United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
M. MUNLEY JUDGE
the court for disposition are several motions in this class
action lawsuit dealing with the payment of overtime wages.
The first is a motion by the defendant for summary judgment
on Counts I and III of plaintiffs' complaint. The second
is a motion by the plaintiffs for partial summary judgment on
the issue of liability. The third is a motion by the
defendant to decertify this Fair Labor Standards Act
collective action and Rule 23 class action. Given the
substantial overlap between the filings, we will integrate
the motions and address them accordingly.
Troy Construction (hereinafter “Troy” or
“defendant”) is a construction company, which
builds and maintains, inter alia, oil and gas
pipelines and compressor stations. (Doc. 106-1, Def.'s
Statement of Uncontested Facts (hereinafter
“SOF”) ¶¶ 1-2). This business is itinerant
in nature with employees traveling from worksite to worksite.
(Id. ¶ 3). Many of Troy's employees
travelled from their homes in other states to work on
projects for Troy. (Id. ¶ 5). Some of
defendant's employees, however, live near the worksites
and work there until the project is complete and do not
follow defendant to a new worksite. (Doc. 113, Pl.'s
Response to Def.'s SOF ¶ 3).
Linda Stone (hereinafter “plaintiff” or
“named plaintiff”) worked for defendant
commencing in January 2013. (Doc. 106-1, SOF ¶ 8).
Plaintiff, a resident of Montrose Pennsylvania, worked at
defendant's “shop” in Montrose, Pennsylvania
and also as a “spotter” at defendant's
Northeast Compressor Station project in Hallstead,
Pennsylvania. (Id. ¶¶ 10, 11).
Plaintiff did not enter into a written contract with
defendant and defendant did not provide her an employee
handbook. (Id. ¶ 12). She served as an
“at-will” employee. (Id.)
some of its employees permanently resided in other states and
traveled to work for defendant, defendant paid
“non-exempt” employees daily per diems for expenses
such as travel, meals and lodging. (Id. ¶ 13).
Plaintiff, and other employees who resided less than fifty
(50) miles from the defendant's worksites received the
per diem payments also. (Id. ¶ 14).
March 2013, defendant terminated plaintiff's employment.
(Id. ¶ 15). Subsequently, she filed the instant
class and collective action on behalf of herself and all
other similarly situated employees. Plaintiff Linda Stone
formerly worked for Defendant Troy for a total of eight (8)
weeks on a pipeline project in Montrose, Pennsylvania. She
filed the instant wage and hour lawsuit on February 19, 2014.
Plaintiff asserts that the payment of the “per
diem” to her was not to reimburse her for expenses but
was actually part of the wages she received. When determining
plaintiff's overtime rate of pay, the defendant did not
take into consideration the “per diem” that she
was paid. This resulted in a dilution of the overtime rate of
pay; that is, the overtime rate was not as high as it should
have been according to the plaintiff.
plaintiff raises the following causes of action: Count I -
violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C.
§ 201, et seq.; Count II -violation of the
Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, 43 Penn. Stat. § 333.101,
et seq.; and Count III -violation of the
Pennsylvania Wage Payment & Collection Law, 43 Penn.
Stat. § 260.1 et seq. The federal Fair Labor
Standards Act claim is brought as a collective action, and
the two Pennsylvania Wage Law claims are brought as a class
action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
case is brought pursuant to the federal Fair Labor Standards
Act, we have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331
(“The district courts shall have original jurisdiction
of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or
treaties of the United States.”). We have supplemental
jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' state law claims
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
summary judgment is proper “‘if the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.'” See Knabe v. Boury, 114 F.3d 407,
410 n.4 (3d Cir. 1997) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).
“[T]his standard provides that the mere existence of
some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not
defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary
judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue
of material fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (emphasis in
considering a motion for summary judgment, the court must
examine the facts in the light most favorable to the party
opposing the motion. Int'l Raw Materials, Ltd. v.
Stauffer Chem. Co., 898 F.2d 946, 949 (3d Cir. 1990).
The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could not return a
verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248 (1986). A fact is material when it might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law. Id.
Where the non-moving party will bear the burden of proof at
trial, the party moving for summary judgment may meet its
burden by showing that the evidentiary materials of record,
if reduced to admissible evidence, would be insufficient to
carry the non-movant's burden of proof at trial.
Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). Once
the moving party satisfies its burden, the burden shifts to
the nonmoving party, who must go beyond its pleadings, and
designate specific facts by the use of affidavits,
depositions, admissions, or answers to interrogatories
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id.
parties have each filed motions for summary judgment.
Additionally, the defendant has filed a motion to decertify
this Fair Labor Standards Act collective action and Rule 23
class action. A review of the motions reveals that this case
hinges on the statute of limitations that will be applied.