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Stephen Sibert, An Individual, On Behalf of Himself and All Others v. Tv Magic

August 21, 2012

STEPHEN SIBERT, AN INDIVIDUAL, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TV MAGIC, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

O

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION

[Docket No. 13]

Presently before the court is Plaintiff Stephen Sibert's Motion for Class Certification ("Motion"). Having reviewed the parties' moving papers and heard oral argument, the court grants the Motion and adopts the following Order.

I. BACKGROUND

Defendant TV Magic, Inc. ("Defendant" or "TV Magic") installs television studio broadcast systems for television stations, churches, academic institutions, and other entities. From 2008 to 2009, Plaintiff worked for TV Magic installing the necessary cables, monitors, and other broadcast equipment. According to Plaintiff, TV Magic would assign him to work at different job sites along with several other "Installers," performing these same "basic installation services." Plaintiff alleges that he has worked alongside at least 40 other Installers over the course of his employment. (Decl. of Stephen Sibert in Supp. of Mot. ("Sibert Decl.") ¶¶ 2, 5.) On its website, TV Magic describes the installation process as follows:

We order the equipment. At your facility, we install the equipment in racks and run cable with an experienced crew. Every cable is identified with a label that makes it easy to trace. A project manager assures inventory control, supports our crews, and works to make sure your expectations are being met as the project progresses.

(Decl. of Michael Tracy in Supp. of Mot. ("Tracy Decl.") ¶ 9, Ex. 1.)

Plaintiff further alleges that TV Magic paid Plaintiff and the other Installers on an hourly basis. TV Magic, however, classified the Installers as "independent contractors," instead of as "employees." As a result, TV Magic did not provide unemployment insurance or pay the Installers any overtime, even though they typically worked more than 40 hours per week. (Sibert Decl. ¶¶ 3-4; see also Compl. ¶¶ 16-17 ("The Installers . . . typically worked 50 hours [per week].").

California's Employment Development Department ("EDD") eventually conducted an audit of TV Magic and determined that the Installers were in fact employees for purposes of unemployment insurance. (Sibert Decl. ¶ 4.) Plaintiff contends that the installers are also employees for purposes of overtime, and therefore filed this action seeking compensation for overtime hours worked. Plaintiff has now filed this Motion, asking the court to certify the following two classes:

1) All installers of broadcast equipment within the State of California who were paid on a hourly basis by TV Magic for any time period between April 19, 2008 and the date of class certification that were classified as "independent contractors" ("Installers Class"); and

2) All members of the Installers Class who no longer work for TV Magic and whose last day of work was between April 19, 2009 and the date of class certification ("Former Installers Class").

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 23(a) sets forth four prerequisites ...


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