Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Borup v. CJS Solutions Group, LLC

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

February 13, 2019

TIMOTHY C. BORUP, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CJS SOLUTIONS GROUP, LLC, d/b/a The HCI Group, Defendant.

          ORDER

          DAVID T. SCHULTZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Timothy C. Borup filed a “collective and class action” lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Minnesota state law alleging that Defendant CJS Solutions Group, LLC misclassified him and others as independent contractors, resulting in loss of overtime pay. Borup now seeks to compel discovery from CJS, arguing that many of CJS's responses to his interrogatories and document requests were deficient. The Court concludes that Borup is entitled to much of the discovery he has requested.

         FACTS

         I. Relevant Background

         In his Complaint, Borup alleges that CJS employed him and others as consultants to assist medical facilities as they transition to electronic recordkeeping systems. Compl. ¶ 11, Docket No. 1. These consultants are known as “ATEs” because they work “at the elbows” of a facility's employees for a brief period as the facility “goes live” with the electronic system. Decl. of Stephen Tokarz ¶¶ 5-6, Docket No. 34-1. Borup worked for CJS for one such “go live” project at the Mayo Clinic in 2018. Compl. ¶ 13. He contends that, though CJS classified him and other consultants as independent contractors, the reality of the arrangement properly rendered them CJS employees. Id. at ¶¶ 16-28. He also contends that he and other consultants regularly worked 12-hour days, 7 days a week during the Mayo Clinic and other “go live” events. Id. at ¶ 33. But, because CJS classified them as independent contractors, they were not paid overtime under either the Fair Labor Standards Act or Minnesota state law. Id. at ¶ 34. Borup seeks to have his lawsuit certified as a collective action for the FLSA claim and as a Rule 23 class action for the Minnesota statutory claim. Id. at p. 17.

         CJS previously faced lawsuits alleging it failed to pay appropriate overtime wages due to misclassifying employees as independent contractors. It settled these lawsuits in 2018. See Decl. of T. Joseph Snodgrass Ex. I (Pl.'s Mem. L. in Supp. Unopposed Mot. for Final Approval of the Am. Settlement Agreement), Docket No. 26. The settlement was universally binding on claims under New York, North Carolina, and Washington law. Id. at Ex. H (Notice of Settlement). It was only binding on FLSA claims if a class member opted-in and deposited the settlement award check. Id.

         While the litigation was ongoing, CJS changed its practice and began classifying almost all its ATE consultants as employees. Tokarz Decl. ¶ 7. However, it continued to classify certain ATEs who were medical doctors, medical residents, or medical students, as independent contractors. Id. These consultants, “ATE MDs”, received some additional training and allegedly exercise greater discretion over their work. Id. at ¶¶ 8-9. The Mayo Clinic event has been the only “go live” project thus far under CJS's new classification regime. Id. at ¶ 7.

         II. Discovery Dispute

         Borup served his first discovery requests in November of 2018. Snodgrass Decl. Ex. A. Many of the requests, including the single interrogatory, are aimed at identifying and classifying individuals whom Borup contends are similarly situated to him, but who have not released their claims against CJS. Id. This includes individuals who worked on go live events at issue in the prior lawsuits, but who did not receive a part of the settlement award. Id. For these individuals, Borup seeks documents that may show they worked more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay, such as records of the number of hours they worked per week, their pay rates, and any time they may have spent on travel or uncompensated breaks. Id. He also seeks documents that would tend to demonstrate that such individuals should have properly been classified as employees, including records outlining the scope of their job duties, the training and instruction they received, and any oversight that CJS exercised. Id.

         Another category of document requests relates to the prior litigation and settlement. Some requests seek documents indicating which individuals waived their FLSA claims by opting into the settlement and cashing a settlement check. Id. Others seek the discovery and disclosures CJS made during the prior litigation, as well as communications between counsel in the prior litigation. Id. The remaining requests concern CJS's potential liability and defenses, including the basis for any affirmative or good faith defense it might raise. Id.[1]

         CJS objected to the interrogatory and nearly every request for production. Id. at Exs. E, F. Some responses directed Borup to documents previously produced as part of CJS's initial Rule 26 disclosures. Id. at Ex. F. CJS's central objections are that the discovery requests are irrelevant, overly broad, or inappropriately attempt to relitigate the prior lawsuits that led to settlement. Id.; Decl. of Claire B. Deason ¶ 5, Docket No. 34. Beyond these objections, CJS's objections are mere boilerplate.[2]

         ANALYSIS

         CJS primarily questions the relevance of the information Borup seeks, including those requests relating to the scope and certifiability of the FLSA and Rule 23 classes, as well as matters of privilege and breadth.[3] Because much of the information sought is at least relevant to the certifiability of the collective action under the FLSA, as well as the merits of the FLSA claim, Borup is entitled to much-though not all-of what he seeks.

         I. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.