I love finding cases that stand for the small propositions that seems self-evident but for which you often need case support. The cases that can puncture the balloon of the other side's foolish argument. Here is one under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In Brown v. Scriptpro, Inc., decided on November 27, 2012, the Eight Circuit looked at the claim of an employee that he was not paid overtime for time that he worked at home. According to the opinion, the plaintiff, among other evidence, offered his and his wife's testimony that he was at home working. Presto, he says he wins. the court said, not so fast, and affirmed the lower court's summary judgment for the defendant. Generally a plaintiff's word on how much he worked is presumed accurate. But the plaintiff here had a not so small problem. He decided not to enter his time on the defendant's timekeeping system although required to do so. The plaintiff made the disingenuous argument that it was the defendant’s responsibility to keep accurate time records. True enough, but it takes two to tango. Here is what the court said:"(Plaintiff) argues that (the defendant) is responsible for keeping accurate records and the employee cannot bear the burden of proving the precise amount of overtime worked. But courts only relax the plaintiff's burden where the employer fails to keep accurate records. It is undisputed that (defendant) keeps accurate records, and employees can even access the timekeeping system from home. (Plaintiff) could have easily entered his hours; in fact, he was required to do so. Where the employee fails to notify the employer through the established overtime record-keeping system, the failure to pay overtime is not a FLSA violation (citing a Fifth Circuit case)."
That noise you hear is the hiss of the air escaping from the plaintiff's balloon.