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.

Andrako v. United States Steel Corp.

May 8, 2008

GEORGE ANDRAKO, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambrose, Chief District Judge

OPINION and ORDER OF COURT

Plaintiffs have brought this action against their employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law ("PWPCL"), 43 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 260.1, et seq., seeking compensation for time spent donning and doffing (i.e., putting on and taking off) certain protective gear as well as showering and walking to their workstations. Pending before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) filed by Defendant United States Steel Corporation ("US Steel" or "Defendant"). (Docket No. 11). Plaintiffs oppose Defendant's motion. (Docket Nos. 15, 17). After a careful review of the submissions by the parties and for the reasons discussed in this Opinion, the Motion to Dismiss is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background*fn1

Plaintiffs George Andrako, Mark Bruce, and John McCormick (the "individual Plaintiffs"), are employees at a Clairton, Pennsylvania coke manufacturing plant owned and operated by Defendant US Steel ("US Steel Clairton"). Plaintiff United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers Local Union 1557, AFL-CIO, CLC ("Local 1557"), is a labor organization and the designated collective bargaining representative for the production and maintenance workers at US Steel Clairton.

US Steel employs in excess of one thousand production and maintenance workers at US Steel Clairton. The individual Plaintiffs and other similarly situated employees are paid hourly wages pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") between Local 1557 and US Steel. The manufacturing processes at US Steel Clairton require the employees to be exposed to extreme conditions of heat and cold, to work with specialized equipment, and to work in sanitized environments. All employees are required to don special protective clothing and equipment prior to entering the manufacturing facilities. Such clothing and equipment can be donned only after the employees enter the gate to the grounds of US Steel Clairton. Immediately upon entering the gate of US Steel Clairton, the employees must swipe an identification card, which records the time of their entrance onto the grounds. After they swipe their cards, the employees then proceed to a locker room in order to don the required clothing and equipment prior to entering the manufacturing areas.*fn2 Following the donning of this clothing and equipment, the employees walk to their workstations within the manufacturing facility. After completing their production work, the employees are then required to return to the locker room facility, where they doff their clothing and equipment. Some employees also are required to shower prior to putting on their street clothes. The employees then leave the facility by the entrance gate, where they swipe their identification cards, which record the time of their exit from the grounds.

Plaintiffs allege that the clothing, gear, and equipment at issue is necessitated by important health and safety risks associated with the manufacturing activities at US Steel Clairton, and that the donning, doffing, and distribution of such clothing, gear, and equipment is an integral and indispensable part of the principal activities for which Plaintiffs are employed. Plaintiffs further allege that they, and other similarly situated employees, are not compensated for the time spent donning their clothing and equipment and traveling from the locker room to their work stations within the manufacturing plant. Plaintiffs, and other employees, also are not compensated for the time spent doffing their clothing and equipment and traveling from the locker room to the exit gate. Plaintiffs aver that, through Local 1557, they have demanded that US Steel compensate them for all of the time required to don and doff their protective gear, and for the walking time required to travel to the production stations, but that US Steel has refused to do so. Plaintiffs also contend that by virtue of Defendant's failure to compensate them for donning, doffing, and walking time, they have worked in excess of 40 hours per week, but have not been compensated for such overtime.

B. Procedural History

On or about November 30, 2007, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint against Defendant on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated employees at the US Steel Clairton manufacturing plant. (Docket No. 1). Plaintiffs' Complaint sets forth two counts against Defendant, alleging violations of the FLSA and the PWPCL. Plaintiffs assert their FLSA claim as a collective action pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint in its entirety for failure to state a claim against it and brief in support. (Docket Nos. 11, 12). Plaintiffs filed a response and brief in opposition to Defendant's motion. (Docket Nos. 15, 17). Defendant filed a reply brief with leave of court. (Docket No. 20). The issues are now ripe for my review.

II. LEGAL ANALYSIS

A. Standard of Review

In ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim, I must look to whether the complaint "contain[s] either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain recovery under some viable legal theory." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1969 (2007); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) (requiring a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief"); Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 230-34 (3d Cir. 2008) (analyzing Twombly); Wilkerson v. New Media Tech. Charter Sch. Inc., __ F.3d __ (3d Cir. 2008) ("The allegations of the complaint . . . should 'plausibly suggest' that the pleader is entitled to relief."). In so doing, I must accept all factual allegations, and all reasonable inferences therefrom, as true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Phillips, 515 F.3d at 231. Although a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief "requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1964-65; Phillips, 515 F.3d at 231. "Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact)." Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1965 (internal citations omitted). In short:

"stating . . . a claim requires a complaint with enough factual matter (taken as true) to suggest" the required element. This "does not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage," but instead "simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable ...


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.