Hickman v. Riverside Park Enterprises, Inc., 120419 MASUP, 1684CV00572BLS2

Docket Nº:1684CV00572BLS2
Opinion Judge:Kenneth W. Salinger, Justice
Party Name:Dakota Hickman et al. Individually and on Behalf of all Others Similarly Situated v. Riverside Park Enterprises, Inc. dba Six Flags New England et al.
Case Date:December 04, 2019
Court:Superior Court of Massachusetts
 
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Dakota Hickman et al. Individually and on Behalf of all Others Similarly Situated

v.

Riverside Park Enterprises, Inc. dba Six Flags New England et al.

No. 1684CV00572BLS2

Superior Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk, Business Litigation Session

December 4, 2019

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Kenneth W. Salinger, Justice

In its prior summary judgment decision, the Court found that Defendants are liable for not paying overtime to employees at the Six Flags N.E. amusement park during 2015, 2017, and 2018, with the exception of hours worked during the 2017 and 2018 "Holiday in the Park" events. The Court deferred to the Department of Labor Standards’ determination that work performed during the Holiday in the Park days in those years fell within the "seasonal exemption" to the overtime statute in G.L.c. 151, § 1A(9). But the undisputed facts demonstrated that Defendants operated Six Flags N.E. as an amusement park throughout its "Holiday in the Park" seasons, which means it was operated as an amusement park for more than 150 days in total during 2017 and 2018. As a result the "amusement park exemption" in G.L.c. 151, § 1A(20), did not apply to hours worked during the regular season.

Unhappy with this outcome, Riverside asked the Department to declare that the Holiday in the Park operating days "should not be included or counted" when determining whether Riverside could claim the amusement park exemption.

The Department declined to do so; it instead issued a new letter explaining its prior determinations that the 2017 and 2018 Holiday in the Park days qualified for the seasonal exemption, while noting it could not extend the 150-day limit on the amusement park exemption.

Defendants nonetheless ask the Court to reconsider its prior decision in light of the Department’s new letter. The Court sees no reason to do so. This new opinion letter changes nothing. It is not new evidence, new law, or some other material change in circumstances. To the contrary, it is entirely consistent with the Court’s prior memorandum and order. If the new letter actually said what Defendants claim, which it does not, the letter would not be entitled to any deference because it does not represent an official action by the Department and in any case it would be inconsistent with the plain language and clear purpose of the overtime statute and its exemptions.

In sum, since the Department’s new letter adds nothing of substance to Defendants’ prior arguments, the Court will DENY Defendants’ motion for reconsideration.

1. The New Letter Changes Nothing

The new letter issued by the Department is not a reason for reconsidering the Court’s prior decision. In its new letter the...

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