Mullins, et al. v. City of New York, No. 09-3435 (2d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, sergeants in the New York City Police Department (NYPD), brought this lawsuit alleging denial of overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq., for the period covering April 19, 2001 to the present. Plaintiffs appealed from a July 20, 2009 judgment of the district court in favor of defendant and sought review of, inter alia, the district court's November 6, 2007 Opinion and Order denying their motion for summary judgment and sua sponte granting partial summary judgment in favor of defendant. The court held that the Department of Labor's interpretation of its regulations was not "plainly erroneous or inconsistent" with the pertinent FLSA regulations and thus was entitled to controlling deference. Applying that interpretation to the facts of the case, the court held that the primary duty of sergeants was not "management" and therefore, plaintiffs did not qualify for the "bona fide executive" exemption from the FLSA's overtime pay requirements. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's judgment and remanded the case to the district court with instructions to enter judgment in favor of plaintiffs and for further proceedings.