United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
STARRETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Motion for Conditional
Certification of a Collective Action Class  filed by
Plaintiffs, LaCrystal Hubbard and Krisha D. Hollingsworth.
Defendant, General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc.
(“GDIT”), has responded [80, 81] and Plaintiffs
replied . Having reviewed the parties' submissions
and the record in this cause, as well as the relevant legal
authorities, and otherwise being fully advised in the
premises, the Court finds that the motion is not well taken
and will be denied.
has operated contact centers at thirteen locations throughout
the United States pursuant to different government contracts.
 at p. 2. One such contact center was located in
Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Id. The primary focus of
this contact center was to support the Centers for Medicare
& Medicaid Services (“CMS”) with the
Federally Facilitated Marketplaces and Medicare Program by
taking calls from customers about these programs.
Id. GDIT provided these services through a contract
known as Contact Center Operations (“CCO”).
Id. At the call centers GDIT employed CCO agents,
including Customer Service Representatives
(“CSR”), Internal Support Group
(“ISG”) employees, Quality Specialists,
Instructors/Trainers, and Supervisors to support the contract
and the customer. Id.
LaCrystal Hubbard (“Hubbard”) and Krisha D.
Hollingsworth (“Hollingsworth”), former employees
of GDIT in various capacities, filed this lawsuit against
GDIT as individuals and on behalf of others similarly
situated, for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards
Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, et seq.
Allegations of the Amended Complaint and FLSA
their Amended Complaint, Plaintiff Hubbard
alleges that she and others “similarly
situated” worked over 40 hours in one week for one or
more weeks while employed at GDIT, and GDIT did not
compensate them on a routine basis and failed to compensate
them at the proper rate for their overtime.  ¶¶
10, 12. Plaintiffs allege that “Hubbard and others
similarly situated worked approximately 10-20 overtime hours
each week depending on the individual and the
circumstances.”  ¶ 13. Allegedly, the
nature of the work performed during the overtime hours
included work that was the responsibility of the employee at
their regular rate of pay as well as work that was the
responsibility of others who were paid at higher rates of
pay. Often the purpose of the overtime was for employees to
complete their daily duties and meet daily quotas . . .
Failure to work overtime in order to meet said quotas
resulted in disciplinary measures being taken against the
 ¶ 14.
their “Collective Action General Allegations, ”
Plaintiff Hubbard alleges that she brings the action on
behalf of herself and “all persons who previously
worked or currently work for GDIT at customer service call
centers who were not paid an overtime premium at a
rate not less than one and one-half (1½) times the
regular rate at which they are employed for all hours in
excess of forty (40) hours in a work week.” 
at ¶ 19 (emphasis added). Plaintiffs then allege that
Plaintiff Hubbard is factually similarly situated to the
collective action members she seeks to represent and that she
is “personally aware that other persons who worked for
Defendant GDIT were subject to the same practices and
policies instituted by Defendant GDIT of requiring the
putative collective action Plaintiffs to work more than 40
hours in a single week and failing to pay them an overtime
premium . . . .”  at ¶¶ 21, 22
(emphasis added). Plaintiff Hubbard also alleges that they
worked “more than forty (40) hours each week,
completing tasks that went beyond de minimis
activities.”  ¶ 23. Finally, Plaintiffs allege
that they and others have held multiple positions at GDIT
that were misclassified as being exempt from overtime pay and
were denied overtime pay as a result of such
misclassification.  at ¶ 25.
allegations particularly relating to alleged violations of
the FLSA, Plaintiff Hubbard alleges that she and others were
non-exempt and subject to the “FLSA as it pertains to
whether or not Plaintiff Hubbard and others similarly
situated were entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay for
all hours over forty (40) hours worked in a given
week.”  ¶ 36. She goes on to allege that they
are entitled to overtime pay and have not received it and
that GDIT violated the FLSA by misclassifying her and others
as exempt employees.  at ¶¶ 37-39.
Procedural History and Summary of Arguments
filed this action on May 24, 2018. . There were a number
of notices from opt-in plaintiffs filed early on in this
matter. [8-18]. GDIT filed a Motion to Dismiss as to portions
of the Plaintiffs' claims , and the Court dismissed
Counts II and III with prejudice . Following a case
management conference on September 6, 2018, the Court entered
an Initial Case Management Order allowing for a few months of
discovery prior to the Plaintiffs having to file their Motion
for Conditional Certification on or before the deadline of
December 3, 2018 . On September 7, 2019, Plaintiffs filed
an Amended Complaint . In the ensuing months, there were
depositions, document exchanges, as well as written discovery
taken. After being granted a brief extension for filing this
motion , Plaintiffs now seek conditional certification.
seek to conditionally certify the following class:
All Hattiesburg, MS and Waco, TX General Dynamics Information
Technology, Inc. (“GDIT”) non-exempt employees
who were denied overtime pay and/or straight time pay as a
result of policies, procedures, and customs and practice
related to security and recording time worked.
 at ¶ 4.
