United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR., CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.,
is Cory Peer's Motion to Conditionally Certify Collective
Action, to Order Disclosure of Putative Members' Names
and Contact Information, and to Facilitate Court Supervised
Notice (Doc. No. 27), to which Grayco Management LLC
(“Grayco”) and Phil Gray have responded in
opposition (Doc. No. 33) and Plaintiff has replied (Doc. No.
38). For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's Motion
will be denied.
to the unverified Complaint and Plaintiff's Declaration
submitted in support of his Motion, the relevant factual
allegations are as follows:
own and operate approximately 20 McDonald's restaurants
in Nashville, Tennessee. (Doc. No. 1, Compl. ¶ 7).
Plaintiff worked at the McDonald's on Ruby Circle from
November 2014 until March 2016. (Doc. No. 27-1, Peer Decl.
was the third shift manager at the Ruby Circle
McDonald's, earning $10 per hour. (Id. ¶
5). As a shift manager, his responsibilities included taking
food and drink orders, cooking, cleaning, and
“maintaining labor and sales.” (Compl. ¶
claims that he regularly worked more than 40 hours per
workweek and that his managers knew or should have known that
he did so. (Peer Decl. ¶¶ 6, 9). He also claims
that Defendants maintained a uniform timekeeping policy that
automatically deducted 30 minutes from each shift he worked
for an unpaid meal break, whether he actually took a break or
not. Again, he claims that his managers knew or should have
known that he was not taking meal breaks and not getting paid
for that time. (Id. ¶¶ 7, 9).
also alleges that, for some workweeks, Defendants altered his
time records to reflect less time than he actually worked,
thereby depriving him of receiving his overtime rate of 11/2
times his regular rate of pay of $10 per hour. Once again, he
asserts that his managers knew or should have known this.
(Id. ¶¶ 8, 9).
contends that he was not alone in failing to receive all the
wages he was due. He claims to be “personally aware of
other former hourly employees” who were subjected to
the same policy as he was, and “who worked more than 40
hours in a workweek but were not paid overtime pay for all
hours they worked over 40 hours.” (Id.
¶¶ 10, 11).
response to the Complaint and Declaration, Defendants have
filed the Declaration of Phil Gray, Grayco's Chief
Operating Officer. In that Declaration, Mr. Gray states that
Defendants actually own 24 McDonald's restaurants in
Nashville, and that Plaintiff worked at two of them, first as
a crew member at the Broadway McDonald's, and then at the
Ruby Circle location. (Doc. No. 33-1, Gray Decl. ¶¶
1, 3). Mr. Gray also asserts that, shortly after Grayco
purchased the Nashville McDonald's franchises in October
2013, it installed a SmartClock biometric timekeeping system
at each location to ensure that hours were actually and
accurately recorded. The SmartClocks allow employees to clock
in and out for work using their fingerprints. Employees are
required to clock in at the beginning and end of every shift,
and also at the beginning and end of each unpaid meal break.
M r . Grayco insists that Grayco does not have an
automatic-deduction policy or practice. To the contrary,
employees are instructed to clock in and out at the start and
end of their shifts; to clock in and out for their
thirty-minute meal breaks; to not clock in until fully ready
to work; and to not clock out before being fully relieved of
work. Moreover, Grayco has written policies that specifically
prohibit employees from working off-the-clock, require that
employees be paid for all hours worked, and require that
employees be paid time and one-half for all hours worked in
excess of 40 hours per week. Furthermore, employees are asked
to review their time records each week, to insure any
necessary corrections are made, and payroll mistakes are
have also filed declarations of four general managers (at
least one of whom was formerly an hourly worker for Grayco)
from different Nashville McDonald's restaurants operated
by Grayco. Those declarations generally track each other and
indicate that time records are reviewed regularly; employees
are given an opportunity to review their time clock entries;
time is not deducted from the time records (unless the
employee indicates there is a mistake); 30 minutes are not
deducted for a meal break when an employee fails to take such
a break; and employees are paid for all hours worked. (Doc.
Nos. 33-5, 33-6, 33-7, 33-8).
with his reply, Plaintiff filed a supplemental declaration.
In that declaration he states:
4. During my employment, I was informed by Mike Wadram, my
supervisor, that it was company policy to automatically
deduct 30 minutes from each shift worked by an hourly
employeee whether they took their allowed 30-minute meal
break or not. I later discussed the matter with Claudia Lara,
the restaurant General Manager, and she acknowledged the
policy and agreed with Mike that 30 minutes would be deducted
from the time for any hourly employee whether they took their
allowed 30-minute break or not.
5. On numerous occasions while employed by McDonald's, I
did not take a break during my shift but 30 minutes was still
deducted from my time, resulting in 30 minutes of work ...