Hesseltine v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 391 F.Supp.2d 509 (E.D. Tex. 2005)
Judge: Marcia Crone
Holding: Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment GRANTED
This is a Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 206 et seq. case alleging that Goodyear did not pay overtime compensation in violation of the FLSA.
Judge Crone found that the plaintiffs' "person to person" claims of ten to fifteen minutes per shift were the equivalent of 1.4% to 2.1% of work time on a twelve-hour shift, and thus even if time performing shift relief constituted compensable work time under the FLSA, after weighing the relevant factors, Plaintiffs' claims for ten minutes or less were de minimis as a matter of law. With respect to the second claim for time expended in connection with early or late shift relief and when attending safety meetings, the plaintiff could not quantify the amount of time he worked, and did not follow Goodyear's procedure to receive overtime pay, thus Judge Crone found that he had not provided definite and certain evidence that he performed work for which he was not compensated. Finally, Judge Crone noted that even if the claims did constitute unpaid overtime, Goodyear was entitled to a credit or offset for paying workers a premium for working over 8 hours a shift. For example, even assuming that the plaintiffs had approximately one hour per week of unpaid overtime, Goodyear had approximately four hours to offset against the plaintiffs due to its premium payments, and thus it had a defense, which Judge Crone found it had not waived and was not estopped from asserting, even if the court had not determined the claims to be de minimus.