Secretary of Labor v. Timberline South, LLC, No. 18-1763 (6th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Timberline, a timber-harvesting company that operates solely in Michigan, uses logging and harvesting equipment and trucks that were purchased in Michigan but were manufactured outside of Michigan. The Secretary of Labor sued Timberline and its director, Payne, alleging violations of the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The district court awarded $439,437.42 in unpaid overtime and an equal amount in liquidated damages, reasoning that Timberline was a covered enterprise under the FLSA because it “has employees handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for commerce by any person,” 29 U.S.C. 203(s)(1)(A)(i), i.e., the logging and harvesting equipment manufactured outside of Michigan. Part of the damages award included time employees spent commuting from home to work or for meal periods, which the district court included in the overtime calculation after finding that Timberline had an established custom or practice of compensating its employees for such time. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the liability determination but vacated the award. The district court erred in finding that ordinary commute time and bona fide meal periods qualify as compensable hours subject to the FLSA’s overtime requirements.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on May 29, 2019.