Civil Action No.:


XXX; and

Other similarly situated persons











NOW COMES Jorge Fernandez, Plaintiff, and brings this action against Defendant Fly By Night Airways, Inc., individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated persons, and for cause would show this Honorable Court as follows:


  2. Plaintiff xxx is a law-abiding, male adult citizen of sound mind and a resident of XXX. He is bringing this action on his own behalf, and on behalf of other pilots of Fly By XXX, Inc. who may be enjoined as plaintiffs.
  3. Defendant Fly By XXX, Inc. is a corporation headquartered in XXX, XXX, which provides shuttle services via jet on an ad-hoc basis to airports throughout the United States.


  2. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S. Code § 1331 which states that: “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the XXX.” Plaintiff has asserted a claim of violation of a law of the United States.
  3. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S. Code § 1332 which states that: “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between— (1) citizens of different States”. The matter in controversy exceeds $75,000 and the Parties reside in different states. XXX resides in South XXX and Fly By Night Airways, Inc. resides in North XXX.
  4. Venue is proper in this Court in accordance with 28 U.S. Code § 1391(b) which states that: “A civil action may be brought in – (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred.” Defendant is a resident of XXXX because it has its headquarters in the State of XXX. The events and causes of action herein took place within Charlotte, which is located within the Western District of North XXX.


  2. This action has been brought and may properly be maintained as a class action as it satisfies the numerosity, commonality, typicality, adequacy, and superiority requirements of Rule 23(b)(3).
  3. Plaintiffs are members of the putative Class. The claims asserted by Plaintiffs in this action are typical of the claims of the members of the putative Class, as the claims arise from the same course of conduct by the Defendant and the relief sought is common.
  4. Questions of law and fact common to the putative Class exist that predominate over questions affecting only individual members.
  5. Certification of the Class is appropriate pursuant to Fed. R. C. P. 23(b)(3) because questions of law or fact are common to the respective members of the Class predominate over questions of law or fact affecting only individual members. This predominance makes class litigation superior to any other method available for the fair and efficient adjudication of these claims including consistency of adjudications. Absent a class action, it would be unlikely that many members of the Class would be able to protect their own interests because the cost of litigation through individual lawsuits might exceed the expected recovery.
  6. A class action is a superior method for the adjudication of the controversy in that it will permit a large number of claims to be resolved in a single forum simultaneously, efficiently, and without the unnecessary hardship that would result from the prosecution of numerous individual actions and the duplication of discovery, effort, expense, and the burden of the courts that individual actions would create.


  2. Plaintiff Jorge learned to fly in the XXX where he obtained the rank of Major (0-4). When he was discharged he went to work for Defendant as a pilot. He has worked there for five years.
  3. Plaintiff Jorge rose from the rank of “Pilot” to the rank of “Commander” while working for Defendant. That made him entitled to’60% of the ‘Pilot’s fee which was collected by Defendant when its customers booked flights. “Pilots” paid only 35% of the ‘Pilot’s fee’.
  4. Defendant’s clients would book round trips which would require pilots to remain with the FBN equipment. Pilots were also responsible for stowing and unloading Defendant’s client’s luggage from the plane as Defendant does not have a private air service.
  5. Defendant paid its pilots a stipend of $100 per night. This stipend has never been enough for accommodation in a decent hotel room, and pilots have always been forced to pay the difference with their own monies.
  6. Pilots working for Defendant are not required to “punch in” or “punch out”. However, Defendant is required to monitor pilots’ flying time in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
  7. In 2022, ownership of Defendant company was taken over by new investors. The new ownership invited pilots to a meeting and asked them to offer criticisms and recommendations regarding operations.
  8. Plaintiff Jorge said that the pilot compensation system was unfair and illegal as pilots spent more time doing other duties compared to actually flying the planes. He also said that the company was unfair by paying pilots by 1099 as opposed to W-2 employees.
  9. After the meeting, the allocation of flights to pilots changed, but the compensation structure remained the same. ‘Pilots’ were assigned more flights than ‘Commanders’, meaning that the company would only have to pay 35% of the ‘Pilot’s fee’ for most flights. When Plaintiff Jorge was assigned flights, they were often to routes deemed undesirable by pilots such as Detroit and Newark, which also had very long layovers.
  10. Plaintiff Jorge tried seeking an audience with new company ownership for many weeks to no avail. When he went to speak to the president regarding the allocation of flights, he overhead him tell his assistant, “You go out there and tell that wetback pilot to get the hell out of my office or he’ll never fly one of our God damn planes again.” The assistant returned and informed Plaintiff Jorge that the president was in meetings all day and that he would not be available any time soon.
  11. Later, Plaintiff Jorge called and informed the company that he would no longer be working for them.


  • First Claim for Relief: Wrong Classification of Plaintiffs as Independent Contractors
  1. Plaintiffs hereby incorporate all foregoing paragraphs of this Complaint by reference as though set out in full herein.
  2. Defendant wrongly classified Plaintiffs as independent contractors instead of employees when it paid Plaintiffs on a 1099 basis for independent contractors instead of W-2 for employees. That way, Defendant avoided paying a portion of Plaintiffs’ Medicare/FICA tax.
  3. While there are no written contracts outlining the employment of Plaintiffs, they are employees from the nature of their work with Defendant.
  4. A 1099 worker sets his own hours while a W-2 employee works at times and durations set by the employer. Plaintiffs worked during hours set by Defendant. Those hours include(d) long layovers waiting for Defendant’s clients to return.
  5. A 1099 worker can work from any location in the world while a W-2 employee works usually, but not always, at the employer’s place of business. Plaintiff’s worked at Defendant’s places of business where Defendant transported its clients.
  6. A 1099 worker works independently while a W-2 employee works under the employer’s control. Plaintiffs worked under Defendant’s control. This includes flying planes that belonged to Defendant.
  7. A 1099 worker can perform tasks without the employer’s direction while a W-2 employee must stick to the employer’s guidelines on performing tasks. Plaintiffs stuck to Defendant’s guidelines on performing tasks. This includes performing additional duties not of a pilot including stowing and unloading Defendant’s clients’ luggage.
  8. Defendant is liable for wrongly classifying Plaintiffs as independent contractors instead of employees and failing to pay a portion of Plaintiffs’ Medicare/FICA tax, and ought to pay damages to Plaintiffs.


