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Neptali Jaramillo and Ira Navarro, Individually and On Behalf of All v. Garda

October 17, 2012

NEPTALI JARAMILLO AND IRA NAVARRO, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GARDA, INC., GARDA CL GREAT LAKES, INC. AND DANIEL WEBB, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary for Judgment. For the reasons stated herein, the Motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Defendant Garda CL Great Lakes, Inc. ("Garda") is a secured transportation service company that provides armored vehicle transportation. Plaintiffs are past and current drivers or messengers at Garda's Broadview, Illinois branch. Drivers at Garda are assigned to various routes for pickups and deliveries, while messengers assist drivers in loading the armored vehicles.

At the Broadview branch, Garda's business includes transporting coin, currency, checks, negotiable instruments, and other valuables to and from customers. Drivers at the Broadview branch make biweekly trips between the Federal Reserve in Chicago and the Federal Reserve in Davenport, Iowa. Drivers also transport coin and currency to and from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Indianapolis, Indiana five days a week.

Garda's Broadview branch utilizes a fleet of more than 100 armored vehicles. The majority of these vehicles have a gross vehicle weight rating ("GVWR") of more than 10,001 pounds ("large vehicles"). A limited number of vehicles have a GVWR of less than 10,001 pounds ("small vehicles"). Plaintiffs have driven both large and small vehicles as employees for Garda.

Garda is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA") certified company and holds U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT") FMCSA Number USDOT # 163997. This certification requires Garda to comply with FMCSA's rules, regulations, and procedures.

Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against Defendant Garda, Garda, Inc., and Daniel Webb, Garda's Broadview Branch Manager, (collectively the "Defendants") under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law ("IMWL," 820 ILL. COMP. STAT. 105/1, et seq.), and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, ("FLSA," 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq.). Plaintiffs allege that Defendants failed to pay Plaintiffs the appropriate overtime rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Plaintiffs brought their claims as a collective action under the FLSA and as a class action under the Illinois labor laws. Defendants now move for summary judgment.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate if the moving party "shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and [it] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(a).

A dispute is "genuine" if the evidence would permit a reasonable jury to find for the non-moving party. A dispute is material if it could affect the outcome of the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). If the moving party satisfies its burden, the non-movant must present facts to show a genuine dispute exists to avoid summary judgment. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323--24 (1986). The Court construes all facts and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Ricci v. DeStefano, 129 S.Ct. 2658, 2677 (2009). To establish a genuine issue of fact, the non-moving party "must do more than show that there is some metaphysical doubt as the material facts." Sarver v. Experian Info. Sys., 390 F.3d 969, 970 (7th Cir. 2004).

III. DISCUSSION

Defendants move for summary judgment arguing that Plaintiffs, and all others similarly situated, are subject to the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Transportation, ("SOT"), thus making the overtime provisions of FLSA and IMWL inapplicable. Defendants claim the Motor Carrier Act ("MCA") precludes Plaintiffs from recovering overtime pay as a matter of law. Specifically, Defendants contend that SOT has jurisdiction because (1)

Defendants' business involves interstate commerce; (2) Defendants' vehicle fleet is mainly composed of large vehicles; and (3) Plaintiffs in this case are drivers who drove large vehicles at some point during their employment or could be expected to drive a large vehicle on any given day of their employment.

Plaintiffs contend summary judgment should be denied because the SOT and the MCA should not automatically exempt Plaintiffs from receiving overtime wages. Plaintiffs argue that in the weeks that individual Plaintiffs drove only small vehicles, the MCA overtime exemption should not apply. Plaintiffs urge this Court to undergo a week-by-week analysis to determine whether a named ...


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