Fighting for Fair Pay

A-1 Quality Logistical Solutions; LLC, William Foster, III; East Logistics, LLC; Eastern Labor, LLC; Empire Labor Services, LLC

 

If you worked for A-1 at any time within the last three years, worked in a warehouse, were classified as an independent contractor, worked more than 40 hours in a week, weren’t paid overtime wages at the rate of time and one-half your hourly rate and/or suffered deductions from your pay, you may be eligible to join this case to recover back wages and liquidated damages. Positions that are eligible to join this case include: lumpers and order selectors.

About This Case

This case is a nationwide case brought by two former workers of A-1. The lawsuit alleges that A-1 violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) by misclassifying warehouse workers as independent contractors instead of employees, and failing to pay Named Plaintiffs, and other lumpers and order selectors, overtime wages.

Additionally, this case is brought as a class action under the New York Labor Law alleging overtime pay, wage notice, and wage statement violations on behalf of lumpers who worked in New York State; the Missouri Minimum Wage Law alleging overtime pay violations on behalf of warehouse workers who worked in Missouri; and the Colorado Wage Claim Act and Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order alleging overtime pay violations on behalf of warehouse workers who worked in Colorado. We filed this case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Click here to read the complaint that has been filed with Court.

Getman, Sweeney & Dunn, PLLC, is representing plaintiffs along with local counsel at Coffman Legal, LLC.

Status Reports

Case Update - Posted May 11, 2023

To date, over 100 A-1 warehouse workers, including order selectors and lumpers, have joined the case by filing a Consent to Sue!

Last week we filed a motion with the Court and asked the Court to conditionally certify the case on behalf of A-1 warehouse workers. Then, in an attempt to prevent workers from litigating on a group basis in Federal Court, earlier this week A-1 filed a motion to compel arbitration. Richard Mursinna offered a declaration in support of A-1’s motion. You can read what he says here. We will oppose A-1’s motion to compel arbitration. The Court’s ruling regarding these motions will dictate whether the case moves forward as a collective action in Federal Court, or the warehouse workers must proceed with individual cases in arbitration.

Case Update - Posted March 16, 2023

On March 10 we filed an amended complaint and asserted additional state class action claims in Colorado and Missouri for individuals who worked in those states. Click here to read the amended complaint.

The participation in this case has been impressive. To date, approximately 90 people have filed a Consent to Sue and joined the case.

Answers to Common Questions

Which employees can be part of this lawsuit?

All current or former warehouse workers who were employed by A-1, at any time from February 2020 to the present, were classified as independent contractors, worked more than 40 hours in a week, did not receive compensation at the rate of time and one-half for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek or suffered deductions from their pay, can ask to join this case by filling out and signing a Consent to Sue Form and returning it to Getman, Sweeney & Dunn, PLLC. Positions within the class include lumpers and order selectors.

What claims are covered in this case?

The lawsuit covers claims for unpaid overtime wages under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Additionally, it is claimed that A-1 violated New York Labor Law because it 1) failed to pay its lumpers overtime wages for hours worked over 40 in a workweek; 2) the pay statements A-1 provided to lumpers didn’t include the accurate number of hours worked or pay earned; and 3) failed to provide their lumpers a notice at the time of hiring that included the regular rate of pay and the overtime rate of pay.

What damages are sought?

Damages sought under the FLSA include back overtime pay, an equal amount of liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, and any costs of litigating the case. Damages sought under the New York Labor law include back overtime wages, an equal amount of liquidated damages, prejudgment interest at the rate of 9%, up to $5,000 in damages for the pay statement violations, up to $5,000 for failure to provide written notice of the wage rates at the time of hire, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

How far back can claims be made?

Generally, under the FLSA, you are entitled to make claims for the A1 extending back three years from the date your Consent to Sue Form is filed with the Court. A1 will be entitled to argue that its violations were not willful and that its claims should be limited to only a two-year period preceding the filing of your Consent to Sue. Claims under the New York Labor Law go back 6 years from the filing of the Complaint.

How do I join the case?

To bring claims under the FLSA for back overtime wages and an equal amount of liquidated damages in this action, you must affirmatively join the case. To request to join this federal case, you must fill out and sign a Consent to Sue form (click here to sign it electronically) or print it out and return it to Getman, Sweeney & Dunn, PLLC by fax, email or mail.

You need the free Acrobat Reader installed to view the form.

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 filed. If you delay in filing the Consent to Sue Form, part or all of your claim may be barred by the statute of limitations.

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 if Plaintiffs recover through a settlement or final judgment. Under the FLSA and New York Labor Law, if Plaintiffs recover back wages, A-1 must pay the Plaintiffs’ costs and attorneys’ fees.

Can A1 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, A-1 would be liable for additional monetary damages. Notify us immediately if you hear of any threats of retaliation or if you think any retaliation occurred. Retaliation is extremely rare in overtime cases because an employer can suffer such serious penalties.

Do I have to litigate in arbitration and not federal court?

A-1 may have required some warehouse workers to sign an arbitration agreement. While arbitration agreements are generally enforceable, there are exceptions. For example, arbitration agreements are not enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act for any “class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce.” 9 U.S.C. § 1. This past June the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted this provision as to airline ramp supervisors who worked for Southwest Airlines, and loaded and unloaded baggage and other cargo on and off airplanes that traveled across state lines. The U.S. Supreme Court held that the supervisors were engaged in foreign or interstate commerce, and thus belonged to a class of workers who were exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act. Southwest Airlines Co. v. Saxon, 142 S.Ct. 1783 (2022).

We believe that, like the airline ramp supervisors, A-1’s warehouse workers were engaged in foreign or interstate commerce, and they belong to a class of workers who were exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act. The warehouse workers handle A-1’s customers’ merchandise, which arrives at the warehouses from out-of-state or overseas, and at some later point the merchandise is then loaded onto trucks and shipped within the state and across state lines. As a result, we believe that any arbitration agreement is not enforceable. If a court disagrees, and any appeals are exhausted, then workers would have to bring their claims in arbitration.

Case Inquiry

Fill out this form if you would like someone from GSD to contact you to provide more information. Please note that completing this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship. For information on joining the case, please see the "How to Join this Case" section.

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