This result is wholly consistent with the regulation and the legislative history. Moreover, it is reinforced by the individual rulings of the Department of Labor, which has exempted certain newspaper jobs because of factors which are typically found in the work record and required performance of each of the 13 reporters/editors reviewed here.
Unfortunately, this action appears to reflect a misconception of the thrust of the FLSA. The Act was never intended to be a substitute for collective bargaining. Some professional employees of The Washington Post may be underpaid in the light of their contribution to the enterprise and the level of compensation that professionals in some other fields apparently receive these days. However, this matter remains to be resolved at the bargaining table. Higher compensation may not be achieved by the plaintiffs' deprecation of the creative, responsible work they perform at the Post, so as to take advantage of FLSA time and a half pay for overtime requirement.
As to the remaining reporters and photographers, the Court considers it is inappropriate to go beyond the 13 selected cases discussed above. If the ruling here is affirmed, should an appeal follow, or if it is mutually accepted, it will serve to guide the result as to other reporters/editors. In any event, other plaintiffs are entitled to renew their individual claims in separate actions if they choose.
Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment is denied; defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted; and the complaint of the 13 reporter/editor plaintiffs is dismissed with prejudice. The complaint is dismissed without prejudice as to all remaining plaintiffs. Each party shall bear its own costs. The Clerk of Court shall enter judgment accordingly.
Orders covering this ruling and other aspects of the case are attached.
The Court has before it cross-motions for summary judgment relating to certain Washington Post photographers, filed as companion motions to the cross-motions for summary judgment relating to reporters/editors resolved by the Court's Memorandum and Order filed this day. There are material facts in dispute as to these photographer jobs which cannot be resolved by summary judgment and all photographer plaintiffs are hereby dismissed, without prejudice.
For reasons stated in the accompanying Memorandum Regarding Reporters/Editors filed this day, it is hereby
ORDERED that the motion for summary judgment filed by The Washington Post is granted as to plaintiffs Boodman, Diuguid, Engel, Hazlett, Homan, Isikoff, Kenworthy, Lardner, McQueen, Muscatine, Sherwood, Sun and Walsh, and the complaint is dismissed with prejudice as to these plaintiffs; and it is further
ORDERED that the motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of each of the plaintiffs named in the preceding paragraph is denied; and it is further
ORDERED that issues of fact exist as to all but the thirteen reporter/editor plaintiffs named above which must be resolved in separate actions and the claims of these plaintiffs are each dismissed, without prejudice, thus mooting the cross-motions as to each of them.