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Hamelin v. Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare

March 26, 2010

DAWN HAMELIN ON BEHALF OF HERSELF AND ALL OTHER EMPLOYEES SIMILARLY SITUATED, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
FAXTON-ST. LUKE'S HEALTHCARE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David N. Hurd United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendants Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare and related entities and individuals ("defendants" or "Faxton-St. Luke's") moved for partial summary judgment dismissing certain opt-in plaintiffs ("disputed plaintiffs") from this action. Plaintiffs opposed and defendants replied. Oral argument was heard on March 24, 2010, in Utica, New York. Decision was reserved.

II. BACKGROUND*fn1

Disputed plaintiffs opted-in to this class action pursuant to a Notice and Consent Form in form and substance as directed by Magistrate Judge David Peebles. (June 8, 2009, Order Doc. No. 103, appeal denied, Aug. 26, 2009, Order Doc. No. 139.) The class has been preliminarily certified as follows:

All present and former hourly employees of Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare and St. Luke's Home, including but not limited to registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurses' assistants, with direct patient care responsibilities who have been subject to automatic meal break deductions through use of the Kronos system, and who have or may have worked through or during unpaid meal breaks without compensation at any time during the past three years. (Jan. 26, 2009, Order Doc. No. 66.)

Magistrate Judge Peebles set forth a procedure for review of improper opt-ins by the parties, concluding with defendant making a motion for partial summary judgment as to those allegedly improper opt-ins about which the parties could not agree. In sum, there were twenty-six disputed plaintiffs about which the parties could not agree, the subjects of the current motion.

Prior to the hearing on this motion disputed plaintiff Kristine C. Kirby was voluntarily dismissed from this action. Defendants contend that seventeen of the disputed plaintiffs left their employ more than three years prior to opting-in to this lawsuit, thus fall outside the class. Defendants also assert that two of the disputed plaintiffs were never employed by them. Of the remaining disputed plaintiffs, defendants argue that one disputed plaintiff was salaried rather than hourly and six disputed plaintiffs did not have direct patient care responsibilities.

III. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment must be granted when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions and affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. The moving party carries the initial burden of demonstrating an absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Id. Then the nonmoving party "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Id.

IV. DISCUSSION

A. Work During Prior Three Years

It is undisputed that each of the disputed plaintiffs did not work for Faxton-St. Luke's during the last three years prior to opting in, as follows:

Disputed Plaintiff Termination Date Opt-in Date Suzanne M. Almond 9/22/2004 12/4/2008 Jennifer L. Calenzo-Cyr 11/24/2004 12/4/2008 Pamela R. Durant (f/k/a Reed) 7/22/2002 7/29/2009 Darsel M. Excell 8/20/2004 12/4/2008 Lanalee S. Hall 4/13/2000 12/4/2008 Renee C. Kopek 12/2/2003 12/5/2008 Mary Louise Krecidlo 10/21/2002 12/5/2008 Julie A. Nichols 10/18/2004 12/4/2008 Kimm C. Riesel 4/26/2004 12/4/2008 Evelena Sponaugle 4/16/1999 12/4/2008 Roxanne J. Toczydlowski 3/10/1999 12/4/2008 Linda M. Ventura 9/24/2003 12/4/2008 Sarah A. Wnuk (f/k/a Bullivant, Wengert) 4/2/1999 12/4/2008 ...


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