United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh.
JACK WOLFORD, RICHARD FALETTI, RONALD ADAMIAK, VINCENT GEMINETTI, JASON COMEAU, J. PATRICK GODFREY, GREGORY JOHNS, WILLIAM JOHNS, BRIAN KAMINSKI, JOHN RESICK, KENNETH E. SHOEMAKER, WILLIAM R. SORGJR., ANTHONY L. TROZZO, MIKE TRUSLK, RON WAVREK, FREEMAN WOODY, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLIY SITUATED; Plaintiffs,
ALLEGHENY TECHNOLOGIES INC., Defendant,
OPINION AND ORDER
MARILYN J. HORAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
bring the within collective action against their employer,
Defendant, Allegheny Technologies, Inc. ("ATI"),
for two compensation claims under the Fair Labor Standards
Act ("FLSA") for 1) the time spent walking from the
locker room to their workstation after they have donned
protective clothing and 2) the time spent at their work
stations while awaiting relief employees. ATI moves for
partial dismissal of the Amended Complaint for the first FLSA
claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 22). The
parties provided briefs (ECF Nos. 23, 26, and 27), and the
matter is now ripe for decision.
following reasons, ATI's Partial Motion to Dismiss will
are employees at ATI's continuous steel manufacturing
operation in Brackenridge Pennsylvania. (ECF No. 16 at
¶¶ 20-21). At the beginning of their shifts,
employees must report to their workstation and remain until
relieved by a subsequent shift worker. Id. at ¶
22. Prior to arriving at the workstation, employees must don
special protective clothing and equipment prior to entering
the manufacturing facilities to protect them from heat and
toxic fumes. Id. at ¶¶ 23, 25-29. Said
clothing and equipment may only be donned after the employees
enter the facility. Id. at ¶ 23. Upon entrance,
employees must swipe an identification card, which records
their time of arrival. Id. at ¶ 40. After
swiping their cards, employees don their protective clothing
in a locker room and walk to their workstations. Id.
at ¶ 41. Employees then must attend a daily "huddle
meeting" on safety at the beginning of their shift.
Id. at ¶ 52. At the completion of their shift,
upon being relieved of their workstation, employees return to
the locker room, remove their protective clothing, and
sometimes shower to remove hazardous materials. Id.
at ¶ 42. Employees then leave the facility after swiping
their identification card, which records the time of their
exit. Id. at ¶ 43.
allege that ATI does not compensate for the following
activities, which violates the FLSA:
a. The time spent traveling from the locker room to their
workstations within the manufacturing plant. Id. at
b. The time employees spend at their workstation while
awaiting relief employees. Id. at ¶60
seeks dismissal of the first claim only. In their response
brief, Plaintiffs concede the Amended Complaint is not
seeking an FLSA claim for donning and doffing protective
clothes because a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
reclassifies such as noncompensable time. (ECF No. 26 at p.
Standard of Review
reviewing a motion to dismiss, pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the court must "accept all
factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether,
under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff
may be entitled to relief." Eid v.
Thompson, 740 F.3d 118, 122 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting
Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 233
(3d Cir.2008)). "To survive a motion to dismiss a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
556); see also Thompson v. Real Estate Mortg.
Network, 748 F.3d 142, 147 (3d Cir. 2014).
"Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. "Factual
allegations of a complaint must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level." Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555. A pleading party need not establish the
elements of a prima facie case at this stage; the party must
only "put forth allegations that 'raise a reasonable
expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the
necessary element[s].'" Fowler v. UP MC Shady
side, 578 F.3d 203, 213, (3d Cir.2009) (quoting
Graff v. Subbiah Cardiology Associates, Ltd., 2008
WL 2312671 (W.D. Pa. June 4, 2008)); see also Connelly v.
Lane Const. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 790 (3d Cir.2016)
("Although a reviewing court now affirmatively
disregards a pleading's legal conclusions, it must still.
. . assume all remaining factual allegations to be true,
construe those truths in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, and then draw all reasonable inferences from
them.") (citing Foglia v. Renal Ventures Mgmt,
LLC, 754 F.3d 153, 154 n. 1 (3d Cir.2014)).
a court need not credit bald assertions, unwarranted
inferences, or legal conclusions cast in the form of factual
averments. Morse v. Lower Merion School District,
132 F.3d 902, 906, n. 8 (3d Cir.1997). The primary question
in deciding a motion to dismiss is not whether the Plaintiff
will ultimately prevail, but rather whether he or she is
entitled to offer evidence to establish the facts alleged in
the complaint. Maio v. Aetna, 221 F.3d 472, 482 (3d
Cir.2000). The purpose of a motion to dismiss is to
"streamline [ ] litigation by dispensing with needless
discovery and factfmding." Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 326-327, (1989).
sole issue in ATI's Partial Motion to Dismiss is whether
the FLSA requires ATI to compensate Plaintiffs'
post-donning walking time from the locker room to their
workstation. ATI contends that under the CBA, donning
protective clothing is not "work," and is not
"integral and indispensable" to the principal
activity of making steel, and does not start the workday
under the "continuous workday" rule. Plaintiffs
argue that even if the CBA reclassifies donning of protective
clothing as noncompensable, it still remains a principal
activity sufficient to trigger the ...