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Conditional Certification of Collective Action - Douglas v. Anthem Productions, LLC d/b/a Anthem Sound, Stage, and Lighting, Et al. Case No 18-cv-05789(VEC)

Stage LightingJudge grants Conditional Certification of Collective Action in the Southern District of New York

Douglas v. Anthem Productions, LLC d/b/a Anthem Sound, Stage, and Lighting, and Advanced Audio Technology, LLC d/b/a Anthem SSL, and Evaggelos Poulos a/k/a Angelo Poulos, individually, and Joseph Lodi, individually, and Jason Ojeda, individually  Case No.: 18-cv-05789(VEC)

As previously reported on this website, in Douglas v. Anthem Productions, LLC d/b/a Anthem Sound, Stage, and Lighting, and Advanced Audio Technology, LLC d/b/a Anthem SSL, and Evaggelos Poulos a/k/a Angelo Poulos, individually, and Joseph Lodi, individually, and Jason Ojeda, individually. On June 26, 2018, Lead Plaintiff Mr. Douglas, on behalf of himself and those similarly situated, filed a class and collective action lawsuit against Anthem Productions, LLC d/b/a Anthem Sound, Stage, and Lighting (“Anthem”), and Advanced Audio Technology, LLC d/b/a Anthem SSL (“AAT”), and Evaggelos Poulos a/k/a Angelo Poulos (“Poulos”), individually, and Joseph Lodi (“Lodi”), individually, and Jason Ojeda (“Ojeda”), individually (all collectively as “Defendants”), alleging deliberating violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”), and the New York Comp. Codes, Rules, and Regulations, including the failure of Defendants to compensate Plaintiff for overtime provisions. The claims of the case are referenced in our September 2018 blog post and are reviewed as follows:

  • Defendants Anthem and AAT are two privately-owned entities that install, lease and perform maintenance services on special effects equipment, servicing venues, clubs, and events throughout New York City;
  • Defendants Poulos, Lodi, and Ojeda, owned, operated, and/or managed Defendant AAT, overseeing its operations daily, and were responsible for all matters with respect to hiring, firing, determining employees’ rates, methods of pay, and hours worked;
  • On or about January 1, 2016, Lodi and Ojeda sold their ownership shares of AAT to Poulos;
  • Shortly thereafter, Poulos merged AAT’s business with Anthem, which as the successor entity of AAT, assumed liability for all debts, legal obligations, and claims against the companies;
  • Throughout his employment, Plaintiff’s primary duties consisted of installing audio systems, sound systems, and point of sale systems at business venues, clubs, and restaurants throughout New York as well as out of state;
  • From the start of his employment in April 2014 until in or around August 2015, Defendants AAT, Poulos, Lodi, and Ojeda paid Plaintiff a straight-time rate of $20.00 per hour and an overtime rate of $30.00 per hour for hours worked in excess of forty-five per week;
  • From in or around September 2015 until his termination in or around December 2017, first Defendants AAT, Poulos, Lodi, and Ojeda, and then after the sale, Defendants Anthem and Poulos paid Plaintiff a straight-time rate of $24.00 per hour and an overtime rate of $36.00 per hour for hours worked in excess of forty-five per week.

Defendants willfully failed to pay Plaintiff, an hourly employee, all of the wages lawfully due to him under the FLSA and the NYLL. Specifically, for the entirety of his employment, Defendants required Plaintiff to routinely work, and Plaintiff did in fact work, in excess of forty hours each week, or virtually each week, but Defendants, pursuant to their company policy, only paid Plaintiff his overtime rate of one-and-one-half times his straight-time rate for all hours that he worked each week after forty-five, and not for all hours worked after forty as the FLSA and NYLL require. Defendants also failed to provide Plaintiff with any wage notice at hire or with accurate wage statements on each payday as the NYLL requires.

Certification of Collective Action

In this case, pursuant to the request of the Plaintiff, the Judge reviewed claims that the Plaintiff brought forward alleging that there are additional workers in the same "class" (performing the same or similar duties) whose rights have been violated. After reviewing the facts of this case, on March 25, 2019, District Judge Valerie Caproni granted "conditional certification" allowing the case to proceed as a collective action enabling any current and former employees who were not paid properly to join the lawsuit and seek redress for Defendants’ failure to compensate them in accordance with the law.

If you or a person you know worked for the Defendants named in the lawsuit during the time period of June 26, 2015 - present or has information that may be relevant to this case, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. as soon as possible through one of our websites, www.employmentlawyernewyork.com, www.516abogado.com or any of our phone numbers: (516) 248-5550, (516) ABOGADO, and (212) 679-5000.

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