Guevara v. Goodnight Group LLC et al
ORDER: For the reasons discussed at the December 2, 2021 conference, and in light of developments thereafter, it is hereby ORDERED as follows: As set forth herein. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara C. Moses on 1/10/2022) (ama)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
STEPHANIE RUIZ GUEVARA and
SANDRA HERAS, on behalf of themselves,
FLSA Collective Plaintiffs and the Class,
-againstFINE & RARE OPERATIONS LLC d/b/a
FINE & RARE, FLATIRON ROOM
OPERATIONS LLC d/b/a THE FLATIRON
ROOM, GOODNIGHT GROUP LLC, and
BARBARA MOSES, United States Magistrate Judge.
By letter-motion dated November 16, 2021 (Dkt. No. 72), plaintiffs in this wage and hour
action, brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law (NYLL),
seek an order compelling defendants to produce various documents and answer various
interrogatories. The motion was argued at a discovery conference on December 2, 2021, after
which defendants submitted a letter (Dkt. No. 77) confirming that Defendant Fine & Rare
Operations LLC d/b/a Fine & Rare (F&R LLC) "had gross annual revenues in excess of $500,000
in the years 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act,"
thus taking that issue out of contention for discovery purposes.
The named plaintiffs, both of whom worked in tipped positions at Fine & Rare restaurant
and were paid by F&R LLC, principally allege that their employer took an invalid tip credit,
because they were required to spend more than twenty percent of their time performing non-tipped
work; operated an unlawful tip pool that included salaried managers; improperly deducted a meal
credit from their wages but did not serve meals meeting the required nutritional standards; and
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failed to provide various notices required by federal and state law. By Memorandum and Decision
dated January 10, 2022 (Decision) (Dkt. No. 84), the Court granted plaintiffs' collective
certification motion under the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), to the extent of preliminarily certifying
a collective extending to the non-exempt, tipped employees who worked at Fine & Rare restaurant
on or after July 11, 2017. The collective does not extend to non-tipped employees, nor to
employees who worked at a second restaurant owned and operated by defendants, known as The
Flatiron Room. To date, no class certification motion has been made with respect to plaintiffs'
For the reasons discussed at the December 2, 2021 conference, and in light of developments
thereafter, it is hereby ORDERED as follows:
"Class Discovery Dispute" – Requests for Production (RFPs)
Defendants need not further respond to plaintiffs' RFP 1. Defendants shall produce the
documents requested in RFP 2, limited to employment manuals, employee handbooks, and
memoranda provided generally to all employees or to all employees of a particular
restaurant. Defendants shall produce the documents requested in RFP 3, limited to
documents generally describing the duties and responsibilities of employees under a given
title or titles. Defendants need not search for or produce documents concerning individual
non-party employees. In response to RFP 5, defendants shall produce documents sufficient
to identify the managers or assistant managers of the non-exempt employees at both
restaurants for the past 6 years. Defendants need not further respond to RFP 21, in that the
named plaintiffs make no complaint concerning adjustments to their hours. Defendants
shall produce the documents requested by RFP 23, limited to documents provided generally
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to all employees or to all employees of a particular restaurant. Defendants need not produce
individual wage notices provided to non-party employees.
"Class Discovery Dispute" – Interrogatories (Ints.)
Except to the extent required by the Decision, defendants need not further respond to
plaintiffs' Int. 1. Defendants need not further respond to Int. 2(b). In response to Int. 3,
defendants shall produce documents sufficient to show how defendants recorded the hours
worked by non-exempt employees at both restaurants for the past 6 years. In response to
Int. 5, defendants shall produce documents that describe the tip credit taken by defendants
and that were provided generally to all tipped employees or to all such employees of a
particular restaurant. Defendants need not produce individual wage notices or statements
provided to non-party employees. Defendants need not further respond to Int. 13.
Financial Documents - RFPs 14, 15, 16
Defendants need not further respond to RFPs 14, 15, and 16.
Corporate and Transactional Documents – RFPs 22, 24, 25, 27
In response to RFP 22, defendants shall provide organization charts for the corporate
defendants for the past 6 years, if they exist, together with documents sufficient to identify
their majority owner(s) and managing member(s) of those defendants over the same period
of time. Defendants need not further respond to RFPs 24, 25, and 27.
E-Discovery – RFP 31
To the extent they have not already done so, defendants search their email database, as well
as the cellphones used by the named plaintiffs' supervisors during their employment (to the
extent available) for the names of those plaintiffs (including any known variations or
nicknames) and shall produce any non-privileged results. Defendants need not otherwise
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respond to RFP 31, which as written is incomprehensible, and as interpreted by plaintiffs
in their letter-motion (at page 4) is vastly overbroad, requiring defendants to search for,
inter alia, any email or text message over a 6-year period containing the words or phrases
check, clock in, clock out, compensation, credit, earning, minimum, notice, overtime, OT,
premium, schedule, spread, time card, time sheet, tip, unpaid, or wage.
Shareholders, Owners, Supervisors – Int. 14
In response to Int. 14, defendants shall provide the names and business contact information
of the majority owner(s) and managing member(s) of the corporate defendants for the past
Sales Records and Tax Filings – Ints. 15 and 16
In response to Int. 15, defendants shall provide the name and business contact information
of their payroll services provider(s), for both restaurants, for the past 6 years. Defendants
need not further respond to Int. 16.
Dated: New York, New York
January 10, 2022
United States Magistrate Judge
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