Mark Kreter Secures Trial Court Victory for the City of Battle Creek in Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit

Mark Kreter obtained a noteworthy defense verdict from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in civil litigation over nonpayment of overtime compensation by the Battle Creek Fire Department.

According to a complaint filed by two fire department officials in September 2015, the City of Battle Creek violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to pay them for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Specifically, the plaintiffs, both of whom served as battalion chiefs, claimed that because they had to be on weekly standby duty, the FLSA entitled them to overtime for those additional hours at 150 percent of their regular pay rate.

Mark initially sought to have the case dismissed in favor of arbitration in June 2016, and again on a motion for summary disposition in November 2017, both of which were denied. The case then proceeded to a bench trial, after which U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff ruled that the plaintiffs were exempt from overtime pay because both men served in “executive” and “administrative” functions, exceptions to the FLSA’s overtime requirements.

The plaintiffs appealed the verdict, but the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Neff’s ruling, preserving the decision in the city’s favor.

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