Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Eric Edwards, Individually and On Behalf of All Other Persons Similarly Situated v. the City of New York

May 15, 2012

ERIC EDWARDS, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHER PERSONS SIMILARLY SITUATED,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE CITY OF NEW YORK, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Denise Cote, District Judge:

OPINION & ORDER

Plaintiff Eric Edwards brings this suit on behalf of himself and approximately 840 corrections officers employed or formerly employed by the New York City Department of Corrections ("DOC") who filed consents to join this action. The plaintiffs allege violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), principally for the failure to pay sufficient overtime. Following the Court's August 26, 2011 Opinion on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment (the "First Summary Judgment Opinion") and a November 4 stipulation between the parties, the sole remaining claim in this action is the plaintiffs' claim that they were not paid for overtime work allegedly performed after the end of their daily tour schedule (the "Late Relief Claim"). On March 16, 2012, the defendant moved for summary judgment on the Late Relief Claim. For the following reasons, the defendant's motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

A full description of the background and context of this litigation may be found in the First Summary Judgment Opinion, familiarity with which is assumed. See Edwards v. City of New York, No. 08 Civ. 3134 (DLC), 2011 WL 3837130 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 29, 2011). A summary of the facts relevant to the defendant's March 16 motion is set forth herein. Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are undisputed.

The plaintiff corrections officers work at correctional facilities in the metropolitan area. A majority work on a schedule of four days on and two days off. A regular tour is eight hours and thirty-one minutes. Corrections officers are paid overtime for work performed in excess of their daily tour.

To track the hours worked by corrections officers and compute their overtime pay, DOC requires officers to both (1) sign in and out of a log book at the "exact time" of their arrival and departure from their assigned facility, and (2) submit overtime slips accounting for any time beyond ten minutes worked in excess of their regularly scheduled tours. Timekeepers review and reconcile log books and overtime slips to compute officers' weekly overtime pay.*fn1

Nineteen plaintiffs have been deposed in this action. All testified that they had requested and received overtime at some point during their employment with DOC. In the aggregate, the nineteen deposed plaintiffs earned more than $900,000 in overtime during the limitations period. As noted in the First Summary Judgment Opinion, however, a number of the plaintiffs have indicated that it is their practice to only submit overtime slips if they have worked a minimum number of minutes beyond the end of their shift. Four deposed plaintiffs testified that they would only submit an overtime slip if they had worked an hour or more beyond the end of their shift. Three plaintiffs testified that their minimum threshold was 40-45 minutes, while another three testified that their threshold was 30 minutes. Four plaintiffs testified that they would submit overtime slips if they worked a minimum of fifteen minutes in excess of their scheduled tour, while an additional plaintiff testified that she would submit slips for ten minutes of overtime.

A majority of the deposed plaintiffs also stated that they do not sign in and out of their facility's log at the "exact time" of their arrival and departure. These plaintiffs instead sign in and out with the times corresponding to the start and end times of their scheduled tours.

A correction officer's shift ordinarily ends thirty-one minutes after the start of his or her replacement officer's shift. During that time, the replacement officer attends roll call, retrieves an olin resin capsule ("OR capsule"), goes to the post, conducts a "count," inventories equipment, and reviews a log book. Various plaintiffs testified that when an officer submits an overtime slip because he or she was relieved late, the late relief officer receives a "late slip" and may be subject to discipline.

Numerous plaintiffs testified that they were relieved late on a regular basis. The plaintiffs did not offer admissible evidence to explain this pattern of lateness, but testified that they believed relief officers often experienced delays during roll call and while retrieving OR capsules, and frequently arrived at facilities late for their tours.

The plaintiffs claim that they were frequently not paid for overtime work performed because of late relief officers. Several plaintiffs testified that on certain occasions they did not submit overtime slips because they believed that supervisors would discard or refuse to sign off on overtime slips for less than a certain amount of time. In addition, several plaintiffs testified that they believed they had not been paid overtime on certain occasions even when they had submitted overtime slips. Finally, several plaintiffs testified to their belief that corrections officers were pressured not to submit overtime slips for small amounts of time. But the plaintiffs have again failed, as they did in connection with the First Summary Judgment Opinion, to identify any admissible evidence to support these beliefs. For instance, they have failed to identify any supervisor who told anyone not to file overtime slips or any occasion on which a person witnessed the destruction of an overtime slip.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This action was filed on March 27, 2008, and certified as a collective action on November 3. Approximately 840 current and former correctional officers filed timely consents to join this action. On March 15, 2010, the Court so-ordered a stipulation between the parties which stated that:

For purposes of discovery, summary judgment, and trial, the parties have selected a group of Test Plaintiffs from all opt-in plaintiffs which consist of agreed upon representative test plaintiffs from a majority of DOC facilities which are among the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.