The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sprizzo, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Ralph Boekemeier, a former employee of defendants the
Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York ("Church")
and the Board of Trustees of Fourth Universalist Society in the
City of New York ("Board"), brings the instant action against
defendants pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA" or
the "Act"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et. seq., for overtime wages for
services rendered for the Church in excess of 35 hours per week.
Plaintiff also asserts state law claims for breach of contract
and for quantum meruit recovery for his services. Pursuant to
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, defendants move
and plaintiff cross-moves for summary judgment. For the reasons
stated below, plaintiff is granted partial summary judgment and
defendant is granted partial summary judgment.
A ruling on the instant motions for summary judgment turns
primarily upon the extent to which either the Church or plaintiff
has engaged in interstate commerce as this term is interpreted by
the FLSA. The Church itself is a nonprofit corporation that
supplements its income by leasing its facilities and property on
a short and long-term basis to individuals and organizations.
See Joint Statement of Material Facts As To Which There Is No
Genuine Dispute, dated November 13, 1997 ("Jt.Stmnt."), at ¶ 11.
In soliciting customers to rent its facilities, the Church
performs monthly mass mailings, issues press releases and places
advertisements in magazines and on the Internet. Id. at ¶¶
12-14. Approximately half of the groups that rented space from
the Church in 1996 for special events were from a state other
than New York. Id. at ¶ 73.
June 1993-June 1994 June 1994-June 1995 June 1995-June 1996
Rental Income $467,912 $481,427 $451,973
Contributions 57,289 41,444 50,690
Investment Income 6,319 6,512 7,008
Special Events 12,087 8,511 9,069
Miscellaneous 3,024 6,718 2,406
Gain on Investment Sales 18,850 (8,982) (1,437)
Social Action Committee 1,123 600 200
Insurance Proceeds 15,520
See Jt. Stmnt. at ¶¶ 5-10.
Limited information is available regarding the extent to which
the Church segregated its charitable contributions from its
business related income. The parties have stipulated that the
Church placed the money it received from its rental activities,
contributions and other sources of income into a single,
unrestricted fund, and from that fund paid its employees'
salaries and other expenses. See id. at ¶ 89. They have also
stipulated that according to Board minutes dated November 30,
1994, the Board agreed to supplement Church employees' Christmas
bonuses with money that was received in the Church's collection
plate, so that the total bonus for such employees equaled $1,000.
See id. at ¶ 87.
Plaintiff contends that while employed by the Church, he
engaged in interstate commerce by virtue of both his purchases of
goods from out-of-state vendors and his work with short and
long-term tenants of the Church. Plaintiff commenced employment
with the Church in 1990 as an Assistant Building Engineer and
retained this position until the termination of his employment on
May 14, 1997. See id. at ¶¶ 21-22. As Assistant Building
Engineer, plaintiff's job responsibilities included, inter
alia, custodial and maintenance work, assisting the Church's
short and long-term tenants, and purchasing equipment, cleaning
and maintenance supplies. See id. at ¶ 23. For a four month
period during his employment, plaintiff temporarily assumed the
vacant position of Building Engineer which included similar
responsibilities. See id. at ¶ 39.
During times relevant to this litigation, plaintiff purchased
custodial supplies and other equipment from five out-of-state
vendors. See id. at ¶ 40. The majority of such purchases were
for custodial supplies, but on separate occasions plaintiff also
purchased a refrigerator, electronics equipment, and a computer
from such vendors. See id. at ¶¶ 40-41, 44-46. Plaintiff also
claims to have purchased materials from a supplier of plumbing
parts from California, but cannot recall the name of the company
and is unable to cite any purchases from out-of-state vendors
other than those five indicated above. See id. at ¶¶ 40, 43-47.
In sum, the parties have stipulated that plaintiff made between
one and four purchases from out-of state vendors in 1992; between
three and six such purchases in 1993; between three and four such
purchases in 1994; between one and four such purchases in 1995;
between two and six such purchases in 1996; and between four and
six such purchases from the beginning of 1997 through May 14,
1997, plaintiff's last day of employment with the Church. ...