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Dougherty v. City of Chicago

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

November 14, 2017

WILLIAM C. DOUGHERTY and ANARGYROS KEREAKES, individually and on behalf of other similarly situated members of the Chicago Police Department, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, an Illinois Municipal Corporation, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CHARLES P. KOCORAS, DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Now before the Court is Defendant City of Chicago's (“City”) Motion to Dismiss (“Motion”) Count II of the Third Amended Complaint (“TAC”) brought by Plaintiffs William Dougherty, Anargyros Kereakes, and the putative class (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, the City's Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         BACKGROUND

         The Court accepts as true the following well-plead allegations from Plaintiffs' TAC and attached exhibits. All possible inferences are drawn in Plaintiffs' favor. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).

         Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of two putative classes, only one of which is relevant to the instant Motion. The relevant class is defined as all current and former Chicago Police Department (“CPD”) members who, on or after July 1, 2007, worked any one or more of the City's “special employment programs.”[1] The City is an employer within the meaning of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“IWPCA”), 820 ILCS 115/2. Plaintiffs state that the named plaintiffs and putative class members have been employees of the City at all relevant times within the meaning of the IWPCA, as well.

         The City also operates under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C.A. Ch. 8, which entitles Plaintiffs to overtime wages at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate at which they are employed, for hours worked in excess of 171 hours in a twenty-eight-day work period. Plaintiffs allege that the City failed to include any of the hours that Plaintiffs worked in special employment programs into the total hours worked in a twenty-eight-day work period. Consequently, the City failed to compensate Plaintiffs for all hours worked in excess of 171 hours per work period.

         Plaintiffs allege that this failure in compensation violated the “wage agreements” between Plaintiffs and the City. Of the six exhibits attached to the TAC, three are copies of collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) between the City and the parties (Exhibits 3, 4, and 5 are excerpts from the CBAs reached between the City and CPD Patrol Officers, Sergeants, and Lieutenants, respectively). The Sergeants' and Lieutenants' CBAs each contain an identical clause entitled “Compensation for Overtime, ” that reads in pertinent part:

For hours in excess of 171 in a twenty-eight- (28-) day period, the overtime rate will be calculated in accordance with the [FLSA]…. A Sergeant/Lieutenant who earns overtime pursuant to the FLSA shall be paid overtime compensation. A Sergeant/Lieutenant who earns non-FLSA overtime shall have the option of electing pay or compensatory time consistent with the provisions of this Agreement.

         In a similar provision, the Patrol Officers' CBA provides:

An Officer who earns overtime pursuant to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) shall be paid overtime compensation at the FLSA rate agreed upon by the parties. An Officer who earns non-FLSA overtime shall have the option of electing pay or compensatory time consistent with the provisions of this Agreement.

         The TAC does not explicitly define what is encompassed by “non-FLSA overtime, ” nor does it highlight any sections in the CBAs that might so articulate the term.

         However, outwardly distinct from their overtime allegations, Plaintiffs allege that the City also violated its wage agreements with CPD Sergeants and Lieutenants when it “failed to pay them a rank credit of three-quarters of one-hour for each instance of working more than four hours in any [special employment programs].” Indeed, the Sergeants' and Lieutenants' CBAs contain duplicate clauses entitled “Rank Credit, ” which read in relevant part:

The Employer will credit each Sergeant/Lieutenant with forty-five (45) minutes per day of compensatory time. Said forty-five (45) minutes per day will be credited for each day on which a Sergeant/Lieutenant works, provided the Sergeant/Lieutenant works at least four (4) hours that day. On October 6, 2017, the City moved to dismiss Count II of Plaintiffs' TAC.

         Count II alleges that the City violated the IWPCA by failing to pay Plaintiffs all compensation and wages due to them in ...


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