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BJORNSON v. DAIDO METAL U.S.A.

July 28, 1998

WILLIAM BJORNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DAIDO METAL U.S.A., INC., Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHADUR

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

 William Bjornson ("Bjornson") has filed suit against Daido Metal U.S.A., Inc. ("Daido") under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("Act"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219, *fn1" and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law ("Illinois Act"), 820 ILCS 105/1 to 105/13, seeking damages for Daido's failure to pay him for hours of overtime labor that he assertedly performed for it. *fn2" Bjornson also requests preliminary and permanent injunctive relief under Act §§ 215(a)(3) and 216(b) to restrain Daido from retaliating against him for bringing this action.

 Daido now moves for summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 56. Both sides have complied with this District Court's General Rule ("GR") 12(M) and 12(N), *fn3" which has been adopted to highlight the existence or nonexistence of any material fact disputes, and Daido's motion is fully briefed and ready for decision. For the reasons set out in this memorandum opinion and order, Daido's motion is granted in its entirety.

 Summary Judgment Standards

 Familiar Rule 56 principles impose on Daido the burden of establishing the lack of a genuine issue of material fact ( Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986)). For that purpose this Court must "read[ ] the record in the light most favorable to the non-moving party," although it "is not required to draw unreasonable inferences from the evidence" ( St. Louis N. Joint Venture v. P & L Enters., Inc., 116 F.3d 262, 265 n.2 (7th Cir. 1997)).

 Facts

 Bjornson began work for Daido on May 1, 1995 after a chance encounter led Daido's President Masanori Furuya ("Furuya") to offer him a job (D. 12(M) PP2-3). Daido assembles and sells bearings for shock absorbers and struts (id. P1). Bjornson was assigned to Daido's Morton Grove, Illinois office as a "liaison," with his primary duties involving the maintenance of Daido's files and the transfer of information between Daido and its primary client, Caterpillar (id. P5).

 Bjornson was one of seven office employees at Daido's Morton Grove plant (id. P1). His supervisor was Daido's general manager Satoshi Yasuda ("Yasuda") until Yasuda left Daido in December 1996 (id. P13).

 Bjornson's "Notice of Employment" laid out the terms of his employment and his standard work schedule. Bjornson's regularly scheduled workweek was Monday through Friday, with his workday beginning at 8:30 a.m. and running until 5:30 p.m. (id. P3). Daido paid Bjornson for a one-hour lunch but required that he stay in the office to work if needed during that time. Bjornson received one hour of overtime pay for his work from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day (id.).

 When Bjornson began working at Daido he was responsible for keeping track of his regular and overtime hours in a payroll book (id. P6). *fn4" Bjornson submitted his hours to Furuya for review at the end of each pay period (id.). Furuya checked Bjornson's entries, corrected any errors (including instances where Bjornson underestimated the money due him) and calculated Bjornson's accrued wages (id.). Furuya then returned the book to Bjornson, who confirmed his acceptance of Furuya's calculations by stamping his Hanko, or mark, in the book (id.).

 Bjornson recorded one overtime hour in his payroll book virtually every workday, and he also claimed additional hours from time to time. From May 1995 through April 1996 Bjornson requested 8-1/2 hours of overtime in addition to the one hour per day that he took as a matter of course (D. Ex. 3). Similarly, from September 1996 to August 1997 Bjornson asked for 8 hours of overtime above and beyond his daily allotment (id.). During those periods Bjornson generally asked for only one extra hour at a time, and there were only three occasions when he asked to be paid for work after 7:30 p.m. (id.).

 During the summer months of 1996, however, Bjornson was assigned the task of installing a new computer invoice system at Daido (D. 12(M) P15). During the course of that project Bjornson requested between one to four hours of additional overtime (calculated in 15-minute increments) for virtually every day from May until mid-August (D. Ex. 3). For those four months Bjornson successively recorded 34.5, 40.5, 46 and 18.5 hours of additional overtime (id.).

 Bjornson was compensated for every hour that he recorded in his payroll book between May 1995 and August 1997, a total of 694 hours of overtime (D. 12(M) P10). Nonetheless, on August 22, 1997 Bjornson filed this suit against Daido alleging that he had not been ...


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