United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
C. COUGHENOUR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion for
partial summary judgment (Dkt. No. 144). Having thoroughly
considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record,
the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby GRANTS
in part and DENIES in part Plaintiffs' motion for the
reasons explained herein.
is a truckload transportation company servicing customers
throughout the United States and Canada. (Dkt. No. 144 at 9.)
Plaintiffs are Defendant's current and former
Washington-based truck drivers. (Id.) Plaintiffs
allege that Defendant's piece-rate pay practices violate
a variety of Washington's compensation laws. (See
generally Dkt. No. 114.) The Court has previously
certified the following Class in this matter: “All
current and former employees of [Defendant] who, at any time
from December 30, 2011 through the date of the final
disposition, worked as drivers for the company while residing
in the state of Washington.” (Dkt. No. 117 at 13.)
move for partial summary judgment, seeking rulings on the
following: (1) the adequacy of Defendant's record of
hours worked by Class members, (2) the willfulness of any
failure by Defendant to pay Class members for rest breaks,
and (3) the permissible method for Defendant to substantiate
that it adequately compensated Class members for overtime.
(Dkt. No. 144 at 7-9.)
Court shall grant summary judgment if the moving party
“shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and that the [moving party] is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In
making such a determination, the Court views the facts and
justifiable inferences to be drawn therefrom in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). Once a motion
for summary judgment is properly made and supported, the
opposing party “must come forward with ‘specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.'” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). Material facts are those that may affect
the outcome of the case, and a dispute about a material fact
is genuine if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable
jury to return a verdict for the non-moving party.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-49. Although the Court
must reserve for the jury genuine issues regarding
credibility, the weight of the evidence, and legitimate
inferences, the “mere existence of a scintilla of
evidence in support of the non-moving party's position
will be insufficient.” City of Pomona v. SQM N.A.
Corp., 750 F.3d 1036, 1049 (9th Cir. 2014).
Record of Hours Worked
employee brings a wage-based claim and the employer fails to
comply with a legally-mandated recordkeeping requirement, the
employee's burden of proof is relaxed. Anderson v.
Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680, 687-88
(1946). With this relaxed burden, the employee
need only provide “sufficient evidence to show the
amount and extent of [the employee's allegedly unpaid
work] as a matter of just and reasonable inference.”
Id. at 687. Plaintiffs point out that Washington
requires employers to keep a record of the hours worked for
each workday and argues Defendant has failed to do so.
(See Dkt. No. 144 at 9-10) (citing Wash. Rev. Code
§ 49.46.040(3); WAC 296-126-050(1), 269-128-010(6)).
However, Defendant's Federal Department of Transportation
(“DOT”) logs clearly satisfy Washington's
requirements. (Dkt. No. 155 at 15-18); (see Dkt. No.
157 at 2.)
alternative, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant did not provide
the logs, in their entirety, when requested through
discovery. (Dkt. No. 163 at 2.) As a result, Plaintiffs
argue, the Court should impose the Mt. Clemens
burden shifting regime as a discovery sanction. (Dkt. No. 162
at 9). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(c). The Court declines
to do so. First, it would be a fruitless exercise. Defendant
can rebut Plaintiffs' relaxed Mt. Clemens
burden, as is required, with the DOT logs. See 328
U.S. at 687 (allowing for rebuttal with evidence of
“the precise amount of work performed”); (see
also Dkt. No. 157 at 2) (declaration describing the
nature of the logs); (see Dkt. Nos. 158-13, 158-14,
158-15) (examples of logs provided to Plaintiffs through
discovery). Second, Plaintiffs never moved to compel
production of the logs in their entirety. Third, Plaintiffs
do not provide a valid basis for imposing sanctions. (See
generally Dkt. No. 162 at 7-9.) Fourth, Plaintiffs
raised this issue for the first time in their reply brief.
See Zamani v. Carnes, 491 F.3d 990, 997 (9th Cir.
2007) (the Court need not consider a new argument raised in a
Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on this issue is
Rest Break Pay
next ask the Court to find that, as a matter of law,
Defendant willfully failed to compensate its drivers for rest
break periods and this failure violates Washington law. (Dkt.
No. 144 at 17-20.) If Defendant's failure to adequately
pay for rest breaks was willful, double damages apply. Wash.
Rev. Code § 49.52.050, .070; see Schilling v. Radio
Holdings, Inc., 961 P.2d 371, 374 (Wash. 1998). As a
threshold matter, this Court has previously determined that
Defendant's compensation scheme fails to pay Class
members for rest breaks, and this practice ...