FLORIDA FEDERAL CASES

  • Racial discrimination; City Contracting Ordinances; Federal Affirmative Action Compliance in Contracting – Plaintiff-contractor sued the City of Jacksonville, alleging racial discrimination against him and other African-Americans in administering public construction contracts. The Middle District of Florida construed the pro se plaintiff’s complaint as alleging two violations of Title VI and the Equal Protection Clause based on (1) the City’s journeyman ordinance and (2) the City allegedly waiving of provisions in its procurement code that require compliance with federal affirmative action. In granting the City’s motion for summary judgment, the Court held that a private plaintiff cannot “obtain redress for disparate impact discrimination under either the Equal Protection Clause or Title VI,” so the Court analyzed plaintiff’s claims under a disparatetreatment analysis. However, the plaintiff failed to show any evidence under either count that the City had declined to extend certain contracts to the plaintiff on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Summary judgment was therefore appropriate.McDuffie v. City of Jacksonville, Fla., No. 3:12-CV-1283-J-34JRK, 2015 WL 791141 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 25, 2015).  
  • Fair Labor Standards Act; “retail and service” exemption -  Plaintiffs, who worked as plumbing technicians for defendant’s plumbing business, filed suit under the Fair Labor and Standards Act, seeking compensation for overtime and minimum wage violations. On cross motions for summary judgment, the Middle District granted defendant’s motion that it was not a plumbing contractor under 29 C.F.R. § 779.317 because nearly all of its jobs were residential, did not involve the construction or remodeling of homes, and the goods and services sold to the homeowner involved cleaning out drains and pipes, or if sale was successful, installing new plumbing and pipes. The customers were at the very end of the distribution stream, with no resale. Thus, defendant was essentially a repair service establishment and therefore entitled to take advantage of the “retail and service” exemption under the Fair Labor and Standards Act § 207(i). However, the Court denied part of the defendant’s motion, finding that factual disputes existed regarding the hours worked under the compensation framework of 207(i)(1).Rodriguez v. Home Heroes, LLC, No. 8:13-cv-2711-T-26AEP, 2015 WL 668009 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 17, 2015)