Escaping Trial on FLSA Overtime Claim as Difficult as an Alcatraz Jailbreak

By Chance Hill

On December 6, 2018, a federal district court in Maryland denied Defendants’ motion for summary judgment regarding an overtime claim, among others.  Defendants, including a Maryland corporation providing medical care services to the elderly, employed the plaintiff primarily as a driver.  The employer uses a Facial Recognition System, which takes a photo of each worker upon arrival and departure, to track the hours of its employees.  The employer also mandates that employees record hours on timesheets.

Defendants argued the plaintiff could not provide any evidence of his overtime work, because he was paid in accordance with both the Facial Recognition records and the timesheets, and at some points in his deposition, he agreed that he used the Facial Recognition system. (At other points, he said he left by the back door.)  But the plaintiff attested that he regularly worked more than forty hours per week.   The Court ruled that the claim to recover unpaid overtime would have to go to trial, despite the employer’s high tech solution to time card fraud.  Three former co-workers attested that they saw the plaintiff working beyond his prescribed hours, and any inconsistency among the various statements presents an issue to be resolved at trial.

After implementing Facial Recognition as well as timesheets, the employer still could not get summary judgment on a claim for unpaid overtime.  All it took for the plaintiff to get a trial was for him to contradict his own testimony in the deposition and a co-worker or two to agree he worked after hours.

Chen v. Royal Garden Adult Medical Daycare Center, Inc., No. SAG-17-2087 (D. Md. Dec. 6, 2018).