This case is brought by four former Global Technical Support Representatives or “GTEC Reps” at Bloomberg’s help desk call center for failure to pay GTEC reps overtime for the hours they work. The case is brought as a class action under New York Labor Law and collective action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for Bloomberg’s failure to pay overtime at the rate of time and one half as required by both laws. The lawsuit charges that Bloomberg knew and required the GTEC Representatives to work off the clock and failed to pay them for this work. Specifically, the workers were required to work after their shift to handle calls, do trainings at home, monitor and answer emails at home, and add to the company’s knowledge base after their shift ended. The case also charges that Bloomberg sometimes paid the workers for holiday shifts using comp time which is not legal for private employers. The case is brought as a class action under New York law for GTEC Reps who worked for Bloomberg in the last six years in New York. The case is brought as a “collective action” under the FLSA for all individuals who worked in the last three years for Bloomberg and who choose file a “Consent to Sue” form (which can be found below). The case is brought in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels. The case seeks all unpaid overtime wages due at the rate of time and one half, plus an equal amount of liquidated damages under the FLSA and an additional equal amount in liquidated damages under New York law.
Individuals who worked at other divisions of Bloomberg and who also did not receive overtime pay at the rate of time and one half, are encouraged to call Getman Sweeney (845-255-9370 and ask to speak with Janice Pickering) to review whether the failure to pay overtime may have been a violation of law. The mere fact that an employer pays an employee a salary does not legally exempt the employee from entitlement to overtime premium pay.
Settlement Approved – Posted November 15, 2016
Following the Final Fairness Hearing on October 18, Judge Daniels granted Final Approval to the settlement of this case. The settlement checks should be mailed out to participating class members on December 1, 2016. If there has been any change in your mailing address since you filled out your settlement claim form, please contact the Claims Administrator Simpluris at 888-369-3780.
Notice Mailed, Claim Period Ending Soon – Posted August 8, 2016
The notice of settlement was mailed on June 29, 2016, by the Settlement Claims Administrator – Simpluris. If you have not already received your notice, you may call Simpluris at 888-369-3780 to check the mailing address they have on file for you or to request a copy of your notice. The deadline to submit a claim for your settlement payment is August 28, 2016. For those few individuals who had notice remailed due to an incorrect address, the deadline is stated in your remailed notice. Federal law prohibits any kind of retaliation for submitting a claim for payment in this case.
Court Finds Settlement Preliminarily Fair – Directs Notice – Posted June 30, 2016
On June 15th, upon the motion of Plaintiffs’ counsel, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels preliminarily approved the settlement of this case. The preliminary approval means that a notice of the settlement will be sent to all class members. Class members will be told their settlement share based on the settlement agreement allocation, along with the process to make a claim for their share, to object to any of the settlement terms, or to exclude themselves from the case. A notice will be mailed shortly. Any GTEC Rep who worked during the class period from June 14, 2006 to March 23, 2016 and who has moved since their work at GTEC should immediately contact Getman Sweeney to give their current address. Anyone who has not received a notice by July 10th should contact the Settlement Claims Administrator Simpluris at 888-369-3780 to ask that your notice be re-mailed to the correct address.
Settlement Agreement Signed – April 1, 2016
Following a mediation held between the parties and JAMS Mediator and former U.S. Magistrate Judge Diane Welsh, the parties reached a tentative settlement of all claims in the case. We have signed a formal settlement agreement and will advise the Court of the terms shortly. If the Court preliminarily approves the settlement, a notice will be issued to all GTEC Representative Class Members to consider. Class Members will have the right to accept, object, or withdraw from the settlement.
Court Grants Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel – Posted August 31, 2015
This case has been on hold for over six months as Magistrate Judge Maas had before him a critical motion on what discovery Bloomberg would be required to provide to Plaintiffs about its history of considering whether to pay overtime pay to its employees. Bloomberg has claimed that it acted in “good faith” in failing to pay overtime. Accordingly, Plaintiffs demanded that Bloomberg supply documents and other evidence about how it made its decisions with respect to overtime. Bloomberg claimed that these documents were “attorney client” or “work product” privileged and should not be turned over to Plaintiffs. On August 20, Magistrate Judge Maas issued a critical Order granting, (for the most part), Plaintiffs’ motion to compel Bloomberg to produce documents related to their “good faith” and “lack of willfulness” defenses. The documents in question are communications with their attorneys regarding their obligation to pay overtime, and must be turned over to the court for review by Sept. 5th, unless Bloomberg chooses to withdraw these defenses. To review the Magistrate Judge’s order, click here to review the Court’s Order.
Class Action Certified – Posted March 18, 2015
Judge Daniels has certified this case as a class action. Certification as a class action means that all GTEC Reps who worked for Bloomberg from June 18, 2006 through the present will be deemed to have their New York State overtime claims covered by this case. After the parties have the opportunity to address the form of a notice, a notice should issue to all members of the class, advising them of their rights in the case. Bloomberg had raised a host of objections to class certification in this case, but Judge Daniels rejected Bloomberg’s positions in every respect. Getman Sweeney believes this ruling is a critical step in the process of getting GTEC Reps paid for the overtime hours that Bloomberg permitted them to work (including weekend shifts, staying late on calls, coming in early to boot up the terminal, and doing work at home).
Class Action Motion Renewed – Posted November 4, 2013
The parties have engaged in a lengthy period of “discovery” – which is the process whereby the parties to a lawsuit exchange data, documents and depositions (out-of-court sworn testimony under questioning). Plaintiffs took the depositions of Kristian Sawyers and Matthew Mignone. Defendant took the deposition of each of the Plaintiffs (some of them twice). In August, the Plaintiffs submitted a Renewed Motion to Certify Class. Thereafter, Bloomberg filed its opposition brief. Plaintiffs thereafter submitted their reply brief in support of the motion for class certification. The Court has scheduled oral argument on the motion for Friday, Dec. 13th at 10:30 a.m. in Judge Daniels’ courtroom, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York City.
