United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
TRENT HAVERKAMP, and TRAVIS BLAIR, individually and on behalf of those similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
STAR OF AMERICA, LLC, Defendant.
ENTRY ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
RICHARD L. YOUNG, JUDGE
Trent Haverkamp and Travis Blair, two drivers employed by
Defendant, Star of America, LLC, bring this putative
collective action, claiming they were deprived of overtime
pay owed under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”). Star maintains it has no obligation to
provide Plaintiffs with overtime pay because they are exempt
from that requirement under the Motor Carrier Act exemption
to the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(1). Star now moves for
summary judgment. For the reasons herein set forth, the court
DENIES Star's motion.
a federally authorized for-hire provider of passenger
transportation. (Filing No. 40-1, Declaration of Larry D.
Shickles (“Shickles Decl.”) ¶ 2). At all
times relevant to this lawsuit, it has maintained its
assigned DOT number and observed the DOT's Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Regulations (“FMCSRs”) with
respect to all drivers and other applicable employees.
(Id. ¶ 3). Furthermore, the DOT has conducted
regular compliance audits of driver files kept by Star.
(Id. ¶ 4). Star provides two types of services:
(1) charter services, which cross state lines, from which it
derives the majority of its revenue; and (2) shuttle
services, which do not cross Indiana's borders.
(Id. ¶ 5). This case concerns Star's
to the parties “Scheduled Route Agreement, ” Star
has a nonexclusive right to provide transportation services
to its passengers to and from the Airport. (Id.
¶ 19, Ex. D). Its routes, which are traveled seven days
a week on a set schedule, are between West Lafayette, Indiana
and the Indianapolis International Airport
(“Airport”), and Bloomington, Indiana and the
Airport. (Id. ¶ 6). For example, on its early
morning “Depart Lafayette/Purdue to Indianapolis
Airport” schedule, Star's shuttle leaves Folletts
Purdue West, Tarkington Hall, Memorial Union, and the
Courtyard by Marriott at 4:20, 4:25, and 4:55 a.m.,
respectively, and arrives at the airport at 6:10 a.m.
(Id. ¶ 7, Ex. A). At the airport, the shuttle
drops passengers at the Airport's Ground Transportation
Center. (Id. ¶ 9). The drivers also pick up
passengers from the Airport's Ground Transportation
Center and depart to either Bloomington or Lafayette.
(Id.). On the shuttle's early morning run from
the Airport back to Lafayette/Purdue, it departs the Airport
at 6:20 a.m. and drops passengers at the Courtyard by
Marriott, Memorial Union, Tarkington Hall, and Folletts
Purdue West at 7:35, 8:00, 8:05, and 8:10 a.m., respectively.
(Id. ¶ 7, Ex. A). Throughout the day, the
shuttle runs between these 4 Lafayette/Purdue locations and
the Airport continuously until its last Lafayette/Purdue
drop-off at 12:10 a.m. It makes no other stops.
(Id.). Both Havercamp and Blair drove the shuttle
from points in Lafayette to the Airport. (Filing No. 45-1,
Declaration of Trent Havercamp (“Havercamp Decl”)
¶ 1; Filing No. 45-2, Declaration of Travis Blair
(“Blair Decl.”) ¶ 1).
shuttle has similar routes in Bloomington. (Shickles Decl.
¶ 8, Ex. B). Both the Lafayette/Purdue routes and the
Bloomington/Indiana University routes run from approximately
4:00 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Id. ¶¶ 7-8, Exs. A,
B). Both Purdue University and Indiana University advertise
the Shuttle Services as an option for transport to and from
the Airport. (Id. ¶ 11).
2013 and 2016, a total of 6, 373 people who purchased the
Shuttle Services had billing addresses from countries other
than the United States. (Id. ¶ 13). The
majority of passengers purchase their tickets online through
Star's website in advance of their travel. (Id.
¶ 14). They may also purchase tickets from the shuttle
driver. (Id. ¶ 16).
commercial flights to or from the Airport during the claim
period beginning January 6, 2013, crossed state lines.
(Filing No. 40-2, Declaration of E. Ashley Paynter
additional facts necessary for the disposition of this motion
will be addressed in the Discussion Section.
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate where “the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The court's function is not to weigh
the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to
determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249
(1986); Payne v. Pauley, 337 F.3d 767, 770 (7th Cir.
2003). Disputes concerning material facts are genuine where
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248. In deciding whether a genuine issue of material fact
exists, the court construes all facts in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party and draws all reasonable
inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Heft v.
Moore, 351 F.3d 278, 283 (7th Cir. 2003).
FLSA requires an employer to compensate its employees at a
rate of not less than one and one-half times their regular
rate of pay for those hours worked in excess of forty hours.
29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). The FLSA exempts from the
overtime pay requirement “any employee with respect to
whom the Secretary of Transportation has power to establish
qualifications and maximum hours of service pursuant to the
provisions of Section 31502 of Title 49.” 29 U.S.C.
§ 213(b)(1). This is known as the Motor Carrier Act
(“MCA”) exemption. Whether the MCA exemption
applies “‘is dependent on whether the Secretary
has the power to regulate, not on whether the Secretary has
actually exercised such power.'” Abel v.
Southern Shuttle Servs., Inc., 631 F.3d 1210, 1213 (11th
Cir. 2011) (quoting Baez v. Wells Fargo Armored Serv.
Corp., 938 F.2d 180, 181 n. 2 (11th Cir. 1991)). In
other words, “‘for the MCA exemption to apply,
the Secretary of Transportation's power to regulate under
the act merely needs to cover a particular group of
employees.'” Id. (quoting Walters v.
Am. Coach Lines of Miami, Inc., 575 F.3d 1221, 1226
(11th Cir. 2009)). The court “construe[s] FLSA
exemptions narrowly against the employer, ” and the
employer bears the burden of proving the applicability of the
provision. Id. at 1212.
Department of Labor has codified a two-part test to determine
if an employee is subject to the MCA exemption, based on its
interpretation of the relevant statutes and case law. An
employee is exempt if: (1) he is employed by a motor carrier
whose transportation of passengers by motor vehicle is
subject to the Secretary of Transportation's jurisdiction
under 49 U.S.C. § 31502; and (2) he is engaged in
activities affecting the safety of operation of motor