Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rodriguez v. Gold Star, Inc.,

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

June 7, 2017

JUAN ANDRES RODRIGUEZ, and all other similarly situated under 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
GOLD STAR, INC., FIRST CLASS PARKING SERVICES, CORP., et al., Defendants-Appellees.

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida D.C. Docket No. 1:15-cv-20902-AOR

          Before MARCUS, ANDERSON, and GINSBURG, [*] Circuit Judges.

          ANDERSON, Circuit Judge:

         In this Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") case, Appellant Juan Rodriguez argues that the cars that he parks in his job as a valet parker are the interstate "materials" that bring his employer within the definition of an enterprise engaged in commerce such as to provide FLSA coverage.

         Rodriguez brought this action against his former employers, Gold Star, Inc., First Class Parking Services, Corp., and First Class Parking Systems LLC, and individual defendants Sebastian Lopez and Jorge Zuluaga. Rodriguez worked for these associated companies as a valet runner and parker at three locations in Miami Beach from April 1, 2012, to November 15, 2014. He parked cars and retrieved them; he did not wash them, handle tickets, or answer the phone. At this employment, he worked an average of 100 hours per week and while he was always paid for his hours, he was not paid the overtime premium for the hours he worked beyond 40 hours.

         The parties filed cross motions for summary judgment and the district court granted the Defendants' and denied the Plaintiff's. Rodriguez moved for reconsideration, which the court denied because he could not satisfy any of the three possible reasons for reopening. Rodriguez now appeals.

         Of the several ways an employee might be covered under the FLSA, in this appeal Rodriguez argues only that he was covered because his employer was subject to enterprise coverage under the "handling clause" of the "enterprise coverage prong." The "enterprise coverage prong" provides as follows:

"Enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce" means an enterprise that--
(A)(i) has employees engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or that has employees handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for commerce by any person; and (ii) is an enterprise whose annual gross volume of sales made or business done is not less than $500, 000 (exclusive of excise taxes at the retail level that are separately stated);

29 U.S.C. § 203(s)(1)(A). Rodriguez's sole argument on appeal is that the cars he parked and thus "handled" were "materials" within the meaning of § 203(s)(1)(A)(i).[1] Because it is undisputed that Rodriguez did "handle" the cars, and undisputed that the cars "have been moved in or produced for commerce, " and undisputed that the sales volume threshold is met, the dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the cars were "materials."[2]

         We addressed the scope of the term "materials" in a comprehensive opinion in Polycarpe v. E&S Landscaping Service, Inc., 616 F.3d 1217 (11th Cir. 2010), in the similar context of "local service providers to customers within the state of Florida." 616 F.3d at 1219. Specifically, we looked at the addition of the words "or materials" in the 1974 amendment to the Act. First, we rejected the "coming to rest" doctrine, whereby courts required the employer to be the one who brought the good or material into the state; if the material was purchased locally, the doctrine held, then the goods or materials could not qualify, despite their out-of-state origin. Id. at 1221. We held that interpretation was at odds with the plain language of the statute. Id.

         Then we turned to the harder question of what Congress meant when the 1974 Amendment added "or materials, " thus making the "handling clause" apply not only to "goods" but also to "materials." The term "goods" is defined in the Act:

"Goods" means goods (including ships and marine equipment), wares, products, commodities, merchandise, or articles or subjects of commerce of any character, or any part or ingredient thereof, but does not include goods after their delivery into the actual physical possession of the ultimate consumer thereof other than a producer, manufacturer, or processor thereof.

29 U.S.C. § 203(i). By contrast, "materials" is not defined in the Act. In analyzing the interplay of the terms "goods" and "materials, " we held that "materials" are necessarily not "goods" and thus are not subject to the exclusion in the "goods" definition for items "after their delivery into the actual physical possession of the ultimate consumer thereof other than a producer, manufacturer, or processor thereof." Polycarpe, 616 F.3d at 1222. This exclusion is known as the ultimate consumer exception. In other words, we held that the definitions of "goods" and "materials" are mutually exclusive, and that the ultimate consumer exception applies only to "goods." In arriving at these conclusions, we applied several basic canons of statutory interpretation, referred to dictionary definitions and focused on the dictionary definition that avoided overlap with the statutory definition of "goods, " thus avoiding an implied repeal of the definition of "goods" or the ultimate consumer exception, which is part of that definition. Id. at 1222-24. This process led us to "the most accurate view of Congress's intent for the interplay between ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.