United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT BOEING'S MOTION FOR
S. LASNIK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on “Defendant
Boeing's Motion for Summary Judgment.” Dkt. # 74.
In this case, plaintiff Marvin Mann claims that defendant The
Boeing Company (“Boeing”) violated Washington
state law by wrongfully denying him overtime pay through
improper invocation of the executive and administrative
exemptions from Washington's minimum wage and overtime
requirements. Boeing seeks summary judgment on the question
whether plaintiff qualifies for the executive exemption.
Having reviewed the parties' briefs, declarations, and
exhibits, and the remainder of the record, the Court grants
Boeing's motion for the reasons that follow.
October 1996 to May 2002 and then again from June 2005 to
November 2011, plaintiff worked as a skilled electrical
installer assembling airplanes for Boeing. Dkt. # 82, ¶
2; Dkt. # 76, ¶ 3; Dkt. # 75 at 74-75, 80-81. On
November 4, 2011, plaintiff was promoted to the position of
Manufacturing Manager (also known as a First Line Leader, or
“FLL, ” with the job classification
“DAKU-K”) in the Aft Systems Installation unit of
the Manufacturing and Production Department for Boeing's
777 Program. Dkt. # 82, ¶ 2; Dkt. # 76, ¶ 3; Dkt. #
75 at 76. While working as an electrical installer, plaintiff
was paid an hourly wage and was a member of the collective
bargaining unit represented by the International Association
of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Dkt. # 76, ¶ 3. As
an FLL, plaintiff was paid on a salaried basis and was no
longer eligible for membership in the collective bargaining
unit. Dkt. # 75 at 8; Dkt. # 76, ¶ 3; Dkt. # 75 at 44.
description for plaintiff's FLL position states that the
Manages employees performing activities within multiple
manufacturing disciplines. Develops and executes business
plans, policies and procedures and develops organizational
and technical strategies. Acquires resources, provides
technical management of suppliers and leads process
improvements. Develops and maintains relationships and
partnerships with customers, stakeholders, peers, partners
and direct reports. Provides oversight and approval of
technical approaches, products and processes. Manages,
develops and motivates employees. . . .
Ensures that projects are completed on schedule and within
budget. Has impact to own discipline or work unit. Decisions
would impact the ability to achieve results and/or schedules.
Directs daily operations of the work unit. . . . Directly
manages non-management employees in daily operations.
Dkt. # 76 at 16-17.
main responsibility as an FLL was supervising a crew of
approximately one- to two-dozen mechanics - electrical
installers and assemblers; structural mechanics; mechanical
assemblers and installers; and sealers - in the Aft Systems
Installation unit, primarily during the third shift from
10:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Dkt. # 75 at 7, 9, 12, 117; Dkt. #
82, ¶ 20; Dkt. # 76, ¶ 12. Though Boeing internally
designated this crew “Department 6027188, ” Dkt.
# 75 at 10-11, 88-89; Dkt. # 76, ¶ 11, plaintiff knew
the crew as “third shift aft SI, ” Dkt. # 75 at
96. The crew comprised a fixed roster of employees with fixed
tasks, Dkt. # 75 at 91; Dkt. # 76, ¶ 11, and was
primarily responsible for working on the 48-section joins and
vertical fin joins of the 777 airplane. Dkt. # 75 at 10, 82,
92-94. Plaintiff was the sole FLL for this crew. Dkt. # 76,
¶ 11. As an FLL, plaintiff did not perform hands-on
production work. Dkt. # 75 at 11, 49. Rather, plaintiff was
responsible for ensuring that his crew worked safely and
efficiently, and that they met all production, quality, and
schedule requirements. Dkt. # 75 at 23, 101-02, 108-09; Dkt.
# 76, ¶ 11.
establish these requirements, Boeing regularly gives all FLLs
a chart of tasks to be performed by their crew within a
two-and-a-half day work cycle, also known as a
“statement of work.” Dkt. # 82, ¶ 38. While
the FLLs and crew members are generally quite familiar with
the tasks and the sequence in which they are to be performed,
often circumstances arise that disrupt the ordinary sequence
of tasks, and when this happens the FLL is responsible for
reassigning crew members to work on an available task. Dkt. #
82, ¶ 38; Dkt. # 75 at 110-11, 118-19, 124-25. Team
leaders - hourly crew workers with extra leadership
responsibilities who report to the FLL - may also reassign
crew members as needed. Dkt. # 82, ¶ 38; Dkt. # 76,
was also responsible for assigning overtime, approving crew
members' timesheets, documenting infractions and taking
disciplinary action against his crew members, informally
settling crew member grievances, and ensuring that crew
members kept current with all required training and
certifications. Dkt. # 75 at 23, 46, 109, 112-13, 133,
137-38, 139-42; see generally Dkt. # 77.
Additionally, plaintiff interviewed applicants for a team
leader position on the crew; per the collective bargaining
agreement, upper management ultimately selected the most
senior qualified applicant for the job. Dkt. # 75 at 98.
Plaintiff received over 80 hours of management-specific
training during his time as FLL, Dkt. # 78, ¶ 3, and he
received positive performance reviews, see Dkt. # 75
at 36-41; Dkt. # 76 at 29-46.
November 4, 2011 and January 2013, FLLs were paid for any
work in excess of forty hours per week at a rate of their
regular hourly rate plus $6.50 per hour. Dkt. # 82, ¶ 5.
In February 2013, Boeing changed its overtime policy so that
FLLs were no longer paid an additional $6.50 for each
overtime hour worked; instead, FLLs would be permitted to
“flex” their time. Dkt. # 82, ¶ 6. In
February 2014, the director of the Manufacturing and
Production Department, Peter Johnson, informed department
leadership that FLLs would no longer be permitted to
“flex” their time. Dkt. # 82, ¶ 8. FLLs are,
however, eligible for bonus compensation based on their
individual performance. Dkt. # 76, ¶ 19.
September 11, 2015, plaintiff returned to his former hourly
position as an electrical installer, where he is eligible for
overtime pay. Dkt. # 76, ¶ 3; Dkt. # 75 at 33, 34, 49,
77. Due to his eligibility for overtime pay, plaintiff now
earns approximately 40% more per year than he did as an FLL.
Dkt. # 82, ¶ 12.
September 22, 2015, plaintiff filed this lawsuit, alleging
that Boeing had violated Washington's Minimum Wage Act
and Wage Rebate Act by erroneously classifying his FLL
position as exempt and in turn failing to compensate him for
overtime worked. Dkt. # 1. Boeing now seeks summary judgment
on the ...