Ramos v. Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc., No. 11-2616 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, “captains” in defendants’ wholesale food warehouse, sought unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs, under the Fair Labor Standards Act 29 U.S.C. 207(a)(1), 216(b) and an analogous section of New York Labor Law. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants on all claims on the ground that plaintiffs are “executives” exempt from the overtime pay provisions The Second Circuit affirmed. The only disputed criterion was whether the teams of employees that plaintiffs supervise constitute “customarily recognized department[s] or subdivision[s],” of the company, defined by Department of Labor regulations as units with “a permanent status and a continuing function.” The court acknowledged that a warehouse worker who earns $700 per week ensuring that vegetables and other foodstuffs are loaded onto the correct delivery trucks and who lacks an office, a cubicle, or even a chair, to call his own does not fit the popular image of a “bona fide executive,” but concluded that plaintiffs fit the DOL definition.