August 22, 2000
UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION LOCAL 759, JOSEPH FRIERSON, GEORGE SERVICE, A. MERCEDAT, W. MILLS, M. ACEVEDO, RONALD HAMPTON, J. SHERMAN, NORMA CHANCEY, E. ACEVEDO, BLAIR OLDS, MALLEY SHAW, CALVIN BURRIS, T. RODRIGUEZ, LUIS G. LUGARDO, L. DEBREAUX, NELSON MANZANO, J. SPANN, L. GLENN, L. HINTON, KEVIN SMITH, E. ANDERSON, D. PIERRE, ELOIS ANDERSON, LEROY GLENN, GREGORY MORRISON, CHARLES SMITH, Q. DANIEL, L. CHARLES, EUGENE VICK, K. THORPE, E. RODRIGUEZ, J. BENIOT, W. HUGHES, I. CULVER, E. GLOVER, C. FRANCOIS, J. MICKENS, C. SMITH, R. WHITMORE, C. HAYES, L.A. LUGARDO, E. GLADDEN, J. LOGAN, E. FELDER, Z. SHIVERS, G. SUTTON, I. ROSA, F. CHONG, E. BOWEN, W. BLAND, L. LIGHTSEY, G. LOAIZA, D. FULLARD, A. JONES, J. GABRIEL, H. SHEPARD, F. JAMES, J. HENRY, R. JOHNSON, P. TAMBA, R. FUNNYE, J. LOPERENA, EMISLAIR ROSALVA, N. JACKSON, C. HALL, R. CAMRON, J. HENDERSON, C. SMALL, S. BAILEY, M. PEMBERTON, M. WASHINGTON, AND SIMILARLY SITUATED BUS DRIVERS, 14600 DETROIT AVENUE, CLEVELAND, OHIO 44107, PLAINTIFFS,
ORANGE NEWARK ELIZABETH BUS, INC., D/B/A ONE BUS COMPANY, 889 FRELINGHUYSEN AVENUE, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY 07114, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hochberg, District Judge.
Plaintiffs, United Transportation Union Local 759 and
individual employees of Defendant. Orange Newark Elizabeth Bus,
Inc., d/b/a ONE Bus Company ("ONE Bus"), filed a complaint on
July 27, 1998, alleging that ONE Bus failed to pay them overtime
wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"),
29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. On May 25, 1999, this Court denied ONE
Bus' motion to dismiss without reaching the merits of the case.
The instant action comes before this court on cross motions for
summary judgment. This Court has reviewed the submissions of the
parties without oral argument, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78. For
the reasons stated below. Defendant ONE Bus' motion for summary
judgment is granted, and Plaintiffs' summary judgement motion is
Plaintiffs are current or former bus drivers for ONE Bus. ONE
Bus is a private corporation headquartered in Newark, New
Jersey. ONE Bus operates local passenger bus routes in Orange,
Newark, and Elizabeth, New Jersey. ONE Bus operates only in New
Jersey. ONE Bus transports passengers to train stations and
other bus companies' routes, which provide service outside of
New Jersey to points in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington,
D.C., and New England. ONE Bus has not paid Plaintiff bus
drivers over-time, at a rate not less than one and one-half the
regular rate at which they were employed, for time worked in
excess of forty hours in a week.
ONE Bus holds a common carrier certificate, No. MC-2062227-C,
issued by the Interstate Commerce Commission ("ICC"), which it
has held since March 7, 1988.*fn1
The certificate was revoked on April 2, 1997 and was not
reinstated until August 20, 1998. ONE Bus asserts that this was
the result of a clerical error by an insurance broker, and not
an indication of a lack of ICC jurisdiction. Moreover, ONE Bus
claims that the company continued to follow all pertinent United
States Department of Transportation ("DOT") regulations even
during the revocation period. In support of this contention, ONE
Bus points out that all ONE Bus drivers receive a copy of the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and sign an
acknowledgment of receipt. Drivers must submit an application
for employment, meet driver's license requirements, submit motor
vehicle reports, conduct road tests, receive annual driving
history reviews, submit to physical exams and controlled
substance and alcohol tests, and follow other regulations
imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act ("MCSA").*fn2
Since 1987, ONE Bus has participated in the New Jersey Transit
Bus Card Program, which includes the Interstate Bus Pass system.
This is a ticketing arrangement by which individuals boarding
ONE Bus company buses may use the same bus pass for a ride on
another carriers' interstate bus traveling to New York. ONE Bus
also participates in the New Jersey Transit "Feeder Fare"
program, where New Jersey Transit passes may be used for both
interstate rail transportation and a discounted fare on ONE Bus.
On July 27, 1998, Plaintiffs filed suit in this Court,
alleging a violation of the overtime provisions of the FLSA,
29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). In response, Defendant ONE Bus contends that
it is exempt from the overtime provisions codified at
29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(1), because it is covered by DOT regulations, pursuant
to Section 204 of the MCSA.
Pursuant to Rule 56(c), a motion for summary judgement will be
granted if the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgement as a matter of law. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986);
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548,
91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). In other words, "[s]ummary judgement may
be granted only if there exists no genuine issue of material
fact that would permit a reasonable jury to find for the
nonmoving party." Miller v. Indiana Hosp., 843 F.2d 139, 143
(3d Cir. 1988). All facts and inferences must be construed in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Peters v.
Delaware River Port Auth., 16 F.3d 1346, 1349 (3d Cir. 1994).
Substantive law controls the inquiry into which facts are
"material." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505. An
issue is "genuine" if a reasonable jury could decide the issue
in the nonmovant's favor. Id. Thus, "[o]nly disputes over
facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary
judgment." Id.; accord Ridgewood Bd. of Educ. v. M.E.,
172 F.3d 238, 252 (3d Cir. 1999) (citing Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89
L.Ed.2d 538 (1986)).
The party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial
burden of production. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323, 106
S.Ct. 2548. This requires the moving party to establish either
that there is no genuine issue of fact and that the moving part
must prevail as a matter of law, or to
demonstrate that the nonmoving party has not shown the requisite
facts relating to an essential element of an issue on which it
bears the burden. See Id. at 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548. Once the
party seeking summary judgment has carried this initial burden,
the burden shifts to the nonmoving party. To avoid summary
judgment, the nonmoving party must demonstrate facts supporting
each element for which it bears the burden, and it must
establish the existence of "genuine issue[s] of material fact"
justifying trial. Miller, 843 F.2d at 143; see also Celotex
Corp., 477 U.S. at 324, 106 S.Ct. 2548.
At the summary judgement stage, this Court neither weighs the
evidence nor makes credibility determinations; these tasks are
the sole responsibility of the factfinder. See Anderson, 477
U.S. at 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505. Therefore, to demonstrate a genuine
issue of material fact, the summary judgement opponent need not
produce evidence so strong that a decision in its favor is
mandated. Rather, the party opposing summary judgment must
adduce "evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the
[nonmovant]." Id. at 252, 106 S.Ct. 2505. "The mere existence
of a scintilla of existence in support of the [nonmovant's]
position will be insufficient." Id.; see also In re
Headquarters Dodge v. General Motors Corp., 13 F.3d 674, 679
(3d Cir. 1993). "Speculation and conclusory allegations do not
satisfy this duty." Ridgewood Bd. of Educ., 172 F.3d at 252
(citing Groman v. Township of Manalapan, 47 F.3d 628, 633 (3d
It is clear that if a moving party satisfies its initial
burden of establishing a prima facie case for summary
judgment, the opposing party "must do more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt as to material facts."
Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348. Instead, "[w]here
the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of
fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no `genuine issue
for trial.'" Id. at 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348 ...
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