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CRAGO v. ROCKWELL MFG. CO.

July 8, 1969

Durwood CRAGO, on behalf of himself, Plaintiff,
v.
ROCKWELL MANUFACTURING COMPANY, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH

 MARSH, District Judge.

 This action was brought under § 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), by the caretaker of a test station facility operated by defendant to recover unpaid compensation for overtime hours worked by plaintiff, liquidated damages in the amount of the unpaid overtime compensation, and a reasonable attorney's fee. Based upon our recollection of the testimony, in absence of a transcript, we find that the plaintiff is entitled to a judgment in the amount of $5835.

 The defendant, Rockwell Manufacturing Company, is and was, at all pertinent times, an employer within the meaning of § 3 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 203. The plaintiff was at all pertinent times an employee of defendant within the meaning of § 3 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 203. Between June 27, 1966, and March 31, 1968, defendant employed plaintiff to engage in commerce and in the production of goods for commerce within the meaning of § 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 207.

 Defendant operates a test station facility located in Plum Borough, Pennsylvania, which is used in testing the meters it manufactures and sells. On these premises are five large sheds which contain prover tanks, a compressor, a machine shop, a furnace and a fire control unit. Outside the sheds are a pipe line system with valves, meters, registers, and other controls, five large fuel storage tanks, and a house for use by the caretaker of the facility. The area is completely fenced in and there are "no smoking" and "danger" signs throughout.

 On June 6, 1966, plaintiff having responded to a newspaper advertisement of an employment opportunity for a retired military man, went to defendant's office and had an interview with Mr. George McAllister, an employment supervisor employed by defendant. McAllister informed plaintiff that the position available was that of a caretaker at defendant's test station, and that the caretaker would be required to establish his residence in the house located on the premises and that he would have to remain on the property 24 hours a day. McAllister also informed him that his time off would be from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on two weeks days. During the interview, plaintiff filled out an application for employment as caretaker. McAllister then took plaintiff to the test station to observe the facility and the house.

 At the test station, McAllister again told plaintiff that he would be required to remain on the premises 24 hours a day. McAllister showed plaintiff the facility and introduced him to Mr. Sheets who was retiring from the caretaker position to return to the Army. Sheets told plaintiff about the requirement that the caretaker remain on the premises 24 hours per day. Sheets also described his duties to plaintiff.

 Plaintiff was hired by defendant, and on June 27, 1966, began the performance of his duties as caretaker at the test station. His duties consisted of general maintenance work most of which was performed between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. under the supervision of Joseph Simonelli who was also stationed at the test station. During much of this time plaintiff was idle, sitting with Simonelli in the latter's office.

 In addition to his activities between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., plaintiff turned the test station's lights off before 8:00 a.m. and turned them on sometime after 4:30 p.m., depending on the arrival of dusk. Turning the lights on or off took approximately ten minutes. He also cut grass and shovelled snow when necessary, and walked around the premises on occasions between 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. However, most of this time he spent with his family and sleeping.

 The position description prepared by defendant on February 2, 1965 relating to plaintiff's job includes:

 
"Performs general caretaker duties during periods when Test Station personnel are off duty. This will involve:
 
a. Turning necessary lights on and off
 
b. Occasional inspection of equipment on test and recording some data
 
c. Occasional inspection of building and grounds
 
d. Reporting emergency situations to supervisor",

 and the accompanying performance standards "(CONDITIONS WHICH WILL EXIST WHEN EACH SEGMENT IS PERFORMED ...


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