United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
H. CLELAND UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is Defendants' Motion for
Reconsideration of this court's prior order granting
conditional class certification and setting deadlines. (Dkt.
#47.) Plaintiffs have filed a response to the motion. (Dkt.
#47.) After reviewing the briefs, the court concludes that a
hearing is unnecessary. See E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2).
For the following reasons, the court will deny
underlying facts of this case were recited in this
court's prior opinion and order granting conditional
certification of a class of Defendants' employees,
familiarity with which is presumed. (Dkt. #46.) Defendants
filed the instant motion for reconsideration arguing that the
class definition is too broad because the challenged pay
practices did not apply to hourly employees and also because
the named Plaintiffs all worked at a single facility and thus
are not representative of class members who work at other
facilities. Defendants also argue that the task of
identifying the class members will be unduly burdensome in
light of defects in their claims. In response, Plaintiffs
argue that Defendants failed to raise the distinction between
hourly and salaried non-exempt employees in the first
instance and have thus waived this argument on a motion for
reconsideration, that the admitted uniformity of pay
practices across facilities renders irrelevant the fact that
named Plaintiffs all worked at a common location, and that no
serious undue burden would result from Defendants being
forced to comply with the court's order.
court's previous order required Defendants to identify
class members to Plaintiffs by January 13, 2017. At a status
conference held on January 17, 2017, the parties indicated
that Defendants had not complied with this deadline. The
court has not since received any indication that Defendants
have so far fulfilled their obligation under the prior order.
Plaintiffs have requested a status conference to resolve this
to the court's discretion, a motion for reconsideration
shall be granted only if the movant “demonstrate[s] a
palpable defect by which the court and the parties . . . have
been misled” and “show[s] that correcting the
defect will result in a different disposition of the
case.” E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(h)(3). “A
‘palpable defect' is ‘a defect that is
obvious, clear, unmistakable, manifest or plain.'”
Buchanan v. Metz, 6 F.Supp.3d 730, 752 (E.D. Mich.
2014) (quoting United States v. Lockett, 328
F.Supp.2d 682, 684 (E.D. Mich. 2004)). The court “will
not grant motions for . . . reconsideration that merely
present the same issues ruled upon by the court.” E.D.
Mich. L.R. 7.1(h)(3).
point out that the practices at issue in this case, which
applied to salaried non-exempt employees, did not apply to
hourly employees. Thus, they are not similarly situated. This
account is supported by the “Associate Handbook”
which shows that hourly employees were paid normal overtime
instead of the floating rate which is the subject of the
instant suit. (Dkt. #47-5, Pg. ID 923.) Defendants also point
to language in the court's prior opinion which
incorrectly stated that Defendants had admitted to
“using the same compensation scheme across all of their
hourly and salaried non-exempt employees[.]” They had
admitted to using the same practices with salaried non-exempt
argue that Defendants failed to articulate a reason for
treating hourly and salaried non-exempt employees differently
in the first instance, and that the more inclusive language
is really aimed at preventing Defendant from using
“semantic arguments” to redefine ex post
as “hourly” employees who were truly salaried
non-exempt, thus reducing the size of the class. During the
status conference, Plaintiffs suggested that they would
stipulate that the definition of the class truly covers only
those employees that were subject to the pay practices at
issue in this case-specifically the re-calculation of base
pay rate based on total hours worked.
appears that all parties are essentially in agreement that
employees who were truly hourly were not subject to the pay
practices at issue in this case and indeed not proper
plaintiffs under the facts alleged. Rather than fruitlessly
analyze which arguments have been waived and whether the
court's statements about Defendants' admissions
constitute a “palpable defect, ” the court will
now simply clarify its prior order's class definition
consistent with the view that it covers only those employees
who were subject to the pay practices at issue in this case,
normally called “salaried non-exempt.” This
clarification supplies Defendants with the relief that they
requested and thus renders moot their motion for
reconsideration on this question. The court will therefore
deny the motion on the basis of mootness.
rely on Syrja v. Westat, Inc., for their argument
that, because the named Plaintiffs all are from the Westland
Facility, they are not similarly situated to class members in
other facilities. 756 F.Supp.2d 682, 687 (D. Md. 2010).
However, even setting aside the fact that this case
represents merely persuasive rather than binding authority,
its pertinent facts are critically distinguishable from those
at issue here. ...