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.

White v. City of Richmond

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

May 16, 2019

VINCENT WHITE, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, Defendant.

          OPINION

          John A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge

         In this class action, the plaintiffs allege that the City of Richmond ("the City") Department of Social Services ("DSS") failed to pay them overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The plaintiffs, current and former family service workers, contend that their supervisors discouraged them from reporting overtime hours, that they worked through lunch, and that they worked nights and weekends to manage their caseloads. The City has moved for summary judgment and for decertification or dismissal of the class action.[1]

         The Court will grant the City's motion for summary judgment as to the plaintiffs' claims for on-call overtime wages and deny it as to all other claims. The claim for on-call overtime wages fails because the plaintiffs cannot show that their on-call time constitutes compensable work. A material factual dispute exists, however, as to whether the plaintiffs received all their overtime pay when they worked more than forty hours per week.

         Because the plaintiffs cannot establish a claim for on-call overtime wages, the Court will dismiss plaintiffs Gwendolyn Jordan and Corey Campbell, who allege only on-call overtime claims.

         The Court will deny the City's motion to decertify the class action as to the remaining plaintiffs. Although the plaintiffs' claims differ from each other in some ways, they present enough common issues to merit a joint trial.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Vincent White, the named plaintiff, worked for DSS as a family service worker until September, 2016. Family service workers conduct field investigations, maintain case files, interview witnesses, and complete other tasks related to foster care. DSS classifies family service workers as "non-exempt" under the FLSA, so the City must pay them one-and-one-half times their regular rates when they work more than forty hours per week. DSS uses a timekeeping system called RAPIDS to track employees' hours and to keep time records. Additionally, employees must submit work control logs to track time worked outside their normal work hours.

         DSS also requires workers to remain on-call at certain times to respond to calls from the state hotline. DSS pays workers for time spent answering and responding to calls, but it does not pay them for time spent waiting to answer or respond. While on call, workers must respond to calls within thirty minutes to one hour. On-call workers use DSS-issued cell phones and may drive a City car home or pick up a car when responding to calls. Workers may engage in personal activities while on call so long as they can answer and respond to a call from the hotline.

         On January 18, 2019, the Court conditionally certified the following class: "Present and Former Family Service Worker employees of the City of Richmond, Virginia Department of Social Services who were employed and who performed work anytime between July 20, 2015 through the present." (Dk. No. 23.) Since that time, twenty-two current or former workers filed opt-in notices to join the lawsuit. The parties voluntarily dismissed thirteen opt-in plaintiffs. Accordingly, White and nine opt-in plaintiffs remain in this case: Alice Regina Leftwich, Nakesha Mills, Alfertia Hampton-Miller, Patricia Brown, Richard Turner, Courtenay Scott, Corey Campbell, Gwendolyn Jordan, and Michael Welshonce.

         White, Leftwich, Mills, Hampton-Miller, Brown, Turner, and Scott say that they worked more than forty hours per week without receiving overtime pay.[2] White, Scott, and Turner contend that their supervisors discouraged them from reporting overtime. When White's overtime hours "were too high," his supervisor "express[ed] discomfort with the hours." (Dk. No. 41-2, at 38:4-13.) Scott stopped turning in overtime sheets because doing so "was frowned upon" and resulted in "a verbal battle ... to even get paid for it." (Dk. No. 41-3, at 12:18-22.) Turner's supervisor "made it clear that... overtime would not be approved." (Dk. No. 41-4, at 17:13-16.)

         White, Hampton-Miller, Mills, and Turner often worked through lunch, even though their RAPIDS entries reflected a one-hour deduction for the lunch hour. Mills, Brown, and Leftwich say their large caseloads required them to work overtime without pay.

         The City has moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiffs cannot establish all elements of their claim for unpaid overtime work and that the plaintiffs cannot show that their on-call time constitutes compensable work. The City also has moved for decertification or dismissal, asserting that the plaintiffs are not similarly situated under the FLSA.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. ...


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.