United States Department of Labor v. Five Star Automatic Fire Protection, LLC, No. 19-51119 (5th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
In Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Company, if the employer's records are inaccurate or inadequate, a plaintiff need only show by just and reasonable inference that she was an employee, worked the hours, and was not paid. In this unpaid-overtime case, the district court applied Mt. Clemens because Five Star's timesheets left numerous evidentiary gaps which the Department of Labor filled with consistent testimony that Five Star urged employees not to record their pre- and post-shift work hours. The Department then used this testimony to estimate unpaid hours and calculate back wages.
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment, holding that Five Star's only rebuttal evidence of a summary chart based on the company president's memory failed to negate any raised inferences of unpaid work. Therefore, Five Star fails to show that the district court committed any error concerning its finding of liability or calculation of damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act.