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Federal District Court Grants Mashel Law’s Motion Conditionally Certifying its Class of Former and Current Store Managers Working for Transworld Entertainment Corporation

On January 15, 2019, the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York issued a written opinion and order conditionally certifying a class consisting of former and current store managers working for Transworld Entertainment Corporation. Trans World operates a chain of over 300 entertainment retail stores the majority of which are branded as FYE Entertainment Stores. In their lawsuit Mashel Law alleges, among others, that Trans World violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by misclassifying its Store Managers (SMs) as being exempt from receiving overtime. Mashel also alleges in the lawsuit that Trans World violated FLSA by failing to pay its Senior Assistant Store Managers (SAMs) overtime pay calculated at 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for all time they worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. Mashel Law also claims that SMs and SAMs were unlawfully required to work “off the clock” without pay, and that Trans World’s pay practices violate New Jersey and Pennsylvania wage and hour laws.

In his 39-page written opinion, United States Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel found the plaintiffs through their attorneys Mashel Law had satisfied their burden of demonstrating that the plaintiff and the potential class of SMs they seek to represent “are similarly situated for purposes of their misclassification claim.” Opinion at p. 18. After reviewing declarations submitted by the plaintiffs and twelve opt-in Plaintiffs in support of the motion for conditional certification, Judge Hummel concluded that the declarations at this initial state of litigation, “’are sufficient to find some identifiable factual nexus which binds the named plaintiff[] and potential class members together as victims’ of a particular practice, and therefore provide a sufficient basis for conditional collective certification.’” Opinion at p. 23 (quoting Coons v. Family Counseling Ctr. Of Fulton City, Inc., 2018 WL 4026733 at *2 (N.D. N.Y. August 23, 2018) (itself quoting Alvarez v. Schnipper Restaurants, LLC., 2017 WL 6375793, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. December 12, 2017).

Commenting on the decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York granting its clients conditional class certification, Stephan Mashel said, “We are gratified that the Court saw fit to give our clients the continued opportunity to prove they deserve to be judicially designated as class representatives of Store Managers such as themselves who were deprived of wages rightfully earned.” If you want to learn more about the claims in this lawsuit, please contact the attorneys at Mashel Law by calling (732) 536-6161 or sending an email to smashel@mashellaw.com.

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