Northern Dutchess Paramedics
This wage and hour case charges that NDP and one of its owners fail to pay drivers all the wages which they are owed for all the hours they work. With Defendants’ knowledge and consent, Paramedics and EMTs regularly come in prior to their shift to make sure their ambulance will pass the pre-tour (or pre-shift) checklist (an extensive New York State mandated checklist that makes sure the ambulance is medically and mechanically ready) and to be available for calls so the prior shift does not have to go out on last minute calls at the end of their shift. With Defendants’ knowledge and consent, Paramedics and EMTs also regularly work past their scheduled shift time in order to complete necessary paperwork and to do all the things necessary to make sure the ambulance is medically and mechanically ready for the next shift’s run. The complaint charges that this time is not compensated by Defendants. Plaintiff seeks unpaid wages, liquidated damages, interest, costs and attorneys’ fees, as well as declaratory relief under the FLSA and state minimum wage and wage payment laws.
Plaintiff brings this claim on behalf of other similarly situated employees under the collective action provisions of the FLSA. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). Plaintiff brings state overtime and “spread of hours” claims under the class action rules of Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 23. The case is brought in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and will be tried to the Honorable Cathy Seibel, United States District Judge with assistance from U.S. Magistrate Judge George A. Yanthis.
How to Join this Case
If you have also worked for this defendant you can join this case by completing this Consent to Sue form and mailing it to Getman Sweeney. You need the free Acrobat Reader installed to view the form.
Court Approves Class and Collective Action Notice – Posted on February 26, 2013
On October 5th 2012, we filed a motion asking Judge Seibel to certify the New York State Labor Law claim as a class action and conditionally certify the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act overtime claim as a collective action. We also asked for Court’s permission to mail notice to other EMT’s and paramedics. On December 19, 2012, Judge Seibel granted our motion. She ordered Defendants to provide us with the names and addresses for all of the class members and ordered us to mail the notice to all class members.
On February 20, 2013 we mailed the class and collective action Notice to the class members. We mailed two different notices. One group only received a notice about the New York State class action. The other group received a notice about the New York State class action and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act overtime claim. The reason for the different notices is that the statute of limitations for the Federal overtime claim is a maximum of three years. Therefore, because some EMTs and paramedics left Defendants employment more than three years ago they will only receive a notice about the New York State class action.
If you worked between August 19, 2005 and September 18, 2008, a copy of the Notice we mailed to you is here Class Notice. If you worked for Defendants between September 19, 2008 and present, a copy of the Notice we mailed to you is here FLSA and Class Notice. Class members that worked for Defendants between September 19, 2008 and the present have until April 21, 2013 to file their consent to sue form. You can find a consent to sue form here Consent to Sue Form.
Court Conference and Settlement Update – Posted on April 5, 2012
On March 5, 2012, the Parties attended an initial pretrial conference with Judge Seibel. We agreed to try to settle the case in order to reduce litigation costs. Judge Seibel stayed the case but scheduled another conference for May 14, 2012. Then the Parties will update her on the status of settlement discussions. In the meantime, we will evaluate damages for EMT’s and Paramedics and work towards a settlement. If we cannot resolve the case, then we will enter the discovery phase of litigation.
Posted on October 15, 2011
The document by which a defendant responds to a lawsuit is called an answer. Click here to review NDP’s Answer in this case.
Posted on October 15, 2011
The parties have met to discuss the beginning stages of settlement.
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011
The document which begins a federal lawsuit is called the “complaint.” Click here to review the complaint in this case. (Complaint.pdf 288KB)
Posted on Thursday, August 25 2011
Answers to Common Questions:
What claims are covered in this lawsuit?
The lawsuit raises claims for overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and New York State Labor Law. The specific violations claimed are that the defendant fails to pay overtime to similarly situated employees and fail to pay an additional hour of pay at the minimum wage rate when employees work 10 or more hours per day.
How Much Money Does the Case Involve?
Under the federal and state overtime law, back pay and an equal amount of liquidated damages are claimed for each violation. For the spread of hours claim, an additional hour of pay at the minimum wage rate is sought, plus liquidated damages.
How far back can claims be made?
Claims under New York Labor Law can go back 6 years from the date of the complaint. Under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, a similarly situated EMT or Paramedic can make claims for the period extending back three years from the date a Consent To Sue Form is filed in Court. The defendant will be entitled to argue that its violations were not wilful and that it claims should only be limited to a two year period preceding the filing of your Consent To Sue Form. This two or three year period is called the “statute of limitation.”
Do I have to pay to join the case?
No. The attorneys are handling this case on a contingent basis and will only be paid when we win through a settlement or final judgment. When plaintiffs win a wage and hour case, the defendant must pay the plaintiffs’ costs and attorneys fees.
How Do I Join This Case?
You are not part of the FLSA case until your Consent to Sue Form is returned to the plaintiffs’ attorneys and then filed with the Court. If you delay in filing the Consent to Sue Form, part or all of your claim may be barred by the “statute of limitation.” Once a Notice is authorized by the Court, you must generally return the Consent to Sue form within the terms of the notice or the Court may not allow you to join this case. You may be considered a member of the case, even if you don’t file a Consent to Sue Form, if the Court ultimately approves the case as a “class action.” Since class certification is never certain, those individuals who wish to make sure their claims are brought in this case should download and file the Consent to Sue form which appears at the top of this page.
Can The Defendant fire me or take action against me for joining the lawsuit?
The law prohibits retaliation for joining an overtime lawsuit. If any employee suffered retaliation, The Defendant would be liable for double the injury caused to the employee. Notify us immediately if you think any retaliation occurs. Retaliation is extremely rare in wage and hour cases, because an employer can suffer such serious penalties.