Labor & Employment
September 03, 2013
[statement]“We used every available piece of information and pieced together the facts so we could prove to the jury what we knew to be true: these plaintiffs had been paid for every hour they worked.” – Domenique Camacho Moran, Partner[/statement]
In a landmark case, Farrell Fritz successfully defended a New York employer in an off-the-clock wage and hour class action, despite the employer’s lack of traditional time records. Farrell Fritz used various available business records to discredit the plaintiffs’ testimony, saving the employer millions of dollars in damages. Nine named plaintiffs filed the class and collective action on behalf of approximately 700 current and former employees.
“The family-owned business didn’t have traditional time records for much of the disputed period. They had bits of evidence – from sporadic time cards and sign-in sheets to date-stamped transaction receipts; we kept digging and pieced it all together,” said Domenique Camacho Moran, Farrell Fritz partner and leader of the firm’s Labor and Employment Group. Domenique served as lead counsel for the client, who the plaintiffs claimed violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York State Labor Law (NYSLL). Domenique and her colleagues spent time at the client’s business to better understand their operations. That’s when they uncovered the daily receipts maintained by an independent, armored truck company that serviced the business. The armored truck receipts refuted plaintiffs’ claims that they stayed well past store hours – without pay – waiting for the armored truck pickups.
“When our research revealed these daily receipts from an independent source, we knew it was a defining moment,” Domenique explained. “This evidence, together with the electronically time-stamped transaction reports and other documentation, helped us prove what we knew to be true: The plaintiffs were lying. They had been paid for every hour worked.”