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FTS USA, LLC and Unitek USA, LLC

Monroe, et al. v. FTS USA, LLC and Unitek USA, LLC

On February 14, 2008, we filed a Complaint on behalf of technicians against FTS USA, LLC and Unitek USA, LLC. These technicians seek overtime under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The case is scheduled for trial beginning September 19th, 2011.

Nichols Kaster is working on this matter with the Donati Law Firm in Memphis, Tennessee.

Type of Case

Unpaid Overtime Wages

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Case Updates

  • March 2, 2016

    U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds Verdict Awarding Unpaid Overtime to Class of Employees Represented by Nichols Kaster and Donati Law

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit yesterday affirmed the jury verdict in Monroe v. FTS USA, approving an award of backpay to a group of around 300 cable installers represented by Nichols Kaster, PLLP and Donati Law, PLLC. The installers proved at trial that the company engaged in a time-shaving scheme where employees were required to under-report their overtime hours.

    In a decision authored by Judge Stranch, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s certification of the FLSA collective as well as the jury’s findings of liability and damages. The court strongly reaffirmed the use of representative testimony to establish liability for non-testifying plaintiffs in FLSA cases. The court noted that “[o]ur sister circuits overwhelmingly recognize the propriety of using representative testimony to establish a pattern of violations that include similarly situated employees who did not testify.” The court explicitly found that testimony from 17 representative plaintiffs (about 5% of the class) and 6 managers, along with documentary evidence, was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict.

    The Sixth Circuit also affirmed the liability finding, holding that the “estimated-average” approach used to calculate damages for the non-testifying plaintiffs was acceptable. The court explained that under the Supreme Court’s decision in Anderson v. Mount Clemens Pottery, any inaccuracy in this approach did not bar recovery:

    Mount Clemens’s burden-shifting framework, in conjunction with the estimated-average approach, functioned here as envisioned. Seventeen technicians working at various locations testified and were cross-examined as to the number of unrecorded hours they worked, allowing the jury to infer reasonably the average weekly unpaid hours worked by each. Testifying technicians were similarly situated to and representative of nontestifying technicians, as specified by the district court’s instructions to the jury, and thus the average of these weekly averages applied to nontestifying technicians.

    “This is an important vindication for a group of employees who were not paid for all their time worked,” said Adam Hansen, who argued the appeal for the workers.

     “Allowing a company to systematically short-change its workers but evade collective liability would undermine the core principle that employees must be paid for all their hours worked," added William Ryan, who represented the employees at trial and on appeal. "It's important that companies follow the rules of the road."

    The Sixth Circuit remanded the case to correct an error in the calculation of damages, but concluded that a new trial was not necessary.

    Nichols Kaster attorneys Rachhana T. Srey, Anna P. Prakash, and Adam W. Hansen, together with Donati Law attorneys William B. Ryan and Bryce W. Ashby, represented the employees. The case is Monroe, et al. v. FTS USA et al., Case Number 14-6063 (6th Cir. Mar. 2, 2016).

  • November 1, 2012

    FTS Technicians Get Far More Than Candy Halloween Night

    Memphis, TN (PRWEB) On October 31, 2012, the federal judge presiding over Edward Monroe, et al. v. FTS USA, LLC and UniTek USA, LLC, Case No. 2:08-cv-021000-JTF-cgc, a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action pending in the Western District of Tennessee, handed out much more than candy to the FTS Technicians who prevailed on all of their claims at a jury trial that concluded in October 2011. Judge John T. Fowlkes Entered Judgment for the Technicians with damages totaling $3,873,045.48. According to the Order, this amount does not include the Technicans’ attorneys’ fees and litigation costs which the Technicians’ attorneys will be petitioning for at the end of this month.

    At trial, the Technicians were represented by Rachhana T. Srey and Anna P. Prakash of Nichols Kaster, PLLP and William B. Ryan and Bryce W. Ashby of Donati Law Firm. The Technicians worked for Defendants FTS USA, LLC and its parent company UniTek USA, LLC at various locations throughout country installing and servicing cable equipment, according to court documents. They were paid on a piece-rate basis and regularly worked unpaid overtime hours. In February 2011, the Technicians prevailed on Defendants’ motion to decertify the collective class with the Court ruling that the Technicians could try their FLSA “off-the-clock” claims on a representative basis. A representative trial began on September 19, 2011 and on October 5, 2011, a Memphis jury reached a unanimous verdict for the Technicians on all of their claims, concluding that FTS and Unitek willfully violated the FLSA when they failed to pay the Technicians for all of their overtime hours.

    Plaintiffs’ Counsel, Rachhana T. Srey stated, “It was a very satisfying win for our clients when the jury returned such a significant verdict back in October 2011. We are thrilled with the Court’s entry of judgment with damages and are looking forward to moving on with the rest of the post-trial work.”

    Additional information about the case can be found here or by contacting Nichols Kaster, PLLP toll-free at (877) 448-0492.

Additional Information

How Do I Join This Case?

The sign up period for this lawsuit has passed.

Which Locations Are Included?

Past and present technicians from every FTS USA or Unitek USA office nationwide may be included in this lawsuit.

What Time Frame Does This Case Cover?

There is a federal statute of limitations in this case that allows you to recover pay for overtime hours worked within 2 years of signing up for the lawsuit. If we can prove the company willfully violated the law, the statute of limitations may be extended to 3 years.

Do I Have To Pay Anything?

You do not have to pay anything to our firm if you join the lawsuit. We are handling this case on a contingency basis. This means we will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief either through a settlement or a final judgment, and that payment will only come out of that settlement or final judgment.

What About Retaliation?

The law protects you from retaliation for asserting your rights, and if you suffer retaliation, you may be able to assert additional claims. If you currently work for FTS or Unitek, and you feel you are the victim of retaliation for participating in this lawsuit, contact us immediately.

How Can I Help?

We are looking for the following information:

How Do I Learn More?

To learn more about this case, feel free to contact Will Elsass at welsass@nka.com or call toll free at (877) 448-0492, ext. 260. You can also review our case updates above.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Read full Disclaimer.