Cases & Investigations

Douglas v. First Student, Inc.

CASE NUMBER: 4:09-CV-652
CASE STATUS: Settled
COURT: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas

On July 31, 2009, Berger Montague filed a collective action and class action complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act (“AMWA”), on behalf of “all persons employed by First Student, Inc. as drivers and/or dispatchers at its terminal in Little Rock, Arkansas at any time from August 1, 2006 to the present.”

This is the second class action lawsuit filed on behalf of bus drivers and dispatchers employed by First Student, Inc., which describes itself on its website as “North America’s leading school bus transportation services company and responsible for safely transporting 4 million students to and from school every day.”

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of bus drivers and dispatchers employed by First Student, Inc., alleges that First Student, Inc. violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Arkansas state laws by failing to pay its bus drivers and dispatchers for all hours and overtime worked.  For example, the Complaint alleges that drivers are paid for two and a half hours for their morning route and two and a half hours for their afternoon route regardless of how many hours it actually takes them to complete their routes and complete other work associated with their routes such as pre-trip and post-trip inspections.  Similarly, the bus drivers allege that they are not paid for all of their work time for field trips and athletic events.  First Student, Inc.’s website states that it maintains a fleet of more than 60,000 school buses and 68,000 drivers nationwide.

The following documents are available for review:

For questions about this case against First Student, Inc., please contact Shanon J. Carson at (215) 875-4656 or by email at scarson@bm.net.  If you are an employee of First Student, Inc. and would like to opt-in or join the case, please contact Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen at (215) 875-3053.  Further information is set forth below.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS LAWSUIT?

All drivers and dispatchers who have worked at the First Student, Inc. terminal located in Little Rock, Arkansas at any time since August 1, 2006 may be eligible to join the lawsuit as opt-in plaintiffs.

In order to participate in this lawsuit, class members must affirmatively indicate that they want to be included by filing an “Opt-in Consent” form, which you may obtain by contacting us.

All class members should be aware that under federal law there is a limited time period in which plaintiffs are permitted to file a claim.  This is called the statute of limitations.  All claims are subject to this limitations period.  While not definitively settled, an FLSA claim will likely be measured from the date that a plaintiff files an opt-in consent form.  The statute of limitations for an FLSA claim generally is a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years from the date the opt-in consent form is filed with the court.  This means that the time period for your FLSA claim will begin either two or three years prior to the date you opt in to an active lawsuit.  Thus, if you believe you have a claim against First Student, Inc. under the FLSA, you should contact us as soon as possible.

The Opt-In Consent Form should be returned to:

Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen
Berger Montague
1622 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Telephone:  (215) 875-3053 (Direct Dial)
e-mail:  sschalman-bergen@bm.net

DO YOU HAVE TO PAY ANY FEES TO THE ATTORNEYS?

Our law firm is handling this case on a contingent fee basis.  This means that we will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief either through a settlement or a final judgment, and that payment will only come out of that settlement or final judgment.  Therefore, you do not have to pay anything to our law firm in order to join the lawsuit.

HOW DO YOU PROVE YOUR CLAIM FOR UNPAID WAGES AND OVERTIME?

Where the employer does not keep accurate time records, the law permits employees to make a good faith estimate of their overtime or hours worked.  Where the employer keeps accurate time records, those records may be used.

Lead Attorneys

Shanon J. Carson

Managing Shareholder
Sarah Schalman-Bergen Headshot

Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen

Shareholder

Associates

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