United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. 114). Plaintiff Robert Murphy is proceeding on a single
Count Complaint against Defendant Professional
Transportation, Inc. (“PTI”), alleging violations
of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act (“IPWA”), 820
ILCS 130/1, et seq. (Doc. 14). For the following
reasons, summary judgment is GRANTED.
a corporation that provides transportation services for
railroads. (Doc. 81 at 5). Plaintiff Robert Murphy was one of
a group of drivers employed by PTI who were assigned to
provide ground transportation services to the Union Pacific
Railroad, allegedly in connection with track replacement work
on the Illinois High Speed Rail Project. (Doc. 14 at ¶
High Speed Rail Project
Illinois High Speed Rail Project was established to replace
and upgrade existing rail track infrastructure between St.
Louis and Chicago to accommodate high speed trains travelling
up to 110 miles per hour. On December 10, 2010, PTI entered
into a “Long Haul, Yard and Shuttle Transportation
Service” agreement to provide transport services to the
Union Pacific Railroad Company (“Union Pacific). (Doc.
81-6 at 4-19). Union Pacific and the Illinois Department of
Transportation (“IDOT”), acting on behalf of the
State of Illinois, entered into a contract for the
construction of the High Speed Rail Project (The High Speed
Rail 2A Construction Agreement hereinafter referred to as the
“Agreement” or “Construction
Agreement”) on March 4, 2011. (Doc. 81-3 at 12-131).
The Construction Agreement is the only contract upon which
Murphy bases his claim. (Doc. 115-2 at 15).
Construction Agreement contains a number of references to
federal money or federal law. In the recitals, it states that
Union Pacific and IDOT had applied for funding from the ARRA
(American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub.L.
111-5) high speed rail appropriation and that IDOT had been
selected to receive approximately $1.1 billion for the High
Speed Rail Project. (Doc. 81-3 at 12). The Agreement
explicitly requires compliance with a number of federal
statutes and regulations. (Id. at 58).
E in Exhibit J to the Agreement states that Union Pacific
“shall comply with the provisions of 49 USC
§24405(c)(2) with respect to the payment of prevailing
wages with respect to the [High Speed Rail] Project
consistent with the provisions of 49 USC
§24312[.]” (Id.). Section 24312 mandates
that laborers and mechanics “be paid wages not less
than those prevailing on similar construction in the
locality, as determined by the Secretary of Labor under
sections 3141-3144, 3146, and 3147 of title 40.”
Paragraph E further provides that the federal prevailing wage
regulations and wage rates “established for purposes of
this Agreement pursuant to the rates provided by the
Department of Labor and certain applicable regulations”
are incorporated into the Construction Agreement as an
exhibit. (Id.). This language is consistent with the
ARRA itself, which requires that “[n]otwithstanding any
other provision of law and in a manner consistent with other
provisions in this Act, all laborers and mechanics employed
by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly
by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal
Government pursuant to this Act shall be paid wages at rates
not less than those prevailing on projects of a character
similar in the locality as determined by the Secretary of
Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title
40.” Pub.L. 111-5 at § 1606.
IDOT took the position that this was a federal construction
project and that federal (rather than state) prevailing wage
requirements applied. In that vein Acting Deputy Director of
IDOT George Weber advised Union Pacific of IDOT's
determination that, because the High Speed Rail Project would
be “based off of federal funds, [Union Pacific] should
use the federal prevailing wage rates.” (Doc. 81-5 at
Murphy was employed by PTI providing transportation services
for train crews and equipment, allegedly in connection with
the High Speed Rail Project. In Illinois, he transported
train crews between the hotel where they were staying and the
place where the track replacement train was at the time,
followed the train as it moved, and took the crew to and from
lunch. (Deposition of Robert Murphy, Doc. 115-1 at 43, 46-47,
58-61). He would also transport supplies and sometimes
equipment, including water, toiletries, and an end-of-train
device (“EOT”). (Id. at 43-44).
Additionally, he sometimes functioned as a
“blocker” at uncontrolled railroad crossings,
placing his vehicle across the lanes and directing traffic.
He could not recall how many times he had done so in the
State of Illinois. (Id. at 41, 43).
Illinois Prevailing Wage Act
IPWA “applies to the wages of laborers, mechanics and
other workers employed in any public works, as hereinafter
defined, by any public body and to anyone under contracts for
public works.” 820 ILCS 130/2. “Public
works” is defined as “all fixed works constructed
or demolished by any public body, or paid for wholly or in
part out of public funds[, ]” and includes “all
projects financed in whole or in part with bonds, grants,
loans, or other funds made available by or through the State
or any of its political subdivisions[.]” Id.
“Public body” includes the State of Illinois
“or any officer, board or commission of the State or
any political subdivision or department thereof, or any
institution supported in whole or in part by public
IPWA contains two additional limitations on its application.
The first creates an exemption for “Federal
construction projects which require a prevailing wage
determination by the United States Secretary of Labor.”
820 ILCS 130/11. The second limits ...