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Custodial supervisor’s overtime case reinstated

Custodial supervisor’s overtime case reinstated

A federal appeals court reinstated overtime Fair Labor Standards Act litigation filed by a custodial supervisor who earned $80,000 a year but said 90% of his work was nonsupervisory physical cleaning.

Anthony Paganas, a building manager at St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York, from July 2007 to May 2014, was responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of several residential halls and sports facilities, according to Monday’s ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in Anthony Paganas v. Total Maintenance Solutions L.L.C. et al.

Mr. Paganas, who supervised somewhere between six and 15 workers, earned an annual salary of $80,000 from his employer, Garden City, Idaho-based Total Maintenance.

In 2015, Mr. Paganas filed suit in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, charging Total Maintenance violated the overtime wage provisions of the FLSA and state law. The U.S. District Court granted the employer summary judgment dismissing the case, which a unanimous three-judge 2nd Circuit panel reinstated.

Mr. Paganas falls under the executive exemption for overtime under the FLSA based on his salary and his supervision of other employees, said the ruling.

In question, however, were the exemption’s requirements that an overtime exempt employee’s primary duty was management, and that the employee have the authority to hire or fire other employees, said the ruling.

The District Court concluded Mr. Paganas’ claim that 90% of his work was nonsupervisory was “not credible” and “found to be untrue,” but a District Court cannot grant summary judgment on its assessment of the credibility of evidence presented, and there was a “genuine dispute” as to whether Mr. Paganas’ primary responsibilities were management activities, said the appellate ruling.

There was also a genuine dispute as to whether Mr. Paganas had authority to recommend a change in an employee’s status, said the panel, in vacating the District Court’s judgment and remanding the case for further proceedings.

A federal appeals court ruled in December that two welding inspectors who earned more than $100,000 a year on an annualized basis may nevertheless be entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA, said a federal appeals court in overturning a lower court ruling.





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