United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Civil Procedure — class actions
The district court properly decertified a class action alleging violations of the overtime laws on behalf of more than 2,000 employees.
“The suit charges that DirectSat concealed its violations by forbidding the technicians to record time spent on certain tasks, such as calling customers, filling out paperwork, and picking up tools from one of the company’s warehouses. Remember that the technicians are paid on a piece-rate system, which implies—since workers differ in their effort and efficiency—that some, maybe many, of the technicians may not work more than 40 hours a week and may even work fewer hours; others may work more than 40 hours a week. Variance would also result from different technicians’ doing different tasks, since it’s contended that the employer told them not to report time spent on some of those tasks, though— further complicating the problem of proof—some of them reported that time anyway.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Crabb, J., Posner, J.