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United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
September 22, 2021, Argued; January 5, 2022, Decided
[*415] WYNN, Circuit Judge:
[*416] Plaintiff Sara Conner appeals from the district court's order granting judgment on the pleadings to her employer, the Cleveland County Emergency Medical Services ("Cleveland Emergency Services"), which is a department of Defendant Cleveland County, North Carolina. Conner's complaint alleged that Cleveland County underpaid her for straight (i.e., non-overtime) hours worked during weeks in which she also worked overtime.
At issue is whether this alleged underpayment [**2] is a violation of the overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, under the theory of "overtime gap time." After careful review, we hold that the district court dismissed the suit based on a misreading of our opinion in Monahan v. County of Chesterfield, 95 F.3d 1263 (4th Cir. 1996). Under the correct standard articulated hereinafter, Conner adequately alleged a Fair Labor Standards Act claim. Accordingly, we vacate and remand for further proceedings.
] We apply the same standard for Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) motions for judgment on the pleadings as for motions made pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). See Butler v. United States, 702 F.3d 749, 751-52 (4th Cir. 2012) (citing Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999)). As such, we recount the facts as alleged by Plaintiff, accepting them as true and drawing all reasonable inferences in Plaintiff's favor. See E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Kolon Indus., Inc., 637 F.3d 435, 440 (4th Cir. 2011).
For at least three years preceding the filing of her complaint in 2018, Conner worked as an emergency medical services ("EMS") employee for Cleveland Emergency Services. Pursuant to its Standard Operating Guideline, Cleveland Emergency Services assigns EMS personnel such as Conner to a 21-day repeating schedule in which each employee works a 24-hour shift followed by 48 hours off (the "24 on/48 off schedule"). The Standard Operating Guideline refers to personnel who work this schedule as "full-time EMS personnel." J.A. 9.1 Individuals working the 24 on/48 off schedule will always [**3] work more than 40 hours per week, since they will have at least two (and sometimes three) 24-hour shifts each week. See Reply Br. at 20 n.9 (providing an example of the 24 on/48 off 21-day schedule).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
22 F.4th 412 *; 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 388 **; 2022 WL 53977
SARA B. CONNER, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. CLEVELAND COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA a/k/a Cleveland County Emergency Medical Services, Defendant - Appellee.
Subsequent History: US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Cleveland Cnty. v. Conner, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 5395 (U.S., Dec. 12, 2022)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at Asheville. (1:18-cv-00002-MR-WCM). Martin K. Reidinger, Chief District Judge.
Conner v. Cleveland Cty., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141975, 2019 WL 3948365 (W.D.N.C., Aug. 21, 2019)
Disposition: VACATED AND REMANDED.
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Civil Procedure, Judgments, Pretrial Judgments, Judgment on Pleadings, Business & Corporate Compliance, Wage & Hour Laws, Scope & Definitions, Overtime & Work Periods, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Labor & Employment Law, Governmental Employees, Minimum Wage, Remedies, Private Suits, Labor & Employment Law, Wage Payments, Employment Contracts, Conditions & Terms, Compensation & Benefits