trained firefighters who work for a mental health facility. Under the regulations interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act, the plaintiffs do not fall under the section 207(k) exception. In the absence of a showing that the regulations are unreasonable or that they can be interpreted in defendant's favor, the Court finds that the plaintiffs are entitled to overtime when they work in excess of forty hours in a week.
The District wants to treat the plaintiffs as fire department employees only for the purpose of paying overtime. It wants to treat them differently than firefighters for the purpose of determining pay and benefits. The District pays the plaintiffs less money than it pays its Fire Department employees, and it also gives the plaintiffs less valuable benefits. See Plaintiff's Exhibit F, Declaration of Victor Gravis. Although the District fails to treat the plaintiffs the same way it treats firefighters in the Fire Department, it is asking the Court to overlook this fact and treat the two groups the same for the purpose of exempting the plaintiffs from the operation of the FLSA. If the District wants these two groups to receive the same treatment, it can do it simply by making the plaintiffs "real" firefighters and placing them under the control of the Fire Department. In the absence of defendant's willingness to do this, the defendant's argument is untenable. With the stroke of a pen, the District can accomplish what it is asking this Court to do. By its refusal to grant plaintiffs full firefighting status, it is able to deprive plaintiffs of certain valuable rights and benefits. If the District wants to obtain FLSA exemptive status for these plaintiffs, it will have to give them the privileges they are entitled to receive as full-fledged firefighters. Summary judgment will be granted in favor of the plaintiffs on this cause of action.
C. Calculation of Pay, Overtime and Leave
The plaintiffs have put eight other causes of action in their complaint addressing the way in which the District calculates their overtime compensation, their pay while on leave, and their annual and sick leave. The District urges the Court not to take jurisdiction over these claims because the claims deal with "purely local personnel matters." Defendant's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment, 8. Therefore, the Defendant claims, the Court lacks an adequate basis for taking jurisdiction because these counts present neither federal questions nor questions appropriate for pendent jurisdiction. The Defendant makes no argument in the alternative to provide for the possibility that the Court may find that it does have jurisdiction.
Like the claims raised in counts I and II of the complaints, all of plaintiffs' remaining claims involve an alleged failure by the District to pay plaintiffs what they are legally due. Many of the claims implicate the FLSA, but whether or not they do raise federal questions, the Court is prepared to take pendent jurisdiction over all of them.
For many years, pendent jurisdiction was evaluated in light of the Supreme Court's decision in United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 725, 16 L. Ed. 2d 218 , 86 S. Ct. 1130 (1966) holding that a district court must determine whether it has the power to hear a pendent state claim and whether it is appropriate to exercise its discretion to hear the claim. Accord District of Columbia Common Cause v. District of Columbia, 858 F.2d 1, 10 (D.C.Cir. 1988) Since the plaintiffs have presented at least two significant federal questions, the Court does have power to hear the state claims. This is especially so because the remaining claims "derive from a common nucleus of operative fact," namely the jobs performed by the plaintiffs and the compensation that's been given to them by the District, and because it would not be in the interest of judicial economy, convenience or fairness to decline jurisdiction.
Recently, Congress codified the pendent jurisdiction doctrine. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367. It applies to cases filed after December 1, 1990. The statute states that
(a) district courts shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy. . . .