United States District Court, D. Arizona
Ed E. Alonzo, Plaintiff,
Akal Security Incorporated, Defendant.
Honorable John J. Tuchi United States District Judge
issue is Defendant Akal Security, Inc.'s Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 68, Mot.) supported by Defendant's
Statement of Facts (Doc. 69, DSOF), to which Plaintiff Ed E.
Alonzo filed a Response (Doc. 75, Resp.) and responsive
Statement of Facts (Doc. 76, PSOF) and Defendant filed a
Reply (Doc. 83, Reply). For the reasons that follow, the Court
will grant Defendant's Motion.
is a federal government contractor, and Plaintiff worked for
Defendant as an Aviation Security Officer
(“ASO”). (DSOF ¶ 2.) ASOs are responsible
for the supervision of persons being expelled from the United
States, or “deportees, ” during both domestic
travel between holding facilities and international travel to
the deportees' home countries. (DSOF ¶ 1.) Once the
deportees are transported abroad, ASOs travel on a return
flight to the United States. (PSOF ¶ 3.)
maintained a written Timekeeping Policy for ASOs, and
Plaintiff testified that he read and understood the
Timekeeping Policy. (DSOF ¶¶ 6, 8.) In pertinent
part, the Policy provided for a one-hour unpaid meal period
during certain return flights when no deportees were present,
with a few exceptions not relevant here. (DSOF ¶ 6.)
Plaintiff signed an Employee Offer Letter with Defendant that
similarly set forth a one-hour unpaid meal period policy.
(DSOF ¶¶ 9-10.) Moreover, Defendant and the
International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals
of America entered into a Collective Bargaining Agreement
that included a comparable unpaid meal period policy. (DSOF
¶¶ 14-16.) Plaintiff was a party to that Collective
Bargaining Agreement as a member and officer of the Union.
(DSOF ¶ 13.)
Timekeeping Policy instructed ASOs to completely disengage
from all work duties during the meal period. (DSOF
¶¶ 6-7.) Defendant required ASOs to record time
worked during meal periods if special circumstances
necessitated that an ASO perform work during these periods.
(DSOF ¶¶ 6-7.) The Policy further mandated that the
ASO notify his/her supervisor if such a situation arose.
(DSOF ¶ 7.) Plaintiff testified that he never recorded
any time worked during a meal period. (DSOF ¶ 22.)
However, at least in the Complaint, Plaintiff alleged that an
“ASO may not take any lunch break” and Defendant
deducted one hour of compensation from his/her pay anyway.
(Doc. 1, Compl. ¶ 11.)
brought this case as a hybrid class action, (Compl.; Doc.
44), and the Court denied Plaintiff's Motion to Certify a
Conditional Class because Plaintiff failed to show that other
ASOs alleged that they worked without compensation during
their meal breaks. (Doc. 51.) Additionally, the Court
dismissed two counts of Plaintiff's Complaint for failure
to state a claim. (Doc. 27.) In the remaining count-Count
II-Plaintiff alleges that Defendant's automatic one-hour
pay deduction for meal periods, deducted regardless of
whether Plaintiff took a meal period or worked through the
hour, violated the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor
Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201
et seq. (Compl. ¶¶ 14, 36-39.) Defendant
now moves for summary judgment on the remaining claim.
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary
judgment is appropriate when: (1) the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact; and (2) after
viewing the evidence most favorably to the non-moving party,
the movant is entitled to prevail as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322-23 (1986); Eisenberg v. Ins. Co. of N. Am.,
815 F.2d 1285, 1288-89 (9th Cir. 1987). Under this standard,
“[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the
outcome of the suit under governing [substantive] law will
properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A “genuine issue” of material fact arises
only “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
considering a motion for summary judgment, the court must
regard as true the non-moving party's evidence, if it is
supported by affidavits or other evidentiary material.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; Eisenberg, 815
F.2d at 1289. However, the non-moving party may not merely
rest on its pleadings; it must produce some significant
probative evidence tending to contradict the moving
party's allegations, thereby creating a material question
of fact. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57 (holding that
the plaintiff must present affirmative evidence in order to
defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment);
First Nat'l Bank of Ariz. v. Cities Serv. Co.,
391 U.S. 253, 289 (1968).
summary judgment motion cannot be defeated by relying solely
on conclusory allegations unsupported by factual data.”
Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989).
“Summary judgment must be entered ‘against a
party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's case,
and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial.'” United States v. Carter, 906 F.2d
1375, 1376 (9th Cir. 1990) (quoting Celotex, 477
U.S. at 322).
moves for summary judgment on Plaintiff's claim for
unpaid overtime wages accrued during one-hour meal periods.
In support, Defendant argues that the evidence undisputedly
demonstrates that Plaintiff received bona fide meal
breaks of at least one hour on the designated flights and
that, under the parties' agreements, Plaintiff's meal
period was non-compensable. Defendant thus contends that
Plaintiff cannot meet his burden to show that the meal
periods are compensable. Defendant also maintains that, if
Defendant is liable for an FLSA violation, Plaintiff is not
entitled to liquidated damages because Defendant relied in
good faith on the advice of counsel.
response, Plaintiff argues that a genuine dispute of fact
exists as to whether he worked during the unpaid meal period
on the designated flights, precluding summary judgment. As
such, the Court must determine if Plaintiff has raised a
genuine dispute regarding whether he received one-hour
bona fide ...