Detroit motor city casino
United States Court of Appeals,Sixth Circuit.
Angelia RUFFIN, et al.
Decided: January 07, 2015 Before COLE, Chief Judge; GRIFFIN, Circuit Judge; CARR, District Judge.
Desmond, Johnson Law, PLC, Detroit, Michigan, for Appellants.
Desmond, Johnson Law, PLC, Detroit, Michigan, for Appellants.
OPINION Under the Fair Labor Standards Act FLSA29 U.
§ 201, et seq.
United States, 751 F.
The question here is whether MotorCity Casino's security guards, who must remain on casino property during meal periods, monitor two-way radios, and respond to emergencies if called to do so, spend their meal time predominantly for their own benefit or that of the casino.
Because we agree with the district court that no reasonable jury could find that the meal periods predominantly benefitted the casino, we affirm the grant of summary judgment to MotorCity.
The plaintiffs are current and former security guards at the MotorCity Casino in Detroit, Michigan.
MotorCity assigned the guards to work five, eight-hour shifts per week.
While on duty, the guards were responsible for escorting large amounts of cash, monitoring the casino floor, and listening to their two-way radios.
The casino also required guards to attend a fifteen-minute roll-call meeting before the start of every shift, but it did not pay the guards for doing so.
Both sides agree that the roll-call meetings are compensable.
Under the parties' collective bargaining agreement, a guard working an eight-hour shift was entitled to a paid, thirty-minute meal period.
Guards could not leave casino property, have food delivered to the casino, or receive visitors.
The guards therefore spent meal periods in either a large cafeteria, where free food and drinks were available, or one of the smaller break rooms—all of which could be crowded and noisy.
A smoking area was also available, and guards could walk along an outdoor path surrounding the casino.
Central to this appeal is MotorCity's requirement that the guards super manchester scrapped their radios during meal periods.
The guards were responsible for listening to their radios and, if they heard a dispatcher call the appropriate code, responding to an emergency in the casino a fight, for example, or a patron experiencing a health problem.
A guard who did not respond to a mid-meal emergency call was subject to discipline.
Aside from monitoring motor city casino fashion in detroit mi radio, the guards performed no job duties during meal periods.
Guards could file a grievance if MotorCity failed to provide make-up time, but there is no evidence that a guard ever filed such a grievance.
Plaintiffs Sharise Webb and Latrina Kirby, who worked as dispatchers at the casino, casino history that emergencies rarely interrupted their meal periods.
Plaintiff Philip Tibbs, who had worked as a security guard for more than ten years, recalled missing only one meal period.
Although guards rarely dealt with emergencies during meal breaks, monitoring the radio exposed them to constant, work-related chatter on the radio.
Kirby and Webb testified that they had to focus on this chatter, because only then would they know if an emergency required their attention.
Kirby also testified that she did not block out the chatter, but paid close attention to it.
Nevertheless, Kirby and Webb agreed that they were able to eat, socialize with coworkers, and use their phones while monitoring their radios.
Webb generally spent meal periods eating and talking to coworkers, though she also used her smartphone to make calls, send text messages, and surf the Internet.
Kirby, too, socialized and conducted personal business on her phone, though she testified she could not make long calls while listening to the radio.
Tibbs read the Bible and monitored his radio at the same time.
In 2012, plaintiffs sued MotorCity for violating the FLSA's overtime provision, 29 U.
They alleged that MotorCity required them to work at least 41.
The crux of this claim was plaintiffs' contention that their half-hour meal periods constituted working time—and were thus compensable—because guards spent that time predominantly for MotorCity's benefit.
On MotorCity's motion for summary judgment, the district court held that the undisputed evidence showed that the meal periods were non-compensable.
Based on the parties' stipulation, the court determined that monitoring the radio was a de minimis activity, not a substantial job duty.
The district court also noted that guards had many freedoms during meal periods, including the ability to eat, read, make phone calls, use the Internet, and watch television.
And while the court accepted that the work-related radio chatter was constant, it found no evidence in the record supporting plaintiffs' claim that monitoring the radio regularly disrupted their meal periods.
Because the meal periods were non-compensable, the court ruled that MotorCity could offset the time guards spent on paid meal breaks against the time they spent attending unpaid, but compensable roll-call meetings.
The district court accordingly held that, because plaintiffs worked only 38.
We review de novo the read article court's grant of summary judgment.
Whether time is spent predominantly for the employer's or the employee's benefit depends on the totality of the circumstances.
It is the employee's burden to prove that a meal period is compensable.
Plaintiffs contend that monitoring their two-way radios, which exposed them to a steady stream of work-related radio chatter during meal periods, is a substantial job duty.
Neither the case law nor the evidence in the record supports their claim.
Catholic Link Initiatives—Iowa Corp.
Iowa 2010 collecting cases.
For example, in Henson v.
Sheriff's Dep't, 6 F.
And in Avery v.
City of Talladega, 24 F.
See Haviland, motor city casino fashion in detroit mi F.
United States, 8 Cl.