Can Individuals Join This Case After the January 2013 Deadline? – Posted April 12, 2103
On November 20, 2012, Judge Daniels directed that a “collective action” notice should be sent to all Bloomberg GTEC Reps who worked within the last three years giving them until January 28, 2013 to join the case. In many instances, Courts permit the late filing of Consents to Sue in a case. Even if individuals are not permitted to join an ongoing case, their claims are not extinguished by the end of an opt-in period. However, under the FLSA, claims can only be asserted by filing a Consent to Sue form with the Court. Any GTEC Reps did not previously file this form during the opt-in period, but who wish to assert their FLSA rights now, should contact Carolyn Mow, paralegal, at Getman Sweeney at once.
Court Approves Collective Action Notice – Posted November 30, 2012
On November 20, 2012, Judge Daniels directed that a “collective action” notice should be sent to all Bloomberg GTEC Reps who worked within the last three years. Click here to review a copy of the notice being mailed and emailed to the individual GTEC Reps who worked within the last three years, as identified by Bloomberg. Individuals who wish to assert their “Fair Labor Standards Act” claims in this case must file a “Consent to Sue” form attached to the notice, or as is available on this website within 60 days from the date of the notice (by January 28, 2013).
If you are or were a GTEC Rep who worked within the last three years and did not receive notice, please contact Getman Sweeney at once. Judge Daniels did not decide whether the case could also proceed as a “class action” under the New York labor law for GTEC Reps who worked for Bloomberg within the last six years. Click here to review the transcript of the proceeding before Judge Daniels on November 20th. Whether the action proceeds as a class will be determined by Judge Daniels on a renewed motion after discovery.
Initial Case Management Conference Held – Posted August 8, 2012
The initial court conference with Judge Daniels was held this morning in federal district court in Manhattan. Bloomberg asked the Court to permit it to take the depositions of the class representatives in order to respond to the pending class action motion, arguing that not all GTEC reps had the same jobs. Judge Daniels expressed that he saw no need for the depositions as Bloomberg already has whatever information it needs to make that argument. The initial conference was a success. Click here to review the Rule 16(b) And 26(f) Scheduling Order adopted by the Court.
Getman Sweeney Files Class and Collective Action Motion – Posted August 8, 2012
Plaintiffs have moved for permission to mail notice of this case to GTEC reps and to certify the case as a class action for the entire class of GTEC reps working for Bloomberg within 6 years preceeding the filing of the complaint. Click here to read Plaintiffs’ Brief in support Motion to Certify Class.
Bloomberg’s “Answer” Filed – Posted June 14, 2012
The document which responds to a lawsuit is called the “Answer.” Click here to read Bloomberg’s Answer.
Complaint Filed – Posted June 14, 2012
The document which begins a lawsuit is called a “complaint.” Plaintiffs have now filed a complaint in this case with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Click here to review the complaint that has been filed in court.
Answers to Common Questions – Posted June 14, 2012
What claims are covered in this case?
The complaint covers claims for overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The specific violations claimed are that the Defendants failed to pay wages at the rate of time and one half to its GTEC Reps.
What work locations are covered by this lawsuit?
The FLSA claims in this lawsuit covers the Global Technical Support call center in Manhattan. If you worked for Defendant in a different position elsewhere in the country, or you worked for a different Bloomberg call center in Manhattan, and you also did not receive overtime pay, please contact Getman Sweeney.
What damages are sought?
Damages sought under the FLSA include back overtime wages, an equal amount of liquidated damages, interest, and fees and costs for each violation. Damages for the state law claims include back overtime pay and liquidated damages, interest, and fees and costs.
The FLSA provides for liquidated damages in an amount equal to the back pay owed and allows claims going back three years from when someone affirmatively joins the case by filing a Consent to Sue. You must send us a signed Consent to Sue to bring your federal wage and hour claims in this action.
How far back can claims be made?
Under the FLSA, you are entitled to make claims for the period extending back three years from the date your Consent To Sue Form is filed in Court. Bloomberg will be entitled to argue that its violations were not willful and that its claims should only be limited to a two-year period preceding the filing of your Consent to Sue. This two or three year period is called the “statute of limitation.”
The state wage claims have different statutes of limitations, going back six years from the date the complaint was filed in Court.
How do I join the case?
To bring claims under the FLSA for back wages and an equal amount of liquidated damages in this action, you must affirmatively join the case by filling out a Consent to Sue form and returning it to Getman Sweeney to be filed with the Court. Even individuals who do not fill out a consent to sue form MAY be part of the state wage claims which are brought as a class action, but only IF the Court ultimately decides that the case may go forward as a class action. Individuals who want to present all of their claims to the Court should fill out the Consent to Sue form and return it to Getman Sweeney to be filed with the Court.
Do I have to pay to join the case?
No. The attorneys representing plaintiffs are Getman & Sweeney, PLLC and we are handling this case on a contingent basis and will only be paid when we win through a settlement or final judgment.
Can I wait to file my Consent to Sue form?
You are not part of the FLSA case until your Consent to Sue Form is returned to the plaintiffs’ attorneys and filed. If you delay in filing the consent to sue, part or all of your claim may be barred by the statute of limitations.
Can Bloomberg fire me or take action against me for joining the case?
The law prohibits retaliation for joining an overtime lawsuit. If any employee suffers retaliation, Bloomberg would be liable for at least double the injury caused to the employee, and possibly much more. Notify us immediately if you think any retaliation occurs. Retaliation is rare in overtime cases, because an employer can suffer such serious penalties.