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Spruill-Boone v. Summit School Inc.

April 24, 2006

MS. SPRUILL-BOONE, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SUMMIT SCHOOL INC., AND SUMMIT CHILDREN'S RESIDENCE CENTER INC., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sifton, Senior Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Spruill-Boone, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, brings this action against defendants, Summit School, Inc. (the "School") and Summit Children's Residence Center, Inc., (the "Residence Center") alleging that defendants failed to pay her overtime for hours worked in excess of forty hours per week, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") §7(a)(1), 29 U.S.C. §207(a)(1) and the New York Wage Regulations, N.Y.C.R.R. Labor Section 138 et seq. Now before this Court is defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and plaintiff's motion for collective action notification pursuant to FLSA §216(a), 29 U.S.C. §216(b). For the reasons set forth below the defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted and the plaintiff's motion for collective action notification is denied.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are taken from the parties' Local Rule 56.1 statements and submissions in connection with this motion. Disputes are noted.

The Residence Center is a New York not-for-profit corporation that operates a residence center for emotionally handicapped high school age adolescents, primarily from New York State.

The School is a not-for-profit corporation operating a highly specialized school program for teenagers of high school age who have been diagnosed as emotionally disturbed and who may have other medical conditions such as Tourettes syndrome.

Representations by Defendants of their Joint Relationship

The two defendants use the same advertising materials and a joint logo.*fn1 Their joint website describes the School and Residence Center as "an integrated educational and treatment program." The defendants share an address and telephone number. Each defendant's tax return lists the other as an "affiliate," although the two organizations file separate tax returns.

Administration of the Defendant Corporations

Each of the corporations is run by its own Executive Director. Dr. Bruce Goldsmith, the School's Executive Director is - 3 -also the Associate Director of the Residence Center. Although each organization has a separate board of directors, both boards are constituted by an identical group of directors. Moreover, the same top managers run both organizations.

According to the defendants the Residence Center receives its funding from the various counties where the families of its residents reside and the School receives its funding from the various school districts within which the families of its students reside. The organizations also receive funding from each other. For example, the Residence Center advances monies to the School with no specific terms for repayment. The School recently guaranteed a $3.5 million dollar line of credit to the Residence Center.

Facilities of the Defendant Corporations

The Residence Center is located on a campus it owns in Upper Nyack, New York. The School has three separate campuses in New York State. One of these campuses is shared with the Residence Center. At the Upper Nyack campus, the School leases space in three buildings from the Residence Center. The School buildings and the Residence buildings are interspersed throughout the campus. Both entities use the same suite of administrative offices.

Operations of Defendant Corporations

The Residence Center operates on a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, - 4 -365-days-a-year basis. Students are enrolled in the School from 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Monday to Friday, for an approximately 180 day school year from September to June. Students may also participate in a summer program of an additional 39 days.

Although a number of employees have held simultaneous positions at the Residence Center and the School, staffing of the employees at the School and Residence Center is separate. Applicants applying to work at the School or the Residence Center must apply through separate processes, each with its own hiring standards. An applicant is evaluated for each job by different managerial personnel, who consider the applicant's qualifications for the specific positions in question. An applicant hired for a position with one of the defendants will not necessarily be hired by the other defendant. Moreover, an applicant offered positions with both defendants is under no obligation to accept both, and may choose to accept only one position.

An individual who is employed by both defendants is supervised and evaluated by separate supervisory staff at the School and at the Residence. Employees concurrently employed by the School and the Residence Center are never transferred from a position at the School to one at the Residence, and vice versa, during the course of the business day. Concurrently employed individuals receive separate paychecks from each defendant. However, the defendants do share a common payroll clerk who - 5 ...


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