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Nance v. May Trucking Co.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

May 20, 2014

SCOTT NANCE and FREDERICK FREEDMAN, individuals on behalf of themselves, all others similarly situated, and the general public, Plaintiffs,
v.
MAY TRUCKING COMPANY, an Idaho corporation, and DOES 1 through 100, Defendants.

Allison H. Goddard, James Patterson, Patterson Law Group, APC, San Diego, CA, Steve D. Larson, Jennifer S. Wagner, Stoll Stoll Berne Lokting & Shlachter, Portland, OR, Attorneys for Plaintiffs

Adam C. Smedstad, Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C., Chicago, IL, James H. Hanson, Kelli M. Block, . Jay Taylor, Jr., Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C., Indianapolis, IN, Kim T. Buckley, Esler Stephens & Buckley, Portland, OR, Attorneys for Defendants.

FINDINGS OF FACT & CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

MARCO A. HERNNDEZ, District Judge.

Plaintiffs Scott Nance and Frederick Freedman are former employees of Defendant May Trucking Company. Plaintiffs alleged minimum wage violations, improper deduction of wages, and penalty wages for failure to pay wages upon termination, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated. Plaintiffs' motion for class certification was granted in part. Only the improper deduction claim was not certified.

After ruling on summary judgment motions, the claims remaining for trial were the third claim for improper deductions under ORS § 652.610 and the fourth claim for penalty wages for failure to pay wages upon termination under ORS § 652.140. The fourth claim for penalty wages is dependent on a finding that improper deductions occurred. Because the improper deduction claim was not certified, only Plaintiff Freedman asserts these claims. Plaintiff seeks $400 in penalties pursuant to ORS § 652.615 for improper deductions and $3, 129.90 in penalty wages pursuant to ORS § 652.150 for failure to pay all wages upon termination. Plaintiff agreed to waive his right to a jury trial on these claims. Feb. 11, 2014 Order [151]. On March 19, 2014, a one-day court trial was held. The following are my findings of fact and conclusions of law.

FINDINGS OF FACT

Based on the evidence present at trial, I find the following:

1. Plaintiff Freedman is a resident of Arizona and was hired in Arizona by Defendant May Trucking. Because Plaintiff resides in Arizona, his withholding taxes were reported to Arizona.
2. Plaintiff was dispatched out of Brooks, Oregon, Defendant's headquarters. Defendant reported Plaintiff's wages for unemployment purposes to the State of Oregon.
3. Defendant processed Plaintiff's payroll at its headquarters in Oregon. Plaintiff was paid from Oregon.
4. Plaintiff agreed to have all workers' compensation claims adjudicated in Oregon. Ex. 15 at 3.
5. Defendant has an engine idle policy that states the maximum amount of time a driver is allowed to idle the truck. The driver may exceed these limits by purchasing additional idle time. The driver may also seek authorization to idle the truck beyond the limits for exceptional circumstances, such as mechanical breakdowns or severe weather conditions. Ex. 3.
6. Plaintiff signed an authorization titled "Engine Idle Policy and Authorization to Deduct" on December 15, 2010. The authorization states that "[u]se of excess engine idle time is for my benefit and indicates my voluntary election to incur this cost. Amounts owed... are to be deducted... during the two pay periods (two weeks) following each engine extraction." Ex. 4.
7. On April 13, 2011, Plaintiff picked up a truck from a shop in Phoenix, Arizona. The driver log shows that Plaintiff was assigned truck #4863, but Plaintiff testified that he drove truck #4480. Plaintiff discovered that the truck battery was dead. The truck was jump-started and Plaintiff drove the truck to May Trucking's yard, arriving at about 11:00 a.m. Plaintiff alerted the safety manager at the yard that the truck ...

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