support of their motion, Plaintiffs argue that Plaintiffs and
other similarly situated non-exempt employees were denied
overtime pay and/or straight pay as a result of GDIT's
policies and practices: namely that both GDIT's security
procedures and GDIT's time recording and time reporting
policies/custom and practice resulted in uncompensated time
worked.  at pp. 5, 16. Plaintiffs submitted numerous
documents: GDIT's CCO Secure Floor Policy [69-3]; the
written job description for a Quality Monitor [69-15]; HCSD
Contact Center Non-Exempt Beginning and End of Day Guideline
for Use with ETS NETT [69-6]; excerpts from the depositions
of Hubbard [69-1] and Hollingsworth [69-2], and Joseph
Doctor, the 30(b)(6) representative for GDIT [69-4, 5]; and
declarations from the following individuals: Krisha
Hollingsworth [69-7], Cedric Dallas [69-8], Alexandra Disney
[69-9], Kenya J. Polion-McNaire [69-10], Whitney Ware
[69-12], Carl E. Johnson [69-12], Betty Lee Young [69-12],
and Rosa Belara Young [69-12]. Plaintiffs also submitted a
proposed notice to go to potential class members [69-13] and
proposed notice of consent to join [69-14].
denies liability for violations of FLSA and presents a host
of arguments in opposition to conditional
certification. In their opposition memorandum, GDIT
asserts the following arguments: (1) Plaintiffs cannot obtain
conditional certification of claims that are not
actionableand that the class to be certified is not
supported by the allegations of the Amended Complaint; (2)
Plaintiff Hubbard is not yet a party to the collective action
and therefore not a proper class
representative; (3) Plaintiffs cannot show that they are
similarly situated; (4) Plaintiffs have not shown sufficient
interest in joining in the lawsuit; (5) Some potential opt-in
plaintiffs are not viable parties. . GDIT also submitted
a host of documentary evidence for the Court's
consideration in determining whether Plaintiffs have carried
their initial burden for issuing notice to a potential class
of aggrieved employees.  Ex. 1-27.
General Background of the FLSA
in 1938, the FLSA established a minimum wage and a rate for
overtime compensation for each hour worked in excess of forty
(40) hours in each workweek. 29 U.S.C. §§
206(a)(1), 207(a)(3). An employer who violates these
provisions may be held civilly liable for backpay, liquidated
damages, and attorney's fees. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).
However, the FLSA did not define “work” or
“workweek.” As a result, as explained in the case
of IBP, Inc. v. Alvarez, the United States Supreme
Court interpreted those terms broadly, defining
“work” as “physical or mental exertion
(whether burdensome or not) controlled or required by the
employer and pursued necessarily and primarily for the
benefit of the employer and his business.” 546 U.S. 21,
25 (2005) (citations omitted). Similarly, the high court
defined “the statutory workweek” to
“includ[e] all time during which an employee is
necessarily required to be on the employer's premises, on
duty or at a prescribed workplace.” IBP, 546
U.S. at 25 (citations omitted). When such expansive
definitions were applied, courts issued rulings that found
the time spent traveling between mine portals and underground
work areas and the time spent walking from timeclocks to work
benches was compensable as part of the workweek. Id.
at 26. (citations omitted). These decisions flooded the
courts with litigation, and Congress responded by enacting
the Portal-to-Portal Act. Id.
Portal-to-Portal Act exempted employers from liability on
future claims for two categories of work-related activities,
which had been previously been treated as compensable under
the case law: walking on the employer's premises to and
from the actual place of performance of the principal
activity of the employee, and activities that were
preliminary and postliminary to that principal activity.
Id. at 27. Part III of the Portal-to-Portal Act
entitled “Future Claims, ” provides in relevant
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) [which covers work
compensable by contract or custom], no employer shall be
subject to any liability or punishment under the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938, as amended, ... on account of the
failure of such employer to pay an employee minimum wages, or
to pay an employee overtime compensation, for or on account
of any of the following activities of such employee engaged
in on or after the date of the enactment of this Act-
(1) walking, riding, or traveling to and from the actual
place of performance of the principal activity or activities
which such employee is employed to perform, and
(2) activities which are preliminary to or postliminary to
said principal activity or activities, which occur either
prior to the time on any particular workday at which such
employee commences, or subsequent to the time on any
particular workday at which he ceases, such principal
activity or activities.
which occur either prior to the time on any particular
workday at which such employee commences, or subsequent to
the time on any particular workday at which he ceases, such
principal activity or activities.
29 U.S.C. § 254(a).
mentioned, the FLSA requires covered employers to pay a
minimum wage to employees and overtime compensation to
non-exempt employees for hours they have worked in excess of
the defined maximum hours. 29 U.S.C. §§ 206,
207(a). Claims against employers who have violated either the
minimum wage or the overtime compensation requirements under
29 U.S.C. § 216(b) are typically called wage and hour
cases, despite the exemptions in the Portal-to-Portal Act,
employees continue to seek recovery under the FLSA for
certain preliminary and postliminary work activities that
would seem to be exempted under the Portal-to-Portal Act by
arguing that these activities are compensable because they
are “an integral and indispensable part of the
principal activities.” See, e.g., Steiner v.
Mitchell, 350 U.S. 247, 256 (1956). Examples of such
claims are those for having to don and doff specialized
protective gear, see Steiner and IBP, Inc. v.
Alvarez, 546 U.S. 21 (2005), and having to participate
in postliminary security screenings, see Integrity
Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, 574 U.S. 27 (2014).
Legal Standard for Certification of Collective
FLSA permits a court to order an action to proceed as a
collective action on behalf of others ...