Farnsworth et al v. Welspun Tubular LLC et al
ORDER re discovery. The Court encourages the parties to keep collaborating. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 5/17/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
MATTHEW FARNSWORTH and
MATTHEW MOORE, each on his
own behalf and on behalf of all
others similarly situated
WELSPUN TUBULAR LLC and
WELSPUN PIPES INC.
The Court appreciates the parties' second joint discovery dispute report.
Personnel files of Welspun's president, vice-presidents, and other top dogs
are within the letter of the Court's earlier ruling. But they are not within its
spirit. The parties' earlier dispute was about how wide to cast the net at the
company across departments.
Information about higher-ups was not
discussed; and the Court did not think about that issue when ruling.
The Court does not see how personnel files fn;>m senior management are
relevant to any issue in the case, much less to the collective-action issues.
Requiring production seems mostly a matter of making senior management
uncomfortable. Discovery, however, should not and need not be any more
vexing than it must be.
For Welspun senior management- the president, vice-presidents, and
most other corporate-office types - the Court directs Welspun to produce the
following information: salary, job description, and all other information
necessary for plaintiffs to evaluate whether the "highly compensated
employee" regulation, 29 C.F.R. § 541.601, applies.
WeIspun need not
produce the entire personnel file for these people at this point.
In the joint report, Welspun also speaks of directors and department
heads. Document No. 38, at 2. The Court is not sure who these folks are.
Personnel files for the various managers listed on the organizational charts
provided at the hearing (spiral plant manager, on down, for example) need
to be produced. The personnel file of any person involved in deciding
whether positions were exempt or non-exempt needs to be produced, too.
This should hold regardless of job title. The Court sees some potential
relevance in the materials about decisionmakers. And of course, plaintiffs are
entitled to the entire file of any person, irrespective of title, who supervised
or had some say about particular employees' work hours.
The Court encourages the parties to keep collaborating.
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
t 7 NlrM:J
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