677 F.2d 308 (3rd Cir. 1982), 81-2223, Kramer v. New Castle Area Transit Authority

Docket Nº:81-2223.
Citation:677 F.2d 308
Party Name:Robert M. KRAMER, Luther A. Miller, Donald Pettitt, Howard N. Barnes, David R. Shaw, Gerald J. Maggie, Ernest Orelli, Phillips C. Reed, James W. Burns, G. Maxine Pardick, Martha E. Keith, James L. Ramsey, Clyde W. Reed, Ralph L. Jones, Phillips W. Reed, John P. Carson, Robert C. Burnwick, David C. Matthews, Walter R. Slack, William L. Hanna, Louis
Case Date:April 30, 1982
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Page 308

677 F.2d 308 (3rd Cir. 1982)

Robert M. KRAMER, Luther A. Miller, Donald Pettitt, Howard

N. Barnes, David R. Shaw, Gerald J. Maggie, Ernest Orelli,

Phillips C. Reed, James W. Burns, G. Maxine Pardick, Martha

E. Keith, James L. Ramsey, Clyde W. Reed, Ralph L. Jones,

Phillips W. Reed, John P. Carson, Robert C. Burnwick, David

C. Matthews, Walter R. Slack, William L. Hanna, Louis V.

Pagliaro, and all other plaintiffs similarly situated, Appellants,

v.

NEW CASTLE AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY.

No. 81-2223.

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

April 30, 1982

Argued Feb. 4, 1982.

Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied May 25, 1982.

Joseph J. Pass, Jr., Edward H. Walter (argued), Jubelirer, Pass & Intrieri, P. C., Pittsburgh, Pa., for appellants.

Frank G. Verterano (argued), Gamble, Verterano, Mojock, Piccione & Green, New Castle, Pa., William T. Coleman, Jr., Donald T. Bliss, O'Melveny & Myers, Washington, D. C., for appellee.

T. Timothy Ryan, Jr., Sol. of Labor, Beate Bloch, Associate Sol., Lois G. Williams, Deputy Associate Sol., Joseph M. Woodward, Leif Jorgenson, Attys., U. S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D. C., for amicus curiae, American Public Transit Ass'n; Robert W. Batchelder, Gen. Counsel, Washington, D. C., of counsel.

J. Paul McGrath, Asst. Atty. Gen., U. S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., for amicus curiae, United States of America.

Before GIBBONS, WEIS and GARTH, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

GIBBONS, Circuit Judge.

Twenty-one plaintiffs, employed as bus operators by the New Castle Area Transit Authority (the Authority), appeal from the

Page 309

grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant in their suit for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. (FLSA). The Authority is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the district court dismissed the complaint in reliance on National League of Cities v. Usery, 426 U.S. 833, 96 S.Ct. 2465, 49 L.Ed.2d 245 (1976). We reverse.

In National League of Cities v. Usery, the Court held that the tenth amendment prevented the application of the overtime pay provisions of FLSA to employees of states and their political subdivisions who were engaged in traditional governmental functions. Id. at 855, 96 S.Ct. at 2475. A nonexclusive list of such traditional functions included police protection, sanitation, public health, parks and recreation, hospitals, and schools. The National League of Cities case afforded little guidance, however, as to the identification of traditional functions. More recently we have been afforded clarification. In Hodel v. Virginia Surface Mining & Reclamation Association, Inc., 452 U.S. 264, 287-88, 101 S.Ct. 2352, 2365-2366, 69 L.Ed.2d 1 (1981), the Court announced a three part test for evaluating whether a commerce clause regulation contravenes the tenth amendment:

(I)n order to succeed, a claim that congressional commerce power legislation is invalid under the reasoning of National League of Cities must satisfy each of three requirements. First, there must be a showing that the challenged regulation regulates the "States as States." Second, the federal regulation must address matters that are indisputably "attribute(s) of state sovereignty." And third, it must be apparent that the States' compliance with the federal law would directly impair their ability "to structure integral operations in areas of traditional governmental function." (Citations omitted).

That test was reiterated in United Transportation Union v. LIRR, --- U.S. ----, ----, 102 S.Ct. 1349, 1354, 71 L.Ed.2d ---- (1982). We assume, as did the district court, that the first two requirements of this conjunctive test are satisfied, and concentrate, as did the Court in United Transportation Union, on the third. In that case the Court emphasized that while "emphasis on traditional governmental functions and traditional state sovereignty was not meant to impose a static historical view of state functions generally immune from federal regulation," --- U.S. at ----, 102 S.Ct. at 1354, the historical reality of the activity in question could not be ignored. States are not free to assume functions historically performed by the private sector and thereby insulate those activities from federal regulation of interstate commerce.

Local mass transit systems have historically been owned and operated by private companies. Some public operation started in the early part of this century-Seattle (1911), San Francisco (1912), Detroit (1921), and New York (1932)-yet as late as 1960, 95% of transit companies in the nation were privately owned and operated. H.R.Rep.No.204, 88th Cong., 2d Sess., reprinted in, (1964) U.S.Code Cong. & Ad.News, 2569, 2590. In 1964, Congress passed the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, Pub.L.No.88-365, 78 Stat. 302, codified at 49 U.S.C. §§ 1601 et seq., (UMTA) in recognition of the difficulties being experienced by the private mass transit industry. The principal purpose of the Act was to "provide (federal) assistance to State and local governments and their instrumentalities in financing ... (transportation) systems, to be operated by public or private mass transportation companies as determined by local needs." 49 U.S.C. § 1601(b)(3).

The UMTA put inexorable forces in motion whereby, at an accelerated pace, transportation companies changed hands from the private sector to the public sector. By 1978, local publicly owned transit systems received 90% of the revenues from all transit operations; accounted for 91% of total vehicle miles operated and 91% of all linked passenger trips; and owned or leased 87% of total transit vehicles. (Scheuer Affidavit-App. 20a). Nonetheless, between 45 and 52% of all transit operations (counting each system, irrespective of size, as one unit)...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP