United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
S. MOODY JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE came before the Court for non-jury trial on February
22, February 23, March 22, March 23, and March 24, 2017.
Jennifer Jenkins claims that S. David Anton, P.A. failed to
pay her overtime compensation to which she was entitled under
the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Anton
disputes that Jenkins worked more than forty hours in a work
week. Having heard the testimony of the parties and their
witnesses, and having reviewed the documentary evidence, the
Court concludes that judgment should be entered for Defendant
Anton. The Court finds Anton's testimony more credible
because it better matches the other evidence in the case,
particularly the testimony of other employees.
support a claim for overtime compensation, an employee must:
(1) establish either enterprise coverage or individual
coverage under the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1), and (2)
prove she worked more than forty hours in a work week.
Jenkins concedes that enterprise coverage does not apply to
this case, but contends that individual coverage does.
Individual coverage exists where an employee regularly uses
the instrumentalities of interstate commerce in her work,
e.g., makes regular and recurrent use of interstate
telephone, telegraph, mails, or travel. Thorne v. All
Restoration Services, Inc., 448 Fed.3d 1264 (11th Cir.
2006). It is unnecessary for the Court to decide this issue
since, even if there were individual coverage, Jenkins'
claim fails because the Court finds she did not work more
than forty hours in any given work week.
worked for Anton for nine months from February 11, 2013,
until November 4, 2013. She was a single mother with two
children, ages seventeen and twenty. Her seventeen-year-old
daughter was a senior in high school graduating at the end of
May. Her twenty-year-old son was a student at St. Petersburg
Junior College. Both children lived with Jenkins in St.
Petersburg, Florida. Anton's office was, and is, in
Tampa, Florida, between forty-five minutes to an hour away
depending on traffic.
was an active and attentive mother. She planned graduation
events for her daughter in May and helped her move when she
began college in August of 2013 at the University of Central
Florida in Orlando. Jenkins was co-chair of the Public
Affairs Committee of the Junior League. As such, she helped
plan a Tiger Bay luncheon, a well-known political event,
during her time of employment with Anton. And she was a
fulltime student at the University of South Florida scheduled
to graduate with a B.A. in May 2013. Her class schedule was:
Economics: Monday, 6:20 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - Tampa campus
Conflict in the World: Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m. - St.
Senior Seminar: Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. to 8:55 p.m. - St.
Environmental Law: Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. -
Sarasota campus (online with 4 classes)
says she only attended nine of these classes.
presented an excellent resume at her first hiring interview
with Anton. She had thirteen years' experience as a
family law paralegal. She was technologically savvy and well
versed in various computer applications. She understood the
office hours were 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through
Friday. Anton explained that his office was not a busy one
and overtime would probably not be necessary. The contract he
presented for her to sign provided that overtime would not be
paid. But Anton told her that if overtime became absolutely
necessary, he would pay it. He said that in the past fifteen
years or so, overtime had been claimed on rare occasions,
like when he moved his office, and he paid whatever amount of
overtime was claimed. He also explained that Yvette
Rodriguez, the paralegal Jenkins was replacing, never worked
more than forty hours a week even though she was out
frequently with medical issues.
this interview, Anton gave Jenkins a handwritten list of his
pending cases, seventeen in all, comprised of four securities
cases and thirteen family law cases. Two of the securities
cases involved little to no work because one was almost
completed and a second involved an unlicensed investment
advisor who filed bankruptcy shortly after Jenkins started.
The average security case took about as much time as a
complex divorce case.
claims that every day she would arrive at work by 8:00 to
8:15 a.m. and would stay until 6:30 p.m. to midnight. She
also worked through lunch every day and on some weekends.
Anton disputes this. Anton says that Jenkins' fixed work
time soon became a relaxed schedule where she would take time
off as needed and then try to make up the time either by
working through ...