  • Second Claim for Relief: Violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act
  1. Plaintiffs hereby incorporate all foregoing paragraphs of this Complaint by reference as though set out in full herein.
  2. The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage, overtime pay and recordkeeping standards affecting employees in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments.
  3. Defendant declined to issue Plaintiffs with contracts that expressly stated the wages they would be paid, overtime they would be paid, hours they were expected to work, and the duties they were required to perform.
  4. As such, Plaintiffs were not paid by the hours they worked, contrary to Section 206 of the Fair Labor Standards Act which states as follows:

“Every employer shall pay to each of his employees who in any workweek is engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or is employed in an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, wages at the following rates: (1) except as otherwise provided in this section, not less than – (A) $5.85 an hour beginning on the 60th day after XXX; (B) $6.55 an hour, beginning 12 months after that 60th day; and (C) $7.25 an hour, beginning 24 months after that 60th day…”

  1. Plaintiffs’ wages were supposed to be calculated according to the foregoing provision, but Defendant has never paid its employees according to that provision.
  2. Section 207 of the Fair Labor Standards Act states that employees who work more than 40 hours per week are entitled to extra pay for the extra work done, commonly referred to as overtime. Defendant did not pay Plaintiffs overtime.
  3. During work, Plaintiffs were left with the planes and had to stay alert during layovers as they did not know when Defendant’s client(s) would return. They were not paid for the work they did during this time.
  4. Defendant is liable for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and ought to pay damages to Plaintiffs.


  • Third Claim for Relief: National Origin-Based Discrimination in Violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of XXX, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)
  1. Plaintiffs hereby incorporate all foregoing paragraphs of this Complaint by reference as though set out in full herein.
  2. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a) provides as follows:

“It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –

  • To fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
  • To limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which could deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
  1. Plaintiff XXXX is a man of XXX descent. When he worked as a pilot for Defendant, he was mostly assigned flights to undesirable flying routes such as Detroit.
  2. Further, he was limited and denied flying opportunities as a pilot in the rank of “Commander,” as many flights that were previously allocated to him were given to the junior pilots, despite being qualified and experienced.
  3. The limiting of Plaintiff Jorge’s flying opportunities led to a reduction in his income.
  4. Defendant is liable for discrimination and ought to pay damages to Plaintiff.


  • Fourth Claim for Relief: Retaliation
  1. Plaintiffs hereby incorporate all foregoing paragraphs of this Complaint by reference as though set out in full herein.
  2. “The elements of a prima facie retaliation claim under Title VII are (1) engagement in a protected activity, (2) adverse employment action, (3) a causal link between the protected activity and the employment action.” Mackey v Shalala, 360 F.3d 463, 469 (4th 2004).
  3. Plaintiffs engaged in a protected activity when they were invited by new owners of Defendant company to offer criticisms and recommendations regarding the company.
  4. During the meeting with the new owners, Plaintiffs innocently raised their concerns with the genuine hope that the new owners would resolve some of the issues that were ignored by previous owners.
  5. Instead of addressing their concerns, Defendant reduced the flights of Commander pilots who had brought their grievances regarding their payments made as 1099 employees instead of W-2 employees.
  6. When Plaintiff XXX attempted to negotiate with the new ownership, the president denied him an audience.
  7. Prior to airing their grievances, Commander pilots were allocated flights fairly and Plaintiff Jorge was allocated flights to all flight destinations, not only the undesirable routes.
  8. The actions taken by the new ownership to allocate less flights to Commander pilots, allocate Plaintiff Jorge flights to undesirable destinations only, and to dismiss him when he went to the president’s office were retaliatory to the complaints and recommendations they raised during the meeting of company employees and company ownership.
  9. Defendant is liable for retaliation and ought to pay damages to Plaintiffs.


Fifth Claim for Relief: Injunctive Relief Allegations

  1. Plaintiffs hereby incorporate all foregoing paragraphs of this Complaint by reference as though set out in full herein.
  2. No plain, adequate, or complete remedy at law is available to Plaintiffs to redress the wrongs addressed herein.
  3. If this Court does not grant the injunctive relief sought herein, Plaintiffs will be irreparably harmed.



REASONS WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiffs respectfully request this Honorable Court to GRANT them the following reliefs:

  • A judicial declaration of the rights and duties of all parties;
  • A declaration that Defendant’s actions and practices as alleged herein are unlawful;
  • For lost wages and all other compensation denied or lost to Plaintiffs by reason of Defendant’s unlawful actions, in an amount to be proven at trial;
  • For compensatory damages for Plaintiff’s emotional pain and suffering, in an amount to be proven at trial;
  • For punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial;
  • For liquidated damages;
  • For interest in lost wages, compensation, and damages, including pre- and post-judgment interest and an upward adjustment for inflation;
  • For an order enjoining Defendant from engaging in the unlawful actions complained of herein;
  • For reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000; and
  • For such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.


Dated this _____ day of XXX.


Respectfully Submitted,






Attorney for Plaintiffs

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