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Miller v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

May 31, 2018

BEVERLY MILLER, et al, Plaintiffs,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Defendant.

          OPINION

          SLOMSKY, J.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs Beverly Miller and Roger Plate filed this action against Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., their former employer. In the Complaint, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant failed to pay Plaintiffs overtime pay for hours worked over forty hours within a seven day work week, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.; the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act of 1968, 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 333.101, et seq.; and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law, 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 260.1, et seq. (Doc. No. 1.) Plaintiffs also claim that Defendant required them to work overtime and failed to compensate them for “off-the-clock” work. (Id. at 2.)

         Before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment on the Claim of Plaintiff Roger Plate. (Doc. No. 51.) Defendant moves for summary judgment on the only claim made by Plaintiff Plate-the claim for overtime pay under the FLSA-arguing that Plate failed to meet his evidentiary burden to show that he performed unpaid overtime work. (Id. at 2.)

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Roger Plate (“Plate”) is a former hourly-paid employee of Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1] (Doc. No. 47-3 at ¶¶ 1, 2.) From 2010 until December 2012, Plate was employed as a private banker, earning approximately $21.63 per hour. (Id. ¶¶ 1, 7.) As a private banker, he assisted customers with various banking services and products, such as checking and savings accounts, online banking access, loans, and lines of credit. (Doc. No. 63 at 4.)

         Plate was often required to work over forty hours per work week. (Id. at 5.) He generally arrived at least fifteen minutes prior to the branch's opening and often would stay until after closing in order to meet sales goals. (Id.) He observed that personal bankers at the King of Prussia location would be required to stay after closing on Wednesday evenings to call prospective clients and to work on Saturdays to meet sales goals. (Doc. No. 47-3 ¶ 8.) According to Plate, Wells Fargo management was aware that he and other private bankers were working in excess of forty hours per week. (Doc. No. 63 at 5.) Nonetheless, management explicitly instructed Plate not to report all hours worked in excess of forty hours per work week. (Id.) If he tried to report more than forty hours, he was told by his manager to adjust his timesheet so that it did not reflect an excess beyond forty hours worked per work week. (Id.)

         He claims that discrepancies existed between the hours he reported on his time sheet and the hours he was actually compensated for. (Id. ¶ 18.) Because Plate had a practice of keeping a personal record of the hours he worked, he noticed that he was not being paid for all the hours he worked. (Doc. No. 63 at 5.) He became concerned about any negative repercussions of reporting the excess hours and for this reason only reported forty hours, as did other private bankers. (Id.) As Plate stated in a written Declaration, taken under penalty of perjury:

I could not meet management's expectations in performing my job duties if I did not work additional hours. I was concerned about negative repercussions to my job if I did not work the additional hours. Nevertheless, I was generally instructed by management to report only forty hours of work per work week. On some occasions, when I attempted to report more hours than forty in a given work week, I was instructed by my direct supervisor to adjust the timesheet. In other instances, if I would report more than forty hours, the hours would be adjusted by the district manager after they had been reported.

(Doc. No. 47-3 ¶¶ 10-11.)

         In sum, Plate alleges that (1) Wells Fargo required him to work overtime hours but prohibited him from reporting hours worked in excess of forty hours per work week; and (2) that Wells Fargo failed to compensate him for any overtime hours worked in excess of forty hours per work week, in violation of the FLSA and related Pennsylvania state wage laws.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Granting summary judgment is an extraordinary remedy. Summary judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In reaching this decision, the court must determine “whether the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions on file, and affidavits show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and whether the moving party is therefore entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Macfarlan v. Ivy Hill SNF, LLC, 675 F.3d 266, 271 (3d Cir. 2012) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986)). A disputed issue is “genuine” only if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable factfinder could find for the non-moving party. Kaucher v. County of Bucks, 455 F.3d 418, 423 (3d Cir. 2006) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). A factual dispute is “material” only if it might affect the outcome of the suit under governing law. Doe v. Luzerne County, 660 F.3d 169, 175 (3d Cir. 2011) (citing Gray v. York Papers, Inc., 957 F.2d 1070, 1078 (3d Cir. 1992)). The Court's task is not to resolve disputed issues of fact, but to determine whether there exist any factual issues to be tried. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-49.

         In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must view the evidence and all reasonable inferences from the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Macfarlan, 675 F.3d at 271; Bouriez v. Carnegie Mellon Univ., 585 F.3d 765, 770 (3d Cir. 2009). Whenever a factual issue arises which cannot be resolved without a credibility determination, at this stage the Court must credit the non-moving party's evidence over that presented by the moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. If there is no factual issue and if only one reasonable conclusion could ...


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