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Anthony Lucki v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation

October 20, 2011

ANTHONY LUCKI, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION
AND CORRECTION, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Court of Claims of Ohio. (C.C. No. 2010-06982)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bryant, P.J.

Cite as Lucki v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr.,

(REGULAR CALENDAR)

DECISION

{¶1} Plaintiff-appellant, Anthony Lucki, appeals from a judgment of the Ohio Court of Claims dismissing his action against defendant-appellee, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, for lack of jurisdiction pursuant to the terms of R.C. 4117.10(A). Because the Court of Claims properly determined it lacks jurisdiction over plaintiff's action, we affirm.

I. Facts and Procedural History

{¶2} At all times relevant to this appeal, plaintiff was employed as a corrections officer at the North Central Correctional Institution and was paid an hourly wage. The bargaining unit, represented by the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association/AFSCME Local 11, AFL-CIO, included plaintiff's position.

{¶3} On July 16, 2010, after having filed initial and amended class action complaints, plaintiff filed a second amended class action complaint alleging defendant violated R.C. 4111.03(A) by failing to pay him and other members of the purported class for daily post-shift work at the statutorily prescribed overtime rate of one and one-half times their regular wages. Plaintiff asserted the post-shift work was an "integral and dispensable part of [the corrections officers'] principal activities" and included "waiting for an officer on the next shift to relieve them from their post, handing over their equipment to the relieving officer, briefing the receiving officer on what happened on their shift, logging in and logging out, and returning other equipment." (Second amended complaint, ¶6.) Plaintiff further asserted he and the purported class members were required to complete the post-shift work in ten minutes or less, or be subject to discipline. Plaintiff sought not only an order certifying the class pursuant to Civ.R. 23, but both actual and liquidated damages in an amount equal to the unpaid overtime pay.

{¶4} On July 30, 2010, defendant filed a motion to dismiss, contending that, pursuant to the terms of R.C. 4117.10(A), the Court of Claims lacked jurisdiction over plaintiff's R.C. 4111.03 claim because the collective bargaining agreement addresses the matter at issue, governs its resolution through the grievance and arbitration procedures in the agreement, and leaves the Court of Claims without jurisdiction to adjudicate plaintiff's claim. Plaintiff argued in response that because no provision of the collective bargaining agreement expressly addressed and excluded the payment of overtime compensation for post-shift work, his claim was not subject to dismissal under R.C. 4117.10(A). The trial court agreed with defendant, determined R.C. 4117.10(A) controlled, and concluded the arbitration clause in the collective bargaining agreement eliminated the court's jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims.

II. Assignment of Errors

{¶5} Plaintiff appeals, assigning the following five errors:

1. The Court of Claims erred in dismissing Plaintiff's claim that the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction ("DRC")

violated Ohio wage-and-hour law, R.C. § 4111.03, by failing to pay Plaintiff and other correctional officers for work they are required to continue to perform on a daily basis after their scheduled shifts have ended.

2. The Court of Claims erred in finding that it lacked jurisdiction over Plaintiff's R.C. ยง ...


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