Hundreds of employees of Bloomberg who assist customers with their Bloomberg terminals have been certified as a class, and can proceed with their federal lawsuit to recover unpaid overtime wages.
The named plaintiff, Eric Rosenman, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2014, alleging that he and the other analytics representatives in the New York office of Bloomberg were not being paid legally required overtime wages at time-and-a-half for hours over 40 in each workweek. Analytics representatives help Bloomberg customers operate Bloomberg Terminals, which are complex software systems that give customers access to financial data and analytics. There are approximately 1,300 analytics representatives who do this work in Bloomberg’s New York office.
In August 2016, the plaintiff filed a motion to certify a class including all the analytics representatives in the New York office. In an opinion filed September 21, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York Denise L. Cote focused on the issue of “predominance,” which is one of the requirements to certify a class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a). The rule requires that “questions of law or fact common to class members predominate over any questions affecting only individual members.”
Bloomberg argued that “the responsibilities of the class members are so varied that the class members do not share a primary duty and that no generalized proof can be used to identify a single primary duty for the class.” But, in deciding to certify the class, Judge Cote held that “individual issues … do not predominate . . . . The evidence presented by both plaintiffs and the defendant converge on one, basic point: Analytics representatives answer client questions about the Bloomberg Terminal. This is their primary duty.”
We will continue to follow this case as it develops.