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Conroy v. City of Chicago

June 12, 2009

WILLIAM CONROY AND NAUREEN COONEY, INDIVIDUALLY, AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James B. Zagel United States District Judge

Judge James B. Zagel

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs in this opt-in action are employees of the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and communication. They claim that they and others are non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. § 207, et seq., and that as such, they are entitled to overtime payment for work in excess of forty hours per week. Plaintiffs seek overtime payments for a period of three years prior to filing of the complaint, as well as liquidated damages in the amount of double overtime payments due, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).

II. PRELIMINARY ISSUES

A. Defendant's Motion to Strike Plaintiffs' Responses Filed Pursuant to Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B)

Defendant argues that several of its factual assertions should be admitted because Plaintiffs have failedto properly respond to them. First, Defendant claims that in some of their responses Plaintiffs either "fail to cite specific evidentiary materials justifying their denials," or cite to pages of a deposition transcript that do not address Defendant's factual assertion. Since, in these responses, Plaintiffs provide no substantive explanation as to how the cited materials address Defendant's factual assertions, Defendant argues that the assertions should be admitted. Malec v. Sanford, 191 F.R.D. 581, 584 (N.D. Ill. 2000) ("If the cited material does not clearly create a genuine dispute over the movant's allegedly undisputed fact, the non-movant should provide an explanation. . . . [A] non-movant's failure to adhere to these requirements is equivalent to admitting the movant's case.") This allegation is true with regard to Plaintiffs' response to statements 3, 10 - 12, 19, and 20. Plaintiffs fail to cite to any supporting material in their response to statement 28. Because Plaintiffs have failed to properly respond to these assertions, they are deemed admitted.

Next, Defendant argues that Plaintiffs make several impermissible argumentative denials, which should be stricken. This is true with regard to Plaintiffs' responses to statements 13-16, and 22. To the extent that these denials consist of non-responsive legal arguments that do not controvert Defendant's corresponding assertions, they are stricken.*fn1

B. Defendant's Motion to Strike Portions of Plaintiffs' Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(c) Statement of Additional Facts

Defendant objects to nearly every paragraph of Plaintiffs' Statement of Additional Facts on the basis that it is either unsupported by the cited material or calls for a legal conclusion. I agree that statements 7, 33, 35, 37 and 40*fn2 are unsupported by the cited materials and for this reason they are stricken. Furthermore, statements 9-13, 16, 21, and 32 are also unsupported by the record in that they are generalizations of testimony that was made in reference to a specific person or incident. The statements will be disregarded to the extent that they apply to persons or incidents not referenced in the supporting materials.

III. STATEMENT OF FACTS

Plaintiffs William Conroy and Naureen Cooney, both members of an opt-in class, are employees of the Traffic Management Authority ("TMA") section of the City of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications ("OEMC"). They are both currently Superintendents of Special Traffic Services. From June 2005 to January 2006, and August 2007 to April 2008, Cooney served as a Supervising Traffic Control Aid ("Supervisor"), and in between these stints she served as Acting Superintendent of Special Traffic Services.

In a nutshell, OEMC is responsible for Chicago's public safety communications system which coordinates emergency response resources, the non-emergency 311 system, disaster preparedness and traffic management. TMA, one subdivision of the OEMC, oversees centralized traffic control services, and directs traffic at airports, in the Chicago Loop business district, and at large public events in the city.

In his role as a Superintendent, Conroy:

(1) gives subordinates "general instructions what to do in their posts," and directs supervisors "instructing them on what was to be done[;]"

(2) "determines appropriate methods and allocation of personnel for vehicle and crowd control during special events and emergencies[;]"

(3) assigns numbers of Traffic Control Aides ("TCA"), and at times, actual personnel, to areas under his supervision, and directs supervisors in assigning subordinates to their posts during large-scale events in the city;

(4) oversees and approves the creation of his subordinates' schedules and approves requests for time off;

(5) during large-scale events, regularly surveys areas of assignment where TCAs are to be posted "to make sure that there [are] no glitches," or obstructions as a result of street closures;

(6) during large-scale events, manages personnel, arranging for lunch and restroom breaks pursuant to his own discretion and based on conditions in the field;

(7) during large-scale events, monitors traffic conditions, prepares for and changes configuration of street closures, and determines how and whether to move TCAs from post to post depending on ...


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