Bloomberg L.P. (Global Data)
This is an overtime pay class action and collective action on behalf of “Data Analysts” and “Data Specialists” and related positions who acquire, maintain, and update data in Bloomberg L.P.’s Global Data Division. The case seeks back pay and an equal amount as liquidated damages for all class members. The case was filed on April 10, 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Most, but not all, of these employees work in Princeton, New Jersey. The case challenges the failure of Bloomberg, LP to pay overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a work week, including work outside the office. U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson, will preside over this case. Getman, Sweeney & Dunn will be assisted by the Law Offices of Charles A. Gruen of Westwood, NJ in representing the Plaintiffs in this case. Individuals who worked in Global Data are encouraged to call Getman, Sweeney & Dunn at 845-255-9370 to review your rights in the case.
As of January 1, 2019, Bloomberg began paying many Global Data employees overtime, however it never paid back pay or liquidated damages to the reclassified employees. After the case was filed, New Jersey extended its “statute of limitation” for overtime pay cases to 6 years and enacted a “treble damages” provision, though the retroactivity of this change has not yet been decided. It should be noted that the mere fact that an employer pays an employee a salary does not legally exempt the employee from entitlement to overtime premium pay.
How to Join this Case
If you have worked for Bloomberg Global Data in a job position as described above any time within the last three years, you may participate in this lawsuit by filling out and returning a Consent to Sue Form.
Conference Adjourned As Parties Explore Settlement - October 7, 2019
The initial conference with the Court was scheduled for October 21, 2019. The conference has been adjourned to December 16, 2019 so that the parties can explore the possibility of settlement.
Bloomberg Moves to Compel the Jane Doe Plaintiffs to Publish their Full Names on the Caption
On August 20, 2019, Bloomberg filed a motion asking the Court to compel the Jane Doe Plaintiffs to publish their full names on the caption of this action. Plaintiffs filed their opposition on September 23, 2019 and asked the Court to permit the Jane Doe Plaintiffs to proceed under pseudonyms during the early stages of this action. On October 1, 2019, Bloomberg filed its reply on the motion to compel.
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Conditional Certification and Notice to Global Data Analysts is Briefed
On August 1, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their motion for conditional certification. On August 20, 2019, Bloomberg filed its opposition to conditional certification and Plaintiffs filed their reply on August 27. In their motion for conditional certification Plaintiffs ask the Court to authorize the distribution of notice to Global Data Analysts by mail, e-mail, and posting in the workplace. The notice will inform Global Data Analysts about the claims asserted in this action and their opportunity to join this case.
Bloomberg Moves To Dismiss - Then Withdraws Motion
On July 30, 2019, Bloomberg moved to dismiss the action claiming that service of the summons and complaint was defective and arguing that the Court did not have jurisdiction over Bloomberg. On August 20, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their opposition to Bloomberg’s motion to dismiss arguing that the case needed to move forward to be decided on the merits because defects in the summons are considered technical and do not warrant dismissal. On August 23, 2019, Bloomberg withdrew the motion to dismiss and told the Court it would accept service of the complaint and would consent to the Court’s jurisdiction.
Complaint Filed April 2, 2019
This case was filed in the Southern District of New York on April 2, 2019. On April 10, 2019, Plaintiffs voluntarily withdrew their case from the Southern District of New York and refiled the complaint in the District of New Jersey. This case is now before U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson.
Answers to Common Questions – Posted April 3, 2019
Do I have to pay to join the case?
No. The attorneys representing plaintiffs, Getman, Sweeney & Dunn, PLLC and Law Offices of Charles A. Gruen, are handling this case on a contingent basis and will only be paid when we win through a settlement or final judgment.
What claims are covered in this case?
The complaint covers claims for overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the wage hour statutes of New Jersey. The specific violations claimed are that, by paying a salary alone, the Defendant failed to pay wages at the rate of time and one half to “Data Analysts” and “Data Specialists” who acquire, maintain, and update data in Bloomberg L.P.’s Global Data Division. The mere fact that an employer pays a salary does not avoid the requirement to pay overtime at the rate of time and one half.
What work locations are covered by this lawsuit?
The FLSA claims in this lawsuit cover Global Data workers who worked for Bloomberg anywhere in the U.S. but the New Jersey overtime claims only cover the affected workers who work or worked in New Jersey. Please call Getman, Sweeney & Dunn at 845-255-9370 if you worked for a different Bloomberg department and you also did not receive overtime pay.
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. Under the overtime laws, a losing defendant is required to pay for workers’ attorneys’ 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 Form.
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 is filed in Court. Bloomberg will be entitled to argue that its violations were not willful and that your claims should 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.” The state wage claims go back two 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 & Dunn 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 & Dunn to be filed with the Court.
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.
Can Bloomberg or its attorneys contact me about this case?
Employers are generally permitted to contact unrepresented employees about a case, that is, until they have filed a consent to sue – as long as they are not deceptive, coercive or do not try to dissuade workers from participating in a case. This also means that employers and their counsel are not permitted to coerce employees into making statement that can later harm their ability to join a lawsuit or otherwise interfere with their claims. Here are the rules for employer attorney contact with employees about a case: First, employers’ attorneys should advise employees that they should secure their own counsel before speaking with the attorney. Second, Attorneys for the employer may not give employees legal advice. Third, employers’ attorneys are not permitted to give false or misleading information about a case. Fourth, they are required to inform an employee that they represent the company and that the employee is not required to give a statement. You should know that statements that employees give to employers or their lawyers are generally sought to defend the company against the suit seeking back wages the company may owe its employees, including wages owed to the specific employee giving the statement. Getman, Sweeney & Dunn strongly believes that employees who may have back wage claims should NOT give statements to an employer or its attorneys without receiving legal advice first. If you are asked to provide information or give a statement, you can contact Getman, Sweeney & Dunn immediately. The call is free and confidential.