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Judge grants Conditional Certification of Collective Action Torres and Tavarez v. Bo-Mell Enterprises, Inc. Et. al

Auto BodyJudge grants Conditional Certification of Collective Action in the Southern District of New York

Torres and Tavarez v. Bo-Mell Enterprises, Inc. and Quality Auto Body & Painting Center, Inc., and Richard Cisternas, individually Case No.: 18-cv-08997

As previously reported on this website, in Torres and Tavarez v. Bo-Mell Enterprises, Inc. and Quality Auto Body & Painting Center, Inc., and Richard Cisternas, individually Civil Case No.: 18-cv-8997, on October 1, 2018, Plaintiffs Torres and Tavarez, on behalf of themselves, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly-situated, filed a collective action lawsuit against Bo-Mell Enterprises, Inc. and Quality Auto Body & Painting Center, Inc., and Richard Cisternas, individually , alleging deliberating violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”), including the failure of Defendants to compensate Plaintiffs for overtime wages. The claims of the case are referenced in our January 2019 blog post and are reviewed as follows:

  • Defendants Bo-Mell and Quality Auto are two entities that operate as a single enterprise and that together run a collision and autobody repair shop;
  • Plaintiff Torres commenced his employment with the Defendants as a body man, a position he held until October 20, 2017; 
  • As a body man, Plaintiff Torres’s primary duties included, performing bodywork on the vehicles, both interior and exterior, as well as compounding, detailing vehicles and completing electrical work;
  • Plaintiff Tavarez is a current employee of Defendants who commenced his employment in approximately 2000, as a painter; 
  • Throughout his employment, Plaintiff Tavarez’s primary duties include, preparing vehicles to be painted, preparing the paint, and painting the vehicles.
  • Defendants required Plaintiffs to routinely work, and Plaintiffs did in fact work, in excess of forty hours each week, but Defendants failed to compensate them at the statutorily-required overtime rate for any hours that hey worked in a week in excess of forty. Instead, Defendants paid both Plaintiffs a flat weekly wage that operated to cover only the first forty hours that they worked per week, and thus, Defendants willfully failed to compensate Plaintiffs at any rate of pay, let alone at the statutorily-required overtime rate of one and one-half times their respective regular rates of pay, for all hours that they worked in excess of forty each week, in violation of the FLSA and the NYLL.

Certification of Collective Action

In this case, pursuant to the request of the Plaintiffs, the Judge reviewed claims that the Plaintiffs 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, the Honorable Judge Valerie E. 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 October 2, 2012 - 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.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE NOTICE AND OPT-IN FORM (ENGLISH)

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE NOTICE AND OPT-IN FORM (SPANISH)

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