United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
FERNANDO CUNHA, individually and as representative of a proposed class, Plaintiff,
AVIS BUDGET CAR RENTAL, LLC, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON MOTION TO CONDITIONALLY
CERTIFY COLLECTIVE ACTION
Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge
case involves claims by a former “damage manager”
at Avis Budget Car Rental against his former employer for
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”) and Massachusetts state law. Section 207
of FLSA requires employers to compensate all non-overtime
exempt employees at not less than one and one-half times
their regular rate for each hour worked in excess of forty
hours per work-week. Only those who work in bona fide
executive, administrative, or professional capacities are
exempt from that requirement. Plaintiff contends that Avis
improperly classified all damage managers as overtime exempt
and thus denied them overtime compensation to which they were
addition to private rights of action, § 216(b) of FLSA
permits employees to bring collective actions on behalf of
themselves and others who are similarly situated. Plaintive
has moved to conditionally certify a collective action and to
authorize that notice of this action be sent to the
approximately thirty other current and recently terminated
damage managers at Avis. For the following reasons, that
motion will be granted.
facts are taken from the complaint and the exhibits submitted
with the planitiff's motion to conditionally certify
Fernando Cunha was employed as a “damage manager”
at an Avis Budget Car Rental location in Boston,
Massachusetts from March 2004 until October 2012. (Compl.
¶ 7; Pl. Ex. 3). His primary responsibility was to
“visually appraise damage to the vehicles that Avis
rents out to customers, take photographs of the damage, write
estimate reports, and then send those reports and photographs
to Avis for evaluation and further instruction.”
(Compl. ¶ 12). According to the complaint, damage
managers have limited independent authority and do not
exercise substantial discretion. (Compl. ¶ 13-17).
to the complaint, Cunha regularly worked more than forty
hours per week. (Compl. ¶ 10). Avis classifies its
damage managers as exempt from overtime compensation, and
thus does not pay them overtime when they work over forty
hours per week. (Compl. ¶ 9; Pl. Ex. 5 at 1).
employs approximately thirty damage managers at its various
locations. (Pl. Ex. 3). There are five grade levels for
damage managers; a manager's level depends on the
revenues, fleet size, and annual value of damage at the Avis
location at which he or she works, as well as that
person's supervisory experience. (Pl. Ex. 5 at 3).
Avis' job description for the damage manager position
describes the essential duties and responsibilities of all
damage managers, but notes that specific duties,
responsibilities, and qualifications may vary based on
location. (Pl. Ex. 5 at 3-4).
February 24, 2016, Cunha filed suit in state court alleging
that Avis violated FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 207, by failing to
pay its damage managers overtime compensation. The complaint
also alleged state-law claims for failing to pay overtime
wages in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151. § 1A and
failing to pay earned wages in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws
ch. 149, § 148. Plaintiff brought the state law claims
in his individual capacity but, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §
216(b), brought his FLSA claim on his own behalf and on
behalf of all others similarly situated.
removed the case to this Court on March 18, 2016. On August
8, 2016, plaintiff moved to conditionally certify a class and
to authorize that notice be sent to the approximately thirty
other current and recently terminated Avis damage managers.
Fair Labor Standards Act requires an employer to compensate
their employees “not less than one and one-half times
the regular rate at which [the employee] is employed”
for each hour worked in excess of forty hours per work-week
unless those employees are exempt. 29 U.S.C. §§
207(a)(1), 213(a)(1). Employees who serve in a bona fide
executive, administrative, or professional capacity are
exempt from the overtime requirement. Id. §
213(a)(1). Section 216(b) not only creates a private right of
action for ...