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Judge grants Conditional Certification of a Nation-Wide Collective Action in the Southern District of New York Sealock v. Covance Market Access Services, Inc.

16495219Judge grants Conditional Certification of a Nation-Wide Collective Action in the Southern District of New York
Sealock v. Covance Market Access Services, Inc., Civil Case No.: 17-cv-05857-JMF

As previously reported on this website regarding Sealock v. Covance Market Access Services, Inc., on August 3, 2017, lead Plaintiff Mr. Sealock, on behalf of himself and those similarly situated, filed a class and collective action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against his employer, Covance Market Access Services, Inc. (“Covance”) alleging willful violations of the Fair Labor Standard Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”) including, but not limited to the failure of Defendant to compensate Plaintiff for overtime wages. The factual allegations of the case are referenced in our August 2017 blog post and are summarized as follows:

  • The defendant, a global enterprise that provides drug development services, employed Plaintiff to work as a clinical research associate from July 28, 2016 through May 17, 2017, largely from his home in the Bronx, New York;
  • Throughout his employment, Plaintiff’s primary duties consisted of monitoring clinical sites, studying supplies and medical data entry, updating study and regulatory documents, and closing out clinical sites;
  • The defendant required Plaintiff to routinely work five days per week, starting his workday at 9:00 a.m. and ending between approximately 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., while rarely providing him with an uninterrupted break during each workday;
  • Defendant paid Plaintiff a flat weekly salary of $1,384.61, which was intended to cover only the first forty ours that Plaintiff worked each week;
  • Defendant paid and treated all of their clinical research associates in the same manner to maximize its profits and minimize its labor costs and overhead.

Straight-time rate is particularly important because when a non-exempt employee works over forty hours per week, the employer is required by law to pay the employee at 1.5x his/her straight-time rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of forty. The additional pay is called the overtime rate. By failing to compensate Plaintiff Sealock for these hours, Defendant violated rights guaranteed to Plaintiff by the overtime provisions of the FLSA and the NYLL.

Finally, the NYLL requires that employers furnish employees with wage statements containing specific categories of accurate information on each payday. However, on each occasion when Defendant paid Plaintiff, Defendant failed to provide Plaintiff with any wage statements, let alone statements that accurately listed Plaintiff’s actual hours worked for that workweek or overtime rates of pay for all hours worked.

Certification of Collective Action

On December 27, 2018, United States District Judge Jesse M. Furman, granted an order for conditional certification of a nation-wide collective action against Covance Market Access Services, Inc. Judge Furman authorized Plaintiffs leave to send notice to putative members who worked for Defendant in all states, with the exception of those who were already sent notice in New York, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington D.C.; who at any time between August 3, 2014 and the present, performed any work for Defendants as a clinical research associate. By filing the collective action notice, current and former employees will become part of the case and eligible to receive money damages if they were not paid properly as the Plaintiff in this case allege.

If you or a person you know worked for the Defendant named in the lawsuit during the time period of August, 2014 - present or has information that may be relevant to this case, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. as soon as possible through our websites, by phone: (516) 248-5550, (516) ABOGADO, and (212) 679-5000.

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