United States District Court, D. Maryland
HARRY HILL, On behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
B. FRANK JOY, LLC, Defendant.
THEODORE D. CHUANG United States District Judge
Harry Hill has filed suit against Defendant B. Frank Joy, LLC
(“B. Frank Joy”), alleging violations of the Fair
Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C.
§§ 201-19 (2012); the Maryland Wage Payment and
Collection Law (“MWPCL”), Md. Code Ann., Lab.
& Empl. §§ 3-501 to 3-509 (2016); and the
Maryland Wage and Hour Law (“MWHL”), Md. Code
Ann., Lab. & Empl. §§ 3-401 to 3-431. Pending
before the Court is B. Frank Joy’s Motion for Summary
Judgment. The Motion is fully briefed and ripe for
disposition. No hearing is necessary to resolve the issues.
See D. Md. Local R. 105.6. For the reasons set forth
below, the Motion is GRANTED.
following facts are presented in the light most favorable to
Hill, the nonmoving party:
Frank Joy is a construction company that works in Maryland,
Virginia, and the District of Columbia. From May 5, 2014 to
August 28, 2014, B. Frank Joy employed Hill as a driver. Hill
drove dump trucks carrying equipment, materials, and workers
from B. Frank Joy’s construction yard in Hyattsville,
Maryland to various job sites in the Washington, D.C. region.
About 70 percent of Hill’s trips were to and from job
sites in the District of Columbia. B. Frank Joy usually
required Hill to leave the construction yard with his cargo
by 7:30 a.m. and to arrive at that facility up to one hour
before that departure time. Before leaving, Hill and his
co-workers would spend between 15 and 90 minutes loading the
dump truck, attending meetings, and performing other tasks.
Upon returning to the yard at the end of the day, they would
spend 15 to 45 minutes unloading the truck.
to Hill, B. Frank Joy owns approximately 45 trucks. About 15
are dump trucks, each with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and
unladen weight in excess of 10, 000 pounds. Most of the
remaining vehicles are pickup trucks and vans, which weigh
less than 10, 000 pounds. Hill possesses a Maryland Class A
commercial driver’s license, which authorizes him to
drive vehicles weighing more than 10, 000 pounds. B. Frank
Joy’s records show that Hill drove three different dump
trucks over the course of his employment. Those records
contain no indication that he ever drove a pickup truck or
van. Hill does not claim to have driven a pickup truck or van
for B. Frank Joy. Instead, he asserts that operating pickup
trucks and vans was among his potential duties as a B. Frank
Joy driver and that every B. Frank Joy driver is required to
drive all of B. Frank Joy’s vehicles “at some
point.” Pl.’s Resp. Mot. Summ. J.
(“Resp.”) Ex. A, Hill Decl. ¶ 9.
Frank Joy paid Hill $18 per hour. Hill claims that B. Frank
Joy did not compensate him for time spent loading and
unloading dump trucks at the beginning and end of each
workday and that B. Frank Joy often only paid drivers for an
hour of driving time each day, even though it often took
longer to travel between the yard and job sites. Hill asserts
that construction workers and laborers were not paid for
loading, unloading, or any travel time. He also complains
that B. Frank Joy did not record employees’ work time
accurately. Instead of using timecards, foremen would report
employees’ work time, even though foremen were often
not present for the entire workday. B. Frank Joy also had a
policy of rounding employees’ work time down to the
nearest half hour. In addition, although Hill received some
overtime pay, he asserts that he was not paid all of the
overtime to which he was entitled.
April 20, 2015, Hill filed a two-count Complaint, alleging in
Count I that B. Frank Joy failed to pay Hill and a class of
B. Frank Joy drivers, construction workers, and laborers
regular and overtime wages owed under the FLSA, and in Count
II that B. Frank Joy failed to pay regular wages under the
MWPCL and overtime wages under the MWHL. On June 9, 2015,
B. Frank Joy submitted an Answer. On September 3, 2015, at
the parties’ behest, the Court issued a Revised
Scheduling Order bifurcating this case into two phases.
During the first phase, of which the pending Motion is a
part, the parties are addressing FLSA collective action and
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 class certification issues
as well as the merits of Hill’s individual claims. The
second phase, if necessary, will involve post-certification,
class-related fact and expert discovery.
January 28, 2016, Hill filed an Amended Complaint. The
Amended Complaint added allegations that B. Frank Joy’s
method for rounding employees’ work time denied
employees compensation to which they were entitled by
statute. On February 11, 2016, B. Frank Joy submitted an
Amended Answer. On February 23, 2016, B. Frank Joy filed a
Motion for Summary Judgment. On April 19, 2016, Hill
submitted a Response to the Motion. On May 9, 2016, B. Frank
Joy filed a Reply memorandum.
Motion for Summary Judgment under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56, B. Frank Joy argues that it was not required to
pay Hill overtime because he was subject to the Motor Carrier
Act exception to the overtime provisions of the FLSA and the
MWHL. B. Frank Joy also asserts that it is entitled to
summary judgment on Hill’s FLSA claim because his pay
was above the minimum wage. Hill contends that he is entitled
to overtime pay. Although he concedes that his pay exceeded
the minimum wage, he argues that the FLSA and the MWPCL still
entitle him to compensation for all hours worked. Hill
further asserts that he has a claim for unpaid wages under
the District of Columbia Minimum Wage Act
(“DCMWA”), D.C. Code §§ 32-1001 to
32-1015 (2016), such that if the Court rejects his individual
claims, he should be allowed to substitute another individual
as the named plaintiff or amend his pleading to add the DCMWA
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), the Court grants
summary judgment if the moving party demonstrates 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.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In assessing the Motion, the Court
views the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party, with all justifiable inferences drawn in its favor.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255
(1986). The Court may rely only on facts supported in the
record, not simply assertions in the pleadings. Bouchat
v. Baltimore Ravens Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514,
522 (4th Cir. 2003). The nonmoving party has the burden to
show a genuine dispute on a material fact. Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
586-87 (1986). A fact is “material” if it
“might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. A
dispute of material fact is only “genuine” if
sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party exists for
the trier of fact to return a verdict for that party.
Id. at 248-49.