used interstate commerce should be accepted as proof that the driver is subject to [SofT authority] for a 4-month period from the date of the proof." Id.
Nevertheless, relying on 29 C.F.R. § 780.10-.11, Williams argues that the motor carrier exemption can only be applied on an employee-by-employee, and week-by-week basis. Thus, Williams argues that the exemption can only apply to Williams if Alex's assigned him to interstate runs every week of his employment. 29 C.F.R. § 780.10-.11, however, is an agricultural exemption regulation. Williams does not offer any explanation as to why the agricultural exemption regulation should apply to a motor carrier transporting railroad crews. Thus, Williams' reliance on the employee-by-employee, and week-by-week analysis suitable under the agricultural exemption is misplaced. As such, the court will analyze whether Alex's engaged in more than de minimis interstate commerce, subjecting Williams to a reasonable probability of being assigned to an interstate run.
With regard to Alex's interstate authority, Williams argues that Alex's has not shown it has authority to engage in interstate transportation of commerce. In support of this argument, Williams cites to McLaughlin v. Brennan, 700 F. Supp. 272 (W.D. Penn. 1988), and argues that Alex's must show that it complied with the following Interstate Commerce Commission ("ICC") requirements: (1) proof of insurance; (2) designation of registered agent; (3) publishing and filing of tariffs; and (4) the execution of contracts. Id. at 273-74.
In McLaughlin, the court held that the defendant must prove compliance with the above ICC requirements because the ICC had not issued a permit to the defendant; an ICC permit is only issued after compliance with ICC requirements. Id. at 274. In this case however, Williams admits that the ICC did in fact issue a permit to Alex's. (Williams Resp. at 9.) Thus, Williams' reliance on McLaughlin is inapposite, and Alex's ICC permit is sufficient evidence of Alex's interstate authority.
With regard to whether Alex's advertised for interstate work, Williams admits that Alex's contracted with a number of major railroad companies to provide them with crew hauling services along the rail lines throughout the states of Illinois, Kansas, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and their respective neighboring states. (Williams' Rule 12(N) Stmt.) Williams also admits that Alex's Illinois facility serves the following: all of Illinois; Hammond, Indiana; LaCrosse Wisconsin; and Ft. Madison, Iowa. As such, it is undisputed that Alex's advertised for, and received, interstate work.
With regard to whether Alex's assigned drivers indiscriminately to interstate work, Williams admits that he did not have an assigned interstate or intrastate route. Williams only knew that he would be driving "trainmen over specified, regular and irregular routes to local or distant points . . . ." (Williams Dep. at Ex. 1.) When a railroad company's dispatcher called Williams with a specific job, he knew it could mean he was traveling anywhere in Illinois, or to Hammond, Indiana, LaCrosse, Wisconsin, or Ft. Madison, Iowa.
Moreover, during Williams' three week employment with Alex's, he did in fact travel once out of the State of Illinois to LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Pursuant to the notice of interpretation, Williams' interstate run to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, alone is sufficient "proof that the driver is subject to [SofT authority] for a 4-month period from the date of the proof." 46 Fed. Reg. 37,903.
Consequently, the court finds that Williams could be, and actually was, called upon to drive interstate to transport railroad crew in the regular course of his employment. Thus, SofT jurisdiction did extend to Williams as a driver for Alex's. As such, Alex's can rely on the motor carrier exemption to defeat Williams' claim for overtime compensation.
B. Rail Carrier Exemption
In addition to the motor carrier exemption, Alex's relies on the rail carrier exemption to defeat Williams' claim for overtime compensation. Since the court has found that the motor carrier exemption is sufficient to support a summary judgment in favor of Alex's, the court will not fully analyze the applicability of the rail carrier exemption. However, the court is inclined to find that the rail carrier exemption would also apply to Alex's to defeat Williams' claim.
Pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(2), employers do not have to pay overtime compensation to "any employee of an employer engaged in the operation of a rail carrier . . . ." 29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(2). In Cederblade v. Parmelee Transp. Co., 166 F.2d 554 (7th Cir. 1948), an independent contractor used motor vehicles to transport passengers and property between railroad depots or between railroad and boat depots in Chicago, Illinois. See Cederblade, 94 F. Supp. 965, 966 (N.D. Ill. 1947), aff'd, 166 F.2d 554 (7th Cir. 1948). The railroad carrier using the transportation service paid the independent contractor. Id. The Seventh Circuit in Cederblade opined that "such services are to be considered as transportation by the railroads, to which the transportation is incident. . . .Therefore, . . . such transportation was railroad transportation and within the exemption of Section 213(b)(2) of the Fair Labor Standards Act." 166 F.2d at 556.
Williams argues that Cederblade should be limited to the "collection and delivery services" of passengers and baggage "within terminal areas." However, Williams does not cite, and the court has not found, any case that limits the rail carrier exemption in this manner.
Therefore, the court is inclined to accept the reasoning of Cederblade and find that Alex's "collection and delivery service" is incidental to a rail carrier such that Alex's is within the rail carrier exemption.
The court finds that Alex's engaged in more than de minimis interstate commerce and that Alex's subjected Williams to a reasonable probability of being assigned to an interstate run. Thus, SofT had the authority to establish the qualifications and maximum hours of Williams' service. Consequently, Alex's can rely on the motor carrier exemption to defeat Williams' claim for overtime compensation. Therefore, the court grants Alex's motion for summary judgment.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, SR., Judge
United States District Court