O'Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy, No. 16-1901 (1st Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
At issue in this case was whether the delivery drivers for a Maine dairy company fell within the scope of an exemption from Maine’s overtime law. Specifically at issue was an exemption to the overtime law that covers employees whose work involves the “packing for shipment or distribution of” enumerated food products. The drivers argued that these words referred to the single activity of “packing,” whether the packing was for “shipment” or for “distribution.” The district court granted summary judgment to the dairy company, concluding that “distribution” was a stand-alone exempt activity. The First Circuit reversed, holding that the exemption at issue is ambiguous, and, under Maine law, must be construed in the narrow manner that the drivers favor in order to accomplish the overtime law’s remedial purposes. Remanded.