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Carter v. Tuttnaeur U.S.A. Co., Ltd.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 12, 2015

JOHN CARTER, Plaintiff,
v.
TUTTNAEUR U.S.A. CO., LTD., Defendant

Page 565

For the Plaintiff: David D. Barnhord, Esq., Of Counsel, Frank & Associates, P.C., Farmingdale, NY.

For the Defendant: Robert D. Lipman, Esq., David A. Robins, Esq., Of Counsel, Lipman & Plesur, LLP, Lipman & Plesur, LLP.

Page 566

DECISION AND ORDER

ARTHUR D. SPATT, United States District Judge.

On February 6, 2013, the Plaintiff John Carter (the " Plaintiff" ) commenced this action pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (" FMLA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.; the Fair Labor Standards Act (" FLSA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.; the New York Labor Law, Article 19, § 650 et seq., and certain supporting New York State Department of Labor Regulations, 12 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 142. The Plaintiff also asserts a claim of unjust enrichment under New York law.

On November 27, 2013, the Court " so ordered" a stipulation dismissing the Plaintiff's FMLA claim.

Boiled to its essence, the Plaintiff alleges that he regularly worked more than forty hours a week while employed by the Defendant Tuttneaur U.S.A. Co., Ltd (the " Defendant" ) and, therefore, he was entitled under the FLSA and New York labor law to be paid certain overtime pay. According to the Plaintiff, the Defendant misclassified him as exempt under those laws and, during the relevant time period, paid him a fixed weekly salary of approximately $600 per week, regardless of the actual number of hours per week he worked. The Plaintiff subsequently brought this action to recover, among other items, alleged unpaid overtime pay.

On March 28, 2014, the Defendant moved pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Fed. R. Civ. P." ) 56 for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. The Defendant argues that the Plaintiff is exempt from the FLSA and the New York labor law by virtue of the Motor Carrier Act (" MCA" ) exemption, set forth in 29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(1) of the FLSA. The Defendant also argues the Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim should be dismissed as duplicative of his statutory overtime pay claims.

For the reasons set forth, the Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

Unless otherwise stated, the following facts are drawn from the parties' Rule 56.1 Statements and exhibits and construed in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, the Plaintiff. Triable issues of fact are noted.

According to the complaint, the Defendant is a New York-corporation that manufactures and/or provides a wide range of cleaning, disinfection and sterilization products.

The Plaintiff worked for the Defendant from March 12, 2007 through December 28, 2012. The Defendant states that the Plaintiff's duties regularly included loading trucks carrying the Defendant's products and parts. These trucks were not owned by the Defendant, but rather by third-party carriers such as FedEx and UPS. The Plaintiff asserts that his duties included shipping packages, packing packages, receiving parts, and loading and unloading merchandise from the trucks.

The Defendant assert that some of the trucks the Plaintiff loaded weighed more than 10,001 pounds, but the Plaintiff disputes this assertion.

The Plaintiff was authorized, trained, and certified to load the trucks. The Defendants state that the Plaintiff was

Page 567

trained and became OSHA certified to drive a forklift to load the trucks, but the Plaintiff ...


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