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Baughman v. Roadrunner Communications, LLC

United States District Court, D. Arizona

August 13, 2014

Ray Baughman, Cecil McDole, and Tyler Stimbert, Plaintiffs,
v.
Roadrunner Communications, LLC, et. al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

STEPHEN M. McNAMEE, Senior District Judge.

Before the Court is Plaintiffs' motion pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 for class action certification of their third and fourth claims submitted in their Collective Action and Class Action Complaint. (Doc. 189.) Their third claim is a state law claim for failure to pay timely wages and their fourth claim is a common law unjust enrichment claim. (Doc. 1.) The motion for class action certification is fully briefed (Docs. 189, 196, 200), and the Court heard oral argument on the motion (Doc. 206).[1]

The Court finds that Claim 4-Plaintiffs' common law unjust enrichment claim-is subject to sua sponte summary judgment. The Court will provide notice to Plaintiffs and allow them to respond to the Court's sua sponte determination. The Court will not resolve Plaintiffs' motion for class certification at this time (Doc. 189); in a subsequent Order the Court will determine whether Claim 3 is appropriate for class action treatment.

BACKGROUND

Factual History

Defendant Roadrunner Communications ("Roadrunner") is an Arizona limited liability company that provides satellite television installation and repair services for DirectTV®. (Doc. 30 at 3.) As additional Defendants Plaintiffs individually name Brian Rambo and wife, Hobie Dufort and wife, and Lonnie Densberger and wife, who are alleged toy be member-managers of Roadrunner. (Doc. 1 at 4-6.) Defendants operate five locations in Arizona, along with providing services in California and New Mexico. (Id.)

Plaintiffs, which the parties refer to as "Technicians" or "Contractor" signed Independent Contractor Agreements ("ICAs") to work for Roadrunner providing installation and repair services for DirecTV. (Doc. 196 at 2, referencing the ICA contract, Doc. 196-3.) The ICA expressly provides:

Contractor is an independent contractor of the Company. Nothing in this [Independent Contractor] Agreement shall be construed as creating an employer-employee relationship, as a guarantee of future employment or engagement, or as a limitation upon the Company's sole discretion to terminate this Agreement at any time without cause. Contractor further agrees to be responsible for all of Contractor's federal and state taxes, withholding, social security, insurance, and other benefits; At the Company's request, the Contractor shall provide the Company with satisfactory proof of independent contractor status...

(Id. at 5.) Compensation for the Plaintiffs under the ICA provided:

Contractor's pay will be determined by the job as reflected on each completed work order. The Company will provide a price sheet outlining the Contractor's pay for each piece of work completed. The Contractor understands that he is responsible to provide all tools and equipment necessary for completion of the installation work with the exception of the DirecTV equipment provided by DTV Home Services II, LLC. Contractor further understands that he will not be reimbursed for any business expenses nor will be receiving any benefits from the Company including, but not limited to, income tax withholding, social security, or Medicare contributions. The Company will provide a 1099-MISC as an informational report to the IRS reflecting what the Contractor has been paid by the Company at the end of the tax year.

(Id. at 3.)

Plaintiffs allege that Technicians typically began their workdays by arriving at Defendants' office, completing paperwork, returning equipment related to the previous day's work, and receiving their daily work schedules from one of Defendant's lead supervisors. (Doc. 1 at 6.) After obtaining their schedules Plaintiffs were allegedly sent off to the locations of the assigned installation or repair, after which they proceeded in a proscribed order to the next assignment. (Id.)

Plaintiffs further alleged that Roadrunner routinely required Technicians to purchase, at their own expense, various materials that were necessary to complete the DirecTV installations and repairs, e.g., bushings, wall plates, cable clips, phone wire, etc. (Doc. 1 at 6.) Such installation materials became the property of ...


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