Lindsley v. Bellsouth Telecommunications, Inc.
Plaintiff sued Defendants, claiming that he and the putative class were misclassified as independent contractors, when they were, in fact employees under the FLSA. The Court had previously granted Plaintiff’s Motion to Permit Notice pursuant to 216(b). Following the deposition of the named Plaintiff, but before any other members of the putative class had been deposed, the Defendants moved for Summary Judgment, as to the named Plaintiff. Denying the Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment as premature, the Court rejected Plaintiff’s argument that Defendants had to move for summary judgment on a classwide basis, until such time as the class had been decertified.
The Court reasoned, “[b]ecause of the allegation that they were employees, the completion of discovery as to Lindsley, and the filing of the motion for summary judgment, the court finds that it is appropriate to choose Lindsley as a test plaintiff to resolve the issue of employee versus independent-contractor status. Resolution of the issue regarding Lindsley, which may be common to the other plaintiffs, does not hinder the purpose of the collective action to aid the “unprotected” in an efficient and effective manner.”