United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro Division
BRITTANY ROGERS, on behalf of Herself and All Others Similarly-situated PLAINTIFF
THE WEBSTAURANT STORE, INC. DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order and Injunction [DN 9]. Plaintiff also filed
a supplemental memorandum in support of her motion [DN 10].
Defendant filed a response and a supplemental response [DN
12, DN 14]. The Court held a hearing on June 20, 2018. Fully
briefed and argued, this matter is ripe for decision.
Allegations in the Complaint
14, 2018, Plaintiff, Brittany Rogers, filed a civil action
against Defendant, The WEBstaurant Store, Inc. (hereinafter
"Webstauranf), alleging that Webstaurant failed to pay
overtime compensation to Rogers and others similarly situated
in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act
("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. (Complaint
¶l.) Rogers was employed by Webstaurant at the customer
support facility in Madisonville, Kentucky, from April 13,
2015 to December 19, 2017, as a customer support specialist.
Rogers alleges Webstaurant engaged in three practices that
deprived her and similarly situated employees overtime pay
under the FLSA: (1) failing to pay employees for time worked
in excess of forty hours per week and for which Webstaurant
knew the employee was working because the employee was logged
in to Webstaurant's customer support or similar computer
system, which records log-in and log-out times, (B) failing
to pay employees for time worked (and intentionally not
recorded by Webstaurant) by employees preliminary to and
after logging in to Webstaurant's customer support
system, including time opening the facility, preparing the
workstation, and logging in, time logging out, closing the
workstation, preparing the facility for closing, and time
attending training sessions and other meetings, and (3)
requiring employees under "performance improvement
plans" to perform additional work relating to those
plans outside of such employees' regularly-scheduled five
eight-hour shifts per week, but not paying employees for such
work. (Complaint ¶ 19.)
filed an answer denying that it failed to pay the overtime
compensation. On June 13, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Motion for
Conditional Certification, Expedited Discovery, and
Court-Authorized Notice [DN 8].
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
14, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Emergency Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order prohibiting Defendant from communicating
with putative class members about FLSA claims and attempting
to purport to settle FLSA claims [DN 9] and filed a
supplemental memorandum for TRO [DN 10]. On June 15, 2018,
Defendant filed a response [DN 11]. The events leading up to
this current motion are detailed below.
25, 2018, Dave Groff, President of Webstaurant, sent an email
to the employees of Webstaurant indicating as follows:
I wanted to make you aware that a former employee in KY,
Brittany Rogers, has filed a lawsuit against the company.
Brittany or her attorney may be contacting you for
information or to invite you to join her in suing
Webstaurant. You are under no obligation to take any action.
Brittany is claiming that she was not compensated fairly. We
do not believe that claim is true. Part of our culture is
doing the right thing. We take that seriously, and we have
always made fair compensation one of our highest priorities.
I also want to ensure you that we would never retaliate
against any employee that makes claims against the company in
We are informing you of this now because we want to be
transparent about what's going on, and we don't want
you to be surprised or confused by any potential
communication that you receive from Brittany or her attorney.
This is all of the information that we have for you at this
time. We will share more information as it becomes available.
If you have any questions or concerns about this matter,
please contact Mike Meek.
25, 2018, Dave Groff Email.)
25, 2018, Plaintiffs counsel emailed representatives of the
company complaining that with this above email the company
communicated inaccurately about the Plaintiffs claims and
demanded the company provide a copy of Plaintiffs complaint
to its employees. In response to the email, counsel for the
Defendant indicated: "First, the communication my client
sent out this afternoon is none of your business and my
client does not need nor will it seek your blessing prior to
communicating any information throughout the company. Second,
I would highly encourage you to familiarize yourself with SCR
3.130(4.5) because the communications you have sent to
current and former employees were potentially in violation of
the Supreme Court Rule and we certainly intend to explore
this issue in greater depth. Third, your demand is
rejected." (Strause Letter/Email to Foster, May 25,
11, 2018, Groff once again sent an email to the employees of
Webstaurant which provided:
Hello, As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we are committed to
doing the right thing and ensuring competitive and fair
compensation for all of our employees.
Prior to March 24th, you were paid for 40 hours of work per
week. Deviations from your standard schedule were to be