United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. DARRAH, United States District Court Judge.
Kaitlyn Ries filed a Class and Collective Action Complaint
against Planesphere, Inc. d/b/a Orbit Skate Center
(“Orbit”), and Sandra L. Levin, for alleged
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.;
the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (“IMWL”), 820 Ill.
Comp. Stat. 105/1, et seq.; and the Illinois Wage
Payment and Collection Act (“IWPCA”), 820 Ill.
Comp. Stat. 115/1, et seq. Plaintiff has moved for
Certification of Collective Action, Disclosure of Potential
Opt-In Plaintiffs' Contact Information, and
Court-Approved Notice . For the reasons stated below,
Plaintiff's Motion  is granted in part and denied in
following is taken from the Class and Collective Action
Complaint, exhibits, and briefs submitted by the parties.
Planesphere, Inc., d/b/a Orbit Skate Center, is a corporation
or business that does business in Illinois. (Compl. ¶
19.) Orbit is a roller rink in Palatine, Illinois.
(Id. ¶ 20.) Orbit employs full-time employees
and a larger number of part-time employees. (Id.
alleges that she and other employees were required to
continue working after their scheduled work time but were not
paid for this work time. (Id. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff
alleges that the hours spent working after their scheduled
work time were also sometimes “shaved” from
paychecks. (Id.) Plaintiff further alleges that
Defendants “docked” work hours from employees who
used their cell phones while working and for other policy and
procedure violations. (Id. ¶ 3.) This policy
was communicated in a text message to all employees which
read, in part: “If you are punched in, you are not to
have your phone on your person, leave it in the office or in
your car. If you are seen using your phone you will be docked
1 hour automatically for the first offense, and written up
and docked 2 hours for the next offense.” (Id.
¶¶ 59-60.) Another communication was sent by David
Mendoza, an Orbit manager: “If they see you standing
around talking you will be docked. No free labor here, this
is not the Red Cross. Thank you to the people who are
working, Dave.” (Id. ¶¶ 64-65.)
Plaintiff argues that, due to not being paid for working
after their scheduled work time, to having hours
“shaved, ” and to being docked, Defendants failed
to pay minimum wages and overtime.
FLSA allows for a collective action “against any
employer . . . by any one or more employees for and on behalf
of himself or themselves and other employees similarly
situated.” 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). A court can decide
if a class should be “conditionally” certified.
See Russell v. Ill. Bell Co., 575 F.Supp.2d 930, 933
(N.D. Ill. 2008). “Plaintiffs only need to make a
minimal showing that others in the potential class are
similarly situated.” Mielke v. Laidlaw Transit
Inc., 313 F.Supp.2d 759, 762 (N.D. Ill. 2004). Whether
Plaintiff and the potential class are “similarly
situated” is made using a “lenient
interpretation” of the term. Id. “[A]
court requires nothing more than substantial allegations that
the putative class members were together the victims of a
single decision, policy, or plan.” Jirak v. Abbott
Labs., Inc., 566 F.Supp.2d 845, 848 (N.D. Ill. 2008)
(citing Thiessen v. Gen. Elec. Capital Corp., 267
F.3d 1095, 1102-03 (10th Cir. 2001)). If the plaintiff makes
this minimal showing, the class is conditionally certified,
and notice is sent to potential class members, who then have
the opportunity to opt in. Id. (citing Heckler
v. DK Funding, 502 F.Supp.2d 777, 779 (N.D. Ill. 2007);
Mielke, 313 F.Supp.2d at 762).
seeks conditional certification of her claims as a
representative of an FLSA class, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §
216(b), for a class consisting of the following persons:
All employees of Defendants employed as hourly employees who
worked off-the-clock, had deductions taken from their wages,
were docked time/wages from their pay which resulted in
failure to pay overtime wages and/or minimum wages any time
after March 17, 2013, and continuing thereafter through the
date on which final judgment is entered in this action and
who timely file (or have already filed) a written consent to
be a party to this action pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §
argue that Plaintiff does not meet the requirements to be a
class representative, that equitable tolling is not
appropriate, and that the requested notice is overly broad.
collective actions under the FLSA, the plaintiffs are given
notice and an opportunity to opt in, rather than notice and
an opportunity to opt out as in Rule 23 class actions. 29
U.S.C. § 216(b) (“No employee shall be a party
plaintiff to any such action unless he gives his consent in
writing to become such a party and such consent is filed in
the court in which such action is brought.”); Woods
v. N.Y. Life Ins. Co., 686 F.2d 578, 579-80 (7th Cir.
1982). Potential class members who do not opt in are not
bound by the Court's decision. Vanskike v.
Peters, 974 F.2d 806, 812-13 (7th Cir.1992);
Woods, 686 F.2d at 580.
stage, Plaintiff is asking for conditional certification of
one class under the FLSA. At this stage, plaintiffs must only
make “a modest factual showing sufficient to
demonstrate that they and potential plaintiffs together were
victims of a common policy or plan that violated the
law.” Flores v. Lifeway Foods, Inc., 289
F.Supp.2d 1042, 1045 (N.D. Ill. 2003). A plaintiff cannot
rely solely on the allegations in the Complaint. Molina
v. First Line Solutions, LLC, 566 F.Supp.2d 770, 786
(N.D. Ill. 2007). “Plaintiffs need not provide
conclusive support, but they must provide an ...