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Childress v. Ozark Delivery of Missouri. L.L.C.

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southern Division

March 5, 2015

CALVIN CHILDRESS, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
OZARK DELIVERY OF MISSOURI L.L.C., et al., Defendants

Page 1131

For Calvin Childress, Jolene S Loyd, Plaintiffs: Brendan J. Donelon, DONELON, P.C., Kansas City, MO; Charles Jason Brown, Brown & Associates, LLC, Gower, MO.

For Ozark Delivery of Missouri, LLC, Defendant, Cross Claimant, Cross Defendant: Jason N. Shaffer, LEAD ATTORNEY, Springfield, MO.

For Employer Advantage, L.L.C., Defendant: Robert Anthony Costello, Husch Blackwell LLP - KCMO, Kansas City, MO; John K. Power, Husch Blackwell LLP, Kansas City, MO.

For Klein Calvert, Defendant: Jason N. Shaffer, LEAD ATTORNEY, Springfield, MO.

For Employer Advantage, L.L.C., Cross Defendant, Cross Claimant: John K. Power, Husch Blackwell LLP, Kansas City, MO.

Page 1132

ORDER

DOUGLAS HARPOOL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Before the Court are motions for summary judgment filed by Plaintiffs (Doc. 135) and Defendant Employer Advantage, L.L.C. (Doc. 138). Plaintiffs ask the Court to find, as a matter law, that Plaintiffs are not exempt from FLSA overtime provisions pursuant to the Motor Carrier Act (" MCA" ) exemption. Defendant Advantage moves the Court for an order finding as a matter of law that Advantage is not Plaintiffs' joint employer under the FLSA. After full and careful consideration of the issues raised and the arguments provided by the parties, the Court hereby GRANTS Plaintiffs' motion (Doc. 135) and DENIES IN PART Defendant Advantage's motion (Doc. 138).

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs Calvin Childress and Jolene Loyd brought the above-captioned lawsuit as a collective action pursuant to Section 216(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (" FLSA" ). Plaintiffs allege that Defendants willfully violated Section 207 of the FLSA by failing to fully compensate the plaintiff delivery drivers for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. The action is brought against Ozark Delivery, L.L.C. (" Ozark" ), Klein Calvert,[1] and Employer Advantage, L.L.C. (" Advantage" )[2]

Page 1133

as " joint employers." [3] The Court conditionally certified the case as a collective action and the class now includes fifty-six (56) opt-in plaintiffs who were drivers allegedly employed by Defendants between April 2006 and June 2009.

Plaintiffs move the court for summary judgment regarding FLSA exemptions. Plaintiffs argue that the Motor Carrier Act (" MCA" ) exemption is the sole FLSA exemption asserted by Defendants and that it does not apply in this case because the undisputed evidence shows that Plaintiffs are " covered employees" as defined by the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (" TCA" ). The TCA states that " covered employees," as the term is defined therein, are subject to the FLSA's overtime provisions notwithstanding the MCA exemption. See Pub.L. 110-244, Title III, ยง 306, June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1620. Defendant Advantage and Defendant Ozark filed suggestions in opposition to Plaintiffs' motion arguing that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether Plaintiffs qualify as " covered employees" under the TCA. Defendants ...


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