Caiazza v. Marceno

2020 WL 5892019 (2020)

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Caiazza v. Marceno

United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
2020 WL 5892019 (2020)

Facts

Joseph Caiazza (plaintiff) was employed by Carmine Marceno (defendant), the Lee County sheriff, as one of two patrol officers assigned to Florida’s Captiva and Sanibel Islands (collectively, the islands). Caiazza’s duty schedule was as follows: seven 12-hour on-duty shifts every 14 days, each followed by a 12-hour on-call period, plus one additional on-call day each week. While on call, Caiazza was forbidden from drinking alcohol, required to keep his cell phone on him, and required to respond to calls within one hour. The response-time requirement prevented Caiazza from leaving the islands or their surrounding waters. Caiazza sued Marceno under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), alleging that (1) his on-call time was compensable and (2) he had not received overtime pay for all hours worked, including for callouts. Caiazza alleged that Marceno’s policies effectively prevented and discouraged employees from reporting overtime hours and that he had been threatened that his pay would be withheld if he reported all overtime hours worked. Evidence submitted indicated that Caiazza had been called out an average of five times in a two-week period. Marceno countered and moved for summary judgment, arguing that Caiazza was not restricted from using his on-call time to engage in personal activities and that Caiazza had been paid for all overtime hours worked. Christopher Lusk, the other patrol officer assigned to the islands, testified on Marceno’s behalf that Lusk was able to use his on-call hours to engage in recreational activities and spend time with his family.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Chappell, J.)

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