RONALD J. SCHILLING, JR.; RUSSELL E. DOLAN; JONATHAN A. HECKER, Individually and On Behalf of Other Similarly Situated Employees, Plaintiffs - Appellants,
SCHMIDT BAKING COMPANY, INC., Defendant-Appellee.
Argued: September 13, 2017
from the United States District Court for the District of
Maryland, at Baltimore. J. Frederick Motz, Senior District
Benjamin Leon Davis, III, LAW OFFICES OF PETER T. NICHOLL,
Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellants.
Anthony Walter Kraus, MILES & STOCKBRIDGE P.C.,
Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.
A. Lanier, LAW OFFICES OF PETER T. NICHOLL, Baltimore,
Maryland, for Appellants.
Kathleen A. Pontone, Amber Jackson, MILES & STOCKBRIDGE
P.C., Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.
AGEE, KEENAN, and HARRIS, Circuit Judges.
BARBARA MILANO KEENAN, CIRCUIT JUDGE
appeal, we consider whether the district court erred in
dismissing a complaint filed by three individuals against
their former employer, Schmidt Baking Company, Inc., under
the Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 201
et seq., the Maryland Wage and Hour Law, Md. Code
Ann., Lab. & Empl. Art. § 3-401 et seq.,
and the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, Md. Code
Ann., Lab. & Empl. Art. § 3-501 et seq.
Professional motor carriers, like Schmidt Baking Company,
generally are exempt from the FLSA's requirement that
employers pay "overtime" wages for hours worked in
excess of 40 hours per week. However, Congress recently
waived this exemption for motor carrier employees whose work,
in whole or in part, affects the safety of vehicles weighing
10, 000 pounds or less. Upon our review, we conclude that the
plaintiffs fall within the group of employees protected by
the above waiver and, thus, are entitled to overtime wages
for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. We therefore
reverse the district court's dismissal of the
plaintiffs' FLSA claims, but affirm the court's
dismissal of the plaintiffs' separate claims brought
under Maryland law.
plaintiffs, Ronald Schilling, Russell Dolan, and Jonathan
Hecker (collectively, the plaintiffs), worked as district
sales managers for the defendant, Schmidt Baking Company,
Inc. (Schmidt), for a period of time after 2008. The
plaintiffs were nonexempt salaried employees and frequently
worked more than 40 hours in a given week. For all hours
worked, the plaintiffs were paid at the regular wage rate,
and were not paid overtime wages for hours worked in excess
of 40 hours per week.
the plaintiffs' employment, Schmidt provided baked goods
to restaurants, grocery stores, and other small businesses
across several states in the Mid-Atlantic region. Schmidt
entered into contracts with independent operators who
executed some of these deliveries. Those contract operators
owned or leased "box trucks, " which weighed over
10, 000 pounds, to move the goods throughout the delivery
network. Schmidt also maintained a limited number of company
vehicles at each of its depots. This fleet included trucks of
a variety of sizes, some weighing less and some weighing more
than 10, 000 pounds.
the various operators were unable to complete their
deliveries, the plaintiffs often were required to perform
those deliveries. Because of the quantity of deliveries and
the limited number of drivers, the plaintiffs spent between
65% and 85% of their time each week making deliveries. The
type of vehicles the plaintiffs used to make the deliveries
varied according to the delivery requirements of a given day,
but the plaintiffs used their personal vehicles for between
70% and 90% of the deliveries they made. Each of the
plaintiffs' personal vehicles weighed less than 10, 000
plaintiffs filed the present federal action under the FLSA,
the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (the MWHL), and the Maryland
Wage Payment and Collection Law (the MWPCL). The plaintiffs
allege that they were entitled to payment of overtime wages
for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Schmidt
moved to dismiss the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), or in the alternative, for summary
judgment under Rule 56. The ...