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Driscoll v. George Washington University

United States District Court, District of Columbia

April 5, 2013

DAVID M. DRISCOLL, et al., Plaintiffs,

For DAVID M. DRISCOLL, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff: Lesley Anne Tse, Michael J.D. Sweeney, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Dan Charles Getman, GETMAN & SWEENEY, PLLC., New Paltz, NY.

For GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, Defendant: Raymond C. Baldwin, LEAD ATTORNEY, Alexander J. Passantino, Esther Slater McDonald, SEYFARTH SHAW, LLP, Washington, DC; Richard L. Alfred, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, SEYFARTH SHAW LLP, Boston, MA.


ELLEN SEGAL HUVELLE, United States District Judge.


David Driscoll, a former employee of George Washington University (" GWU" ),

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has sued on behalf of himself and others similarly situated alleging that GWU violated federal and D.C. law by failing to pay overtime wages to certain employees. (Second Amended Class Action Complaint, Sept. 10, 2012 [ECF No. 24] (" Compl." ).) This Court previously denied GWU's motion to dismiss Driscoll's Fourth Cause of Action, which alleges violations of the D.C. Wage Payment and Collection Law (" DCWPCL" ), D.C. Code § 32-1302. See Driscoll v. George Wash. Univ., 2012 WL 3900716, at *8 (D.D.C. Sept. 10, 2012). Driscoll has now moved to certify a Rule 23 class action with respect to his DCWPCL claim (Plaintiff's Motion to Certify a Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 23 Class Action, Oct. 11, 2012 [ECF No. 34]), and GWU has moved for partial summary judgment as to that claim. (Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, Dec. 4, 2012 [ECF No. 45] (" Mot." ).)

For the reasons stated herein, the Court will grant GWU's motion for partial summary judgment, and as a result, Driscoll's motion to certify a Rule 23 class action will be denied as moot.


Driscoll was employed as an Executive Coordinator at GWU from April 2010--December 2011. (Defendant's Statement of Material Facts as to Which There is No Genuine Issue, Dec. 4, 2012 [ECF No. 45-1] (" Def.'s Facts" ) ¶ 2; Plaintiffs' Statement of Genuine Issues Necessary to Be Litigation and Statement of Material Facts as to Which There Is No Genuine Issue, Dec. 28, 2012 [ECF No. 55-2] (" Pl.'s Facts" ) ¶ 2.) He was promoted to a Department Operations/Administrative Manager in December 2011, where he remained until his termination in February 2012. (Def.'s Facts ¶ 3; Pl.'s Facts ¶ 3.) Driscoll was initially classified as an exempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. (" FLSA" ), and the D.C. Minimum Wage Act, D.C. Code § 32-1012 et seq. (" DCMWA" ), so he did not receive overtime payments. (Compl. ¶ 43.) In 2011, GWU undertook a project to review the classifications of many positions, including Driscoll's Executive Coordinator position. (Def.'s Facts ¶ 4; Pl.'s Facts ¶ 4.) As a result of that review, GWU reclassified Driscoll as non-exempt, thereby entitling him to prospective overtime payments consistent with the FLSA and the DCMWA. (Def.'s Facts ¶ 5; Pl.'s Facts ¶ 5.)

GWU also decided to pay reclassified employees overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week during the two years prior to the reclassification. (Def.'s Facts ¶ 7; Pl.'s Facts ¶ ¶ 7, 48.) To determine the amount of overtime owed each employee, GWU relied on managers and supervisors to estimate the overtime hours worked by each reclassified employee. (Def.'s Facts ¶ 8.) Driscoll's supervisor estimated that Driscoll had worked a total of 24 overtime hours during the roughly 20 months he had worked at GWU prior to his reclassification. ( Id. ¶ 11.) GWU then paid Driscoll for those overtime hours at an amount one-half his normal hourly rate, based on a method set forth in a Wage & Hour Opinion Letter from the U.S. Department of Labor. ( Id. ¶ 12; Pl.'s Facts ¶ 12.) GWU then notified Driscoll that it had reclassified his position as non-exempt and would be paying him for 24 hours of overtime worked prior to the reclassification, which amounted to $232.98, minus taxes and withholdings. (Def.'s Facts ¶ ¶ 14-16; Pl.'s Facts ¶ ¶ 14-16.)

In response to that letter, Driscoll contacted GWU and asserted that he had " clearly worked well in excess of 24 hours of overtime." (Def.'s Facts ¶ 20; Pl.'s Facts ¶ 20.) As evidence of that fact, Driscoll provided GWU with a spreadsheet

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containing the hours he worked during one two-week period, which included more than 50 overtime hours. (Pl.'s Facts ΒΆ 42.) However, he did not identify the total number of overtime hours he believes he worked prior to the reclassification, and GWU has not paid him any additional money ...

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