MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
AND CLASS CERTIFICATION
B. Krupp, Justice.
Hayden Goldberg (" Goldberg"), on behalf of herself
and all others similarly situated, alleges that defendant EF
Education First, Inc. (" EF") misclassified her as
an " administrative" employee exempt from the
overtime requirements of the Massachusetts Minimum Fair Wage
Law. EF moves for summary judgment, arguing that the
undisputed material facts demonstrate that it properly
classified Goldberg as an exempt " administrative"
employee. Goldberg moves for class certification. For the
reasons that follow, EF's motion for summary judgment is
DENIED and Goldberg's motion for class
certification is ALLOWED .
following facts are taken from the Joint Statement of
Undisputed Material Facts (" SOF") and accompanying
exhibits. Some facts are reserved for discussion below.
" in the business of marketing to teachers in helping
them take their students abroad." It sells educational
tours to teachers, who recruit paying middle and high school
students to go on tours. Goldberg worked for EF as a Tour
Consultant (" TC") from November 2012 to July 2014.
The TC position is an entry level position that requires no
prior work experience. New TCs are generally expected to have
a college degree, though one is not strictly required. EF
classifies its TCs as administrative employees and does not
pay them overtime compensation when they work more than 40
hours per week. Goldberg's starting salary was $45, 000
per year, although she had the potential to make as much as
$75, 000 per year based on EF's bonus structure.
job description for the TC position explains the role as
As an EF Tour Consultant, you will drive the growth of your
own territory by selling international student tours to
teachers and schools. You will generate new sales
opportunities of your own and convert in-house leads from our
marketing initiatives. You will ensure repeat sales by
building strong relationships and meeting the needs of your
customers throughout the entire tour-planning process.
Finally, you will harness your customer knowledge and
expertise to suggest and implement your own entrepreneurial
ideas in order to keep our industry-leading business on the
resume, prepared after she left EF's employment, includes
the following description of her TC work:
Execute personal marketing initiatives and research to
qualify and generate new sales leads;
Plan, sell, and coordinate educational study abroad tours to
administrators and educators;
Strict attention to account maintenance and customer
Dramatic increase in sales and customer retention; Focus on
growth and development of Global Education Programs and sales
opportunities in Indiana territory[, ] consistently
surpassing individual and territory sales goals;
Provide streamlined communication between departments for
more timely resolutions to on-tour emergencies.
EF's TCs work in regional sales teams assigned to
geographic regions in the United States. Each TC is then
assigned to a specific territory (a state or part of a state)
within their team's region. Each regional sales team is
overseen by a sales director who is responsible for managing
her team of TCs, including monitoring vacation time and daily
work output. The sales director is also responsible for
managing her team's budget and the strategy and long-term
vision of her sales region, and for ensuring that her
team's sales increase from one year to the next and that
her TCs are growing their territories.
use a customer relations management program called "
Phoenix." Phoenix manages the TCs' " sales
pipeline, " meaning " the different statuses where
a customer can fall during their planning time, "
monitors " mission critical" deadlines, keeps track
of customer feedback, generates tour prices, and monitors
when the TC logs in and out. Phoenix also routes potential
customers to TCs by automatically sending leads that come in
through EF's website to the TC assigned to the territory
associated with the lead's zip code. EF's website
generates the most leads for potential customers. The next
largest source is referrals from other teachers.
expected to call a certain number of leads during various
periods of time. Every TC has a certain number of teachers
and students they have to reach in their territory in a given
month. TCs are directed at times to work " power
hours" when they only call leads. They are also required
to work certain shifts or hours at certain times of the year,
including being encouraged to work late and skip or stagger
lunches, and to attend weekly sales trainings. TCs are
expected to make a certain number of outbound calls each day
based on " outbound reports" generated by senior
TCs. EF monitors each TC's sales productivity, sometimes
on a weekly basis.
trains its TCs on its " tried and true" process for
initial sales calls with potential group leaders. It employs
sales trainers who coach TCs on the " steps of sales
theory." The trainers provide TCs with documents to help
guide the TCs' conversations with teachers, including
guidelines, scripts, templates, handouts, fliers, and
brochures. The sales trainers also provide training to newly
hired TCs and ongoing training aimed at teaching TCs
different sales techniques that will help them grow their
sales. Ongoing training consists of weekly team meetings,
periodic group sessions, and one-on-one meetings.
not control the initial pricing of a trip. Instead, TCs
gather information from a teacher about what type of trip he
or she is interested in taking and enters that information
into Phoenix, which then generates a price quote based on the
information entered. Once a price is generated, TCs can only
modify the price to a limited degree (e.g., by adding
optional excursions or offering certain small discounts).
Otherwise, they must obtain prior approval from a sales
director or other manager.
an advertising department that handles marketing initiatives
and a business development team that works with teachers who
travel with competitors to try to convince them they should
be traveling with EF. EF provides TCs with pre-generated
promotional materials such as brochures on destinations and
guides for how teachers can best recruit students. Others at
EF (not TCs) create tour information, and the proposals TCs
send to teachers are largely " pre-generated"
except for a few items (e.g., price; sample meals). TCs do
not design or create the tours, though they can offer
pre-priced add-ons (e.g., insurance or side trips to historic
sites). EF has a separate team that handles requests for
totally customized tours, which are fairly rare.
role as a TC, Goldberg was supposed to develop a strategic
plan to achieve higher sales. She had some autonomy in
deciding how to go about growing her territory and in
deciding to which educators she wanted to pitch tours. Using
the internet and EF's database, Goldberg investigated
schools to find sales leads. She used information like school
size and affluence to qualify new sales leads and prioritize
who she would contact and how she would speak to them.
would start her sales calls to teachers using EF's
script, gathering information about the teacher's
interests and needs; but would go off-script to assess and
discuss what tours might fit those specific interests. As
part of her work as a TC, Goldberg provided advice to her
teacher clients regarding strategies for selling tours to
students; fielded questions from teachers about upcoming
trips (e.g., what clothes to pack, and passport and currency
issues); fielded calls from teachers when issues came up
during trips; and, with the help of other EF team members,
worked to find solutions to those issues or offered
compensation to address or resolve problems. During her
deposition, she described the TC role as including sales,
account management, and customer service.
filed this case in March 2015. She set out a single count,
claiming that by classifying all TCs as exempt from overtime,
EF was violating the Massachusetts Maximum Fair Wage Law,
G.L.c. 151, § 1A. EF has moved ...