The gist of these cases is that monitoring a radio, and being available to respond if called, is a de minimis activity, not a substantial job duty.
City of Memphis, 190 F.
That is, monitoring a radio is generally a peripheral activity that an employee can perform while spending her meal breaks however she likes.
Although there may be a case where monitoring a radio qualifies as a substantial job duty, this is not that case.
Plaintiffs also stipulated they were free to smoke, watch television, use casino-provided computers, and play cards during meal periods, but they introduced no evidence that monitoring the radio interfered with, or prevented them from enjoying, these activities.
The absence of any evidence that plaintiffs performed a substantial job duty during their meal breaks supports the district court's judgment that those breaks were predominantly for the guards' own benefit.
A second factor to consider is whether the employer's business regularly interrupts the employee's meal period.
App'x 67, 69 10th Cir.
It is thus possible that an employee who does not perform a substantial duty during the meal break, but who must consistently interrupt the meal to perform one task or another, nevertheless spends that time predominantly for the employer's benefit.
We have twice held that a meal period was non-compensable where there was no evidence of frequent interruptions to the meal period.
See Hill, motor city casino fashion in detroit mi F.
Conversely, we have relied on evidence that emergencies regularly interrupted an employee's meal periods to hold that those periods were compensable.
Here, plaintiffs introduced no evidence that emergency calls regularly interrupted their meal periods.
Rather, they stipulated that such interruptions occurred only occasionally—and even that may be an overstatement.
Although the stipulation is silent as to the frequency of the interruptions, plaintiffs' own testimony proved that they were essentially unheard of.
Webb did not identify a single instance when an emergency interrupted her meal period, Tibbs recalled missing motor city casino fashion in detroit mi meal period in more than ten years' employment, and Kirby missed fewer than ten meal periods over an eight-year span.
That plaintiffs enjoyed their meals without regular interruptions also shows that the meal periods predominantly benefitted the guards.
A final factor we consider is the employee's inability to leave the employer's property during meal breaks.
That is a sensible position, because it is not so much the employee's inability to leave the premises that indicates who predominantly benefits from the meal period, but rather whether the employer takes advantage of the employee's presence on the premises by making her work during a nominal meal period.
Consider Haviland, where hospital security guards—like the guards in this appeal—had to take their meals on the employer's property and monitor two-way radios, but were otherwise completely relieved of duty.
Unsurprisingly, the Second Circuit held that these meal periods were compensable.
Comparing these cases shows that some employees confined to their employer's property can spend meal periods adequately, comfortably, and predominantly for their own benefit, while others cannot.
The relevant inquiry should therefore be whether the employer requires an employee to take motor city casino fashion in detroit mi on the premises as an indirect or round-about way of extracting unpaid work from the employee.
Considered this way, MotorCity's requirement that security guards take their meals on casino property does not show that the meal periods predominantly benefitted the casino.
Despite being stuck at the casino, plaintiffs spent their meal periods doing exactly what one might expect an off-duty employee to be doing on motor city casino fashion in detroit mi meal break: eating, socializing, reading, surfing the Internet, and conducting personal business on their smartphones.
Up to this point, we have considered the factors bearing on the compensability of plaintiffs' meal periods in isolation.
But after examining the totality of the circumstances, see Armour, 323 U.
In these circumstances, no reasonable jury could find that plaintiffs' meal periods predominantly benefitted MotorCity.
Plaintiffs contend that two Tenth Circuit cases—Beasley and Lamon v.
City of Shawnee, 972 F.
That contention lacks merit.
In Beasley, the court held that a jury should have decided whether hospital nurses' meal periods were compensable.
The record there showed that the nurses' job duties—answering phone calls, talking with doctors, observing computer monitors, and coordinating the arrival of incoming patients—regularly spilled over into their meal periods, interrupting between seventy-five and ninety-five percent of the unpaid meal time.
But evidence of that sort is precisely what is lacking here.
In Lamon, the Tenth Circuit held that the district court properly submitted to the jury the question whether police officers' meal periods were compensable.
During their meal breaks, the motor city casino fashion in detroit mi had to monitor a radio, respond to emergency calls or personnel shortages if told to do so, answer https://nycwebdesigner.org/casino/super-casino-scratch-off-nj.html questions, and confront crimes committed in their presence.
Lamon does not help plaintiffs.
Contrary to plaintiffs' suggestion, the case does not hold that—let alone explain how—monitoring a radio is a substantial job duty.
Nor does it discuss how often, if at all, officers had to interrupt their meal periods to respond to emergencies, speak with citizens, or confront a crime in progress.
Moreover, the officers in Lamon were responsible for performing more, and more substantial, job duties during meal periods than plaintiffs, who only had to monitor a radio.
Finally, we note that the Department of Labor has issued an advisory opinion suggesting that a more heavily restricted meal period than the one plaintiffs enjoyed was non-compensable.
See Wage and Hour Division, U.
Dep't of Labor, Letter FLSA2004—7NA Aug.
If those meal periods were not compensable, neither are the plaintiffs' meal periods.
For these reasons, we affirm the district court's judgment.
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