United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
Vinny J. Scarnici
Town of Pittsburg
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
BARBADORO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an employment dispute between Vinny J. Scarnici and the Town
of Pittsburg, New Hampshire (“the Town”).
Scarnici worked for Pittsburg both as a part-time police
officer and as the Town's Road Agent. He alleges that the
Town did not pay him for certain hours worked, paid him a
stipend that was below both his stipulated hourly rate and
the minimum wage, and did not properly compensate him for
overtime performed. Scarnici's complaint includes three
counts: 1) violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 2) breach of contract and the covenant
of good faith and fair dealing, and 3) unjust enrichment and
quantum meruit. The Town has filed a partial motion
for summary judgment challenging only Scarnici's FLSA
FLSA claims are based on a number of discrete events that
give rise to different alleged violations. I will address
them in turn.
was hired as a part-time police officer on December 31, 2013,
and placed on the Town's payroll on January 1, 2014.
Completing the police academy was a condition of his
employment. He says that, had he failed to graduate the
academy, the Town would have terminated him. He attended the
academy from February 8, 2014, until May 9, 2014, when he
graduated. He began working as an active duty officer on May
10, 2018. Approximately two weeks later, he received a check
for $750 for his time at the academy, which was the only
compensation he would receive for that period.
at the amount, Scarnici went to speak to Richard Lapoint, the
Chief of Police. In his deposition, Scarnici recounted that
Lapoint told him
that he had multiple conversations with the selectmen, and
the selectmen decided that they were going to pay me a
thousand dollars. And the conversation with him is that
didn't even cover one week of gas driving back and forth
to Concord, and I was upset. And I said I wanted to talk to
the selectmen. And he said, and I quote, if you go to the
selectmen, you will not work for the PD, end quote.
Id. at 38:3-12.
officer, Brendon McKeage, told Scarnici that he was
compensated portal to portal when he attended the
academy. Some years later, after McKeage had become
a selectman, Scarnici spoke to McKeage again. In August or
September of 2016, Scarnici called Selectman McKeage to
complain about his compensation during his time at the
academy. Scarnici told McKeague that Chief Lapoint
kept telling me, I'm talking to the selectmen. We're
going to pay you. They're going to make a decision on how
much we're going to pay you, when we're going to pay
you. We might pay you at the end. We might just give you one
big stipend at the end. Just keep track of your time.
hearing this, McKeage told Scarnici “that that's
not the case at all.” McKeage had “said to Chief
Lapoint, where is the time for the new man from Mass? Where
is his paycheck?” As plaintiff relays the 2014 story,
“Chief Lapoint said to Brendon McKeage, I made a deal
with the new man. He's going to go for free.” In
response, McKeage told Lapoint “wait a minute. Nobody
goes for free. We - I don't even think we can make - do
this. He needs a paycheck.” Lapoint then said
(according to Scarnici via McKeage), “no, it's all
worked out. He's not getting a paycheck until he starts
working.” Some weeks later, Lapoint told McKeage,
“he's not getting a check. We're just going to
give him a stipend at the end, and we've made an
agreement he's not getting paid while he's going to
the academy.” Scarnici reported that McKeage
“thought that was very bizarre, because no other police
officer had gone through the academy for free.”
was elected to serve as Pittsburg's Road Agent on March
10, 2015, and he began his employment on March 13, 2015. He
argues that he was not compensated for duly earned overtime
in that position.
Certain other incidents are addressed in the Town's
motion without written response from Scarnici. A Bill of
Services, for instance, details work that Scarnici allegedly
performed in May 2014 using an all-terrain vehicle.
See Doc. No. 15-5. At his deposition, Scarnici
asserted that he was not paid for certain work at a Fourth of
July police association fundraiser in 2014. See Doc.
No. 15-2, 84:11-85:21. Finally, during the deposition,
Scarnici produced a “list of everything that I did not
get paid for from the police department.” Id.
at 43:9-11; “Unpaid Wage Summary, ” Doc. No.
15-6. At the hearing on the pending motion, counsel for
Scarnici abandoned his FLSA claims with respect to all of
these incidents. Accordingly, the only FLSA claims that
Scarnici pursues at this stage arise from his attendance at
the police academy and his work as Road Agent.