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Shepard v. City of Waterloo

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division

August 29, 2017

RANDY SHEPARD, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF WATERLOO, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LINDA R. READE, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. INTRODUCTION .......................................2

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY ........................2

         III. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION .........................4

         IV. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD .........................5

         V. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND .......................6

A. Parties .......................................... 6

         B. The Collective Bargaining Agreement ..................... 6

         VI. ANALYSIS ........................................... 7

         A. City Motion ...................................... 7

1. Count I ..................................... 7

         2. Issue Preclusion: Counts IV and V ................... 8

3. Res Judicata ................................ 11

         a. Choice of law ........................... 12

b. Discussion ............................. 12

         (1) Final judgment on the merits .............13

         (2) Proper jurisdiction ....................14

         (3) Same cause of action ..................14

         (4) Same parties .......................16

         4. Gap time theory ..............................17

         5. FLSA claims ................................17

         6. Retaliation ..................................19

         B. Shepard Motion .................................... 22

         VII. CONCLUSION ....................................... 24

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The matters before the court are Defendant City of Waterloo's (“City”) Motion for Summary Judgment (“City Motion”) (docket no. 16) and Plaintiff Randy Shepard's “Supplemental Pleading” (“Shepard Motion”) (docket no. 27) (collectively, “Motions”).

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The instant action stems from another case that Shepard filed in the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County. See Shepard v. City of Waterloo, 14-CV-2057-LRR (“Shepard I”). On August 15, 2014, Shepard filed a case in the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County against his employer, the City. See Shepard I Petition (Shepard I docket no. 3). The City removed the case and, after proceeding through discovery, moved for summary judgment. See Shepard I Notice of Removal (Shepard I docket no. 1); Shepard I Motion for Summary Judgment (Shepard I docket no. 11). On December 16, 2015, the court granted in part and denied in part the Motion for Summary Judgment in Shepard I. See Shepard I December 16, 2015 Order (Shepard I docket no. 18). The court shall discuss the particulars of the December 16, 2015 Order below.

         On May 25, 2016, Shepard filed a pro se Petition (docket no. 3) in the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County against the City and the Construction & Laborer's Local 177 Union (“Union”). In the Petition, Shepard sets forth six claims: (1) the City and Union breached the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) governing Shepard's employment with the City by failing to proceed to binding arbitration on various grievances that Shepard filed with the City (“Count I”); (2) the City “stole” one hour of Shepard's compensatory time from a compensatory time “bank” on at least one occasion, in violation of Iowa Code § 91A.5 (“Count II”); (3) the City failed to pay Shepard for three hours that he worked per week in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and Iowa law (“Count III”); (4) the City failed to pay his regular rate under the CBA in violation of the FLSA and Iowa law (“Count IV”); (5) the City failed to pay his overtime in good faith in violation of the FLSA (“Count V”); and (6) the City retaliated against him by increasing the hours he was required to work each week without increasing his pay and by reducing the amount of overtime hours he was eligible to receive in violation of the FLSA and Iowa law (“Count VIII”). See Petition at 2-7. Though improperly styled as “claims, ” Shepard also states that the City's violations of the FLSA were willful (“Count VI”), that he is entitled “to all penalties and damages” available for his claims (“Count VII”) and that Counts II through VI were equitably tolled (“Count IX”). See id. at 5-7.[1] Shepard further states that Counts II through VI “are filed as a result of an earlier federal court ruling stating that [he] was to have exhausted the CBA grievance procedure prior to filing a claim in federal court.” Petition at 2. On June 3, 2016, the City and the Union removed the action, bringing the case before the court. See Notice of Removal (docket no. 2). On June 10, 2016, the City filed an Answer (docket no. 7) generally denying liability and asserting affirmative defenses. On July 19, 2016, Shepard and the Union filed a Joint Stipulation of Dismissal (docket no. 11), dismissing the action as to the Union with prejudice, leaving the City as the sole Defendant in this action.

         On May 10, 2017, Shepard filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration (docket no. 15). In the Motion to Compel Arbitration, Shepard argued that the court should compel the City to arbitrate various grievances because he had complied with the procedure outlined in the CBA. See Motion to Compel Arbitration at 1-2. On August 15, 2017, the court denied the Motion to Compel Arbitration because it determined that Shepard, as an individual, could not compel the City to arbitrate his grievances. See August 15, 2017 Order (docket no. 29) at 8.

         On May 12, 2017, the City filed the City Motion. On June 7, 2017, Shepard filed a Resistance to the City Motion (docket no. 23). In his Resistance to the City Motion, Shepard requests that the court deny the Motion in its entirety or, alternatively, that the court “grant any determination not in support of the City to [himself].” Resistance to City Motion at 3. The court will interpret this as a request for summary judgment. On June 14, 2017, the City filed a Reply to the City Motion (docket no. 25). On June 29, 2017, Shepard filed the Shepard Motion. On July 11, 2017, the City filed a Resistance to the Shepard Motion (docket no. 28). Neither party requests oral arguments on either of the Motions, and the court finds that oral arguments are unnecessary. The Motions are fully submitted and ready for decision.

         III. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

         The court has original jurisdiction over the FLSA claims because they arise under the United States Code. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (“The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”).

         The court has supplemental jurisdiction over the claims arising under Iowa law because they are so related to the claims within the court's original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) (“[T]he district courts shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy . . . .”). In other words, “the federal-law claims and state-law claims in the case ‘derive from a common nucleus of operative fact' and are ‘such that [a plaintiff] would ordinarily be expected to try them all in one judicial proceeding.'” Kan. Pub. Emps. ...


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