Florida District Court Allows Off-Site Work Case to Proceed to Trial

On April 9, 2008, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida denied summary judgment in Saphos v. Gross Pointe Development Company, Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29182 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 9, 2008). In this case, the employee complained that her company failed to pay her overtime for hours spent attending evening events outside of her regular work hours. The employee alleged that she was required to attend these events at the direction of her supervisor. The company countered that the events were “public and charitable” events that the employee attended voluntarily. The federal court rejected the company’s argument. Discussing the DOL’s regulation pertaining to the compensability of “public and charitable” events (29 C.F.R. 785.44), the court explained that there are “three scenarios” in which employees must be paid for time the spend at off-site events: (1) where attendance is requested by the employer; (2) where the event is subject to the employer’s discretion or control; or (3) where the employee is normally required to be on the premises of the event. Since the jury could find one of these scenarios to be satisfied, summary judgment was denied. The employee will get her day in court.
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