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Ingram v. County of Bucks

May 12, 1998

GENE INGRAM; ROBERT REINCKE; JOHN R. BLANCHARD; LANCE D. CARLEN; THOMAS J. CEVASCO; JAMES H. COCHRAN; RONALD H. DUFFY; GERALD J. GAITTENS; SALVATORE GARGIULO; MICHAEL R. GORMAN; OLIVER A. GROMAN; CHARLES R. HAVERSTOCK; WILEY A. HERRING; GARY KILLIAN; JOHN A. KIRKPATRICK; THEODORE MACKNIK, SR.; JOHN T. MILOREY; BERNIE PEAK; WAYNE POSTEN; BARRINGTON G. RAMSAY; MICHAEL S. REMICK; DAVID J. RINKER; JOHN P. SANTOS; STEPHEN R. SCHUELLER; DAVID P. SHALLCROSS; GARY J. SIBEL; GEORGE B. SPICER; TAMMY SWINESBURG; LINDA S. UMBERGER; THOMAS J. WALTMAN; JOSEPH A. WHITE; OLIVER WILSON, JR.
v.
COUNTY OF BUCKS JOHN BLANCHARD, JAMES COCHRAN, SALVATORE GARGIULO, OLIVER GROMAN, JR., GARY KILLIAN, JOHN KIRKPATRICK, TAMMY SWINESBURG-LALL, THEODORE MACKNIK, SR., JOHN MILOREY, BERNIE PEAK, WAYNE POSTEN, ROBERT REINECKE, JR., MICHAEL REMICK, DAVID RINKER, JOHN SANTOS, STEVEN SCHUELLER, DAVID SHALLCROSS, GARY SIBEL, GEORGE SPICER, LINDA UMBERGER, THOMAS WALTMAN, RONALD DUFFY, APPELLANTS



Before: Nygaard and Alito, Circuit Judges, and Debevoise, Senior District Judge*fn*

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nygaard, Circuit Judge.

ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

(D.C. Civ. No. 95-02122)

Argued on December 11, 1997

Filed: May 12, 1998

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellants are Bucks County Deputy Sheriffs whose responsibilities include transporting prisoners, providing courtroom security, and serving bench warrants and summonses. The deputies filed suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 207, 216, to recover overtime pay for time spent off premises and waiting on-call. The deputies contend that the district court erred by concluding that they are not entitled to overtime compensation for time spent off premises and waiting on-call and by granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants. We will affirm.

I. Facts

The historical facts are not in dispute. On weekdays, most deputies are assigned to the 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. shift. Two deputies at a time rotate into the 3:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m shift. When assigned the second shift, the deputy is required to be on-call from 11:00 p.m- 7:00 a.m. and for twenty-four hours a day on Saturday and Sunday. Although there is no written department policy regarding a deputy's obligations while on-call, a deputy is not required to remain at the sheriff 's office or stay in uniform. The deputy must carry a pager if not at home, and if paged, must report to work within a reasonable time. The deputies' employment terms are subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the county and AFSCME District Council 88. The agreement is not material to our decision.

II. Standard of Review

A district court's grant of summary judgment is subject to plenary review. Public Interest Research of N.J. v. Powell Duffryn Terminals, Inc., 913 F.2d 64, 71 (3d Cir. 1990).

III. Discussion

The district court concluded that the deputies' on-call time was not compensable because it did not limit their personal activities to such a degree that their time was spent primarily for the county's benefit. The district court record shows that during the on-call time, the deputies were able to engage in personal activities, and although their activities were somewhat limited by their on-call status, the limits did not justify compensation.

The deputies make three arguments for reversal. First, they claim that this matter was not appropriately decided by summary judgment, noting that whether acts are compensable is a fact-intensive inquiry. Next, they argue that the district court erred by concluding that their personal activities were not limited enough to require compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Finally, the deputies contend that the collective bargaining agreement should not be considered by the district court because they ...


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