Spring 2015

Overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act

This case addressed the question of whether ancillary work including taking tickets, running the clock, and performing security at sporting events fall within the “occasional or sporadic” exclusion from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime pay requirement for an employee who’s regular work consists of cleaning athletic facilities and parking lots and preparing fields and locker rooms for sporting events.


Wiley Blair is employed by Houston ISD as a groundsman at the Delmar Sports Complex.  Blair’s regular work consists of cleaning athletic facilities and parking lots and preparing fields and locker rooms for sporting events.  His regular work schedule was Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  In addition to Blair’s regular work, he occasionally performed ancillary services for HISD sporting events including taking tickets, running the clock, and performing security.  This ancillary work was performed outside of Blair’s usual 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. schedule, and he was compensated at a different hourly rate than for his regular services.  Blair was not paid overtime when he performed ancillary work in excess of his regular forty hour workweek.

Blair sued HISD requesting overtime for his ancillary work that exceeded forty hours per week.  HISD moved for summary judgment on the basis that Blair’s ancillary work falls within the “occasional or sporadic” exclusion to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime pay requirement.  To successfully claim the exclusion, HISD must show that: 1) Blair is an employee of a public agency, 2) he undertook occasional or sporadic ancillary employment for HISD, 3) he performed such ancillary employment voluntarily, and 4) his ancillary employment was in a different capacity than his regular employment.  The only disputed issue in this case is whether Blair’s ancillary employment is in a different capacity than his regular employment.

The court denied HISD’s motion for summary judgment, holding that HISD did not demonstrate, as a matter of law, that Blair’s regular work was in a different capacity than his ancillary work.  HISD filed a motion for reconsideration, and LAF filed an amicus brief in support of the district’s motion.  The court denied HISD’s motion for reconsideration, so this case is proceeding to trial.  Blair v. Houston Indep. Sch. Dist., No. 4:13-CV-02628 (S.D. Tex., Houston Div.).  LAF’s Attorneys: Todd Clark and Chris Elizalde, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño, P.C., Austin.