The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wilken, District Judge.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT ON PLAINTIFFS' FLSA CLAIM AND GRANTING
PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON MMBA CLAIM
Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1605 and five members of the Union's
committee (collectively, Plaintiffs) seek compensation for time spent
bargaining with Defendant Contra Costa County Transit Authority (CCCTA)
during a lawful strike in January, 1998. Plaintiffs move for summary
judgment on their claims that their time spent in negotiations was
compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 201
et seq., and that CCCTA's failure to pay them for this time violated
California's Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA), Cal. Gov't Code § 3500
et seq. CCCTA cross-moves for summary judgment, on the grounds that time
spent negotiating is not compensable under FLSA, and that CCCTA's refusal
to pay Plaintiffs neither changed the terms and conditions of Plaintiffs'
employment, discriminated against Plaintiffs, nor otherwise violated the
Applying the two-part test established in Tennessee Coal, Iron &
Railroad Co. v. Muscoda Local No. 123, 321 U.S. 590, 598, 64 S.Ct. 698,
88 L.Ed. 949 (1944), the Court finds that Plaintiffs' collective
bargaining activities are not compensable work activities under FLSA
because those activities were neither controlled by nor conducted for the
predominant benefit of' CCCTA. The Court thus grants CCCTA's cross-motion
for summary judgment as to Plaintiffs' claims under FLSA. The Court also
finds, however, that CCCTA established a term of employment by
compensating Plaintiffs for pre-expiration negotiations conducted during
time they would not otherwise have been on duty, and that CCCTA
unilaterally changed that condition in violation of § 3505 of the
MMBA by refusing to compensate Plaintiffs for negotiations conducted
during the strike.
The facts of this case are not in dispute. The CCCTA is a public
transit agency that provides bus service within central Contra Costa
County. Each of the individual Plaintiffs in this action is a full-time
bus operator for CCCTA. Full-time bus operators at CCCTA bid quarterly
either for an assigned "run," which lasts approximately three months, or
to work the "extra board," which consists of variable assignments left
vacant by other operators. The length of an operator's run determines the
minimum hours per day that he or she is paid.*fn1 Operators are paid
time and one-half for all hours in excess of forty hours per week.
Since December, 1985, Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1605 (the Union)
has been the exclusive representative of all bus operators employed by
CCCTA. CCCTA and the Union have entered into successive Memoranda of
Understanding (MOU), each of which has covered a three year period of
time. The most recent expired MOU covered the period from May, 1995 to
midnight, January 27, 1998. In the period from November, 1997 to the
MOU's expiration on January 27, 1998, bargaining teams for CCCTA and the
Union met fifteen times to negotiate a new MOU to cover the period from
1998 to 2001.*fn2
On January 24, 1998, the Union notified CCCTA that it would strike if
the parties could not agree on the terms of a new MOU by the time of the
expiration of the 1995-1998 agreement. The parties negotiated the night
of January 27, 1998 but were unable to reach an agreement. At 12:01
a.m., January 28, 1998, the Union bargaining team walked out of the
negotiations, thus beginning a strike that lasted until February 13,
1998. During this period all bus operators refused to report to work, and
COCTA canceled all regularly scheduled public transportation services. No
bus operator received any compensation during the strike.
The Union (including the negotiating committee) and COCTA continued
collective bargaining negotiations throughout the strike.*fn3 During the
strike, however, none of the members of the negotiating committee was
paid for any of the time spent in collective bargaining negotiations.
CCCTA did not inform the Union that members of the Union's negotiating
team would not be paid for the time they spent in negotiations during the
On February 9, 1998, the Union and the CCCTA reached a tentative
agreement on a new MOU. Neither the 1995-1998 nor the 1998-2001 MOU
addressed the issue of pay for bargaining time. The new MOU was
subsequently ratified by CCCTA's Board of Directors and the Union's
membership, and bus operators returned to work on February 13, 1998. On
February 26, 1998, the Union's counsel demanded that the Union officials
be paid for time spent in negotiations. CCCTA's counsel indicated that
CCCTA would not compensate the Union officials for time spent negotiating
during the strike. On April 22, 1998 the Union and individual members of
its negotiating committee filed this action, alleging that CCCTA's
failure to pay them for their participation in negotiations during the
strike violated FLSA and MMBA.
Summary judgment is properly granted when no genuine and disputed
issues of material fact remain, and when, viewing the evidence most
favorably to the nonmoving party, the movant is clearly entitled to
prevail as a matter of law. Fed. R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Eisenberg
v. Insurance Co. of North America, 815 F.2d 1285, 1288-89 (9th Cir.
The moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no material
factual dispute. Therefore, the Court must regard as true the opposing
party's evidence, if supported by affidavits or other evidentiary
material. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324, 106 S.Ct. 2548; Eisenberg, 815 F.2d
at 1289. The Court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
party against whom summary judgment is sought. Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d
538 (1986); Intel Corp. v. Hartford Accident and Indem. Co., 952 F.2d 1551,
1558 (9th Cir. 1991).
Material facts which would preclude entry of summary judgment are those
which, under applicable substantive law, may affect the outcome of the
case. The substantive law will identify which facts are material.
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