to demonstrate that they and potential plaintiffs together were victims of a common policy for plan that violated the law.” Further, the magistrate judge correctly found that the proposed class should not be limited to cashiers and employees who did not sign arbitration agreements, as defendants proposed. Citing Lujan v. Cabana Mgmt., the court observed that the enforceability of arbitration agreements should not be determined during conditional class certification.