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Strauch v. Computer Sciences Corp.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 30, 2017

JOSEPH STRAUCH and TIMOTHY COLBY, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
COMPUTER SCIENCES CORPORATION, Defendant.

          RULING ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION

          Janet Bond Arterton, U.S.D.J..

         Plaintiffs Joseph Strauch, Timothy Colby, Charles Turner, and Vernon Carre, current and former System Administrators ("SAs") at Defendant Computer Sciences Corporation ("CSC"), bring this overtime misclassification action under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the state laws of California, Connecticut, and North Carolina, claiming that CSC has mistakenly classified them and fellow employees with the same job titles as exempt. On June 9, 2015, the Court granted [Doc. # 168] conditional certification of a FLSA collective action for a class consisting of all SAs with the titles "Associate Professional System Administrator, " "Professional System Administrator, " or "Senior Professional System Administrator" (the bottom three tiers of CSC's five-tier system administrator hierarchy) who earned less than $100, 000 annually. In the instant motion [Doc. # 323], Plaintiffs seek certification of three state law classes under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(3) for California, Connecticut and North Carolina, each consisting of two sub-classes: (1) a sub-class combining two more junior categories of SAs: the "Associate Professional SAs" and the "Professional SAs, " and (2) a sub-class composed of the "Senior Professional SAs." For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Plaintiffs' Motion.

         I. Background

         Defendant CSC is a multinational information technology ("IT") corporation that employs about 72, 000 people and provides IT services to a variety of companies throughout the world. (Ruling on Mot. for Conditional Cert. [Doc. # 168] at 2; Def.'s Mem. Opp'n Mot. for Class Certification ("Opp'n") [Doc. # 309] at 2-3.) During most of the relevant period of this case, CSC contracted both with governmental entities and private corporations to provide IT services ranging from (i) basic helpdesk operations to (ii) more complex computer and software installation and maintenance and (iii) comprehensive, business-wide IT solutions. (Id. at 3-4.)

         The putative classes are comprised of the three bottom levels of System Administrators in CSC's five-level hierarchy. SAs are ranked above the non-exempt helpdesk employees and other technicians (Ex. 68 ("Calisi Decl.") to Opp'n [Doc. # 309-68] ¶ 5) and generally, as their job title suggests, they administer an enterprise's computer system to ensure that it stays running by providing support for problems the helpdesk cannot solve, patching software, setting up computers and servers, and providing data recovery services. Despite this general description, many SAs work on longer-term projects that do not fall easily into this set of activities. (Opp'n at 4.) SAs can also be grouped by area of specialization, such as databases, Lotus Notes email, calendar and instant messaging system, or building servers, which may entail physically plugging in components, creating a virtual computer, or installing an operating system onto a computer. (Id. at 3.)

         The location where SAs work varies. Because CSC provides business services to many different corporations, some SAs work in CSC offices, others directly support CSC's clients on-site, and some work remotely from their homes via internet and cell phone. For example, named plaintiff Joseph Strauch worked at the CSC offices in Kearny Mesa, San Diego from 1999 - 2004 (Ex. 29 ("Strauch Tr.") to Opp'n [Doc. # 309-29] at 27) while Nicholas Combs worked on a military base (Ex. 9 ("Combs Tr.") to Opp'n [Doc. # 309-9] at 10-11.). Mr. Strauch subsequently worked remotely from home and provided IT support to businesses nationwide via remote log-in and telephone from 2007-2014. (Strauch Tr. 58-59.)

         Plaintiffs proffer several common forms of proof to support their claims of class-wide misclassification, including a global set of job descriptions, a company-wide set of best practices called the "core processes, " and various agreements CSC enters into with its clients to provide particular services, which they claim will enable the fact-finder to determine the tasks performed by the class members. These common forms of proof are addressed first, followed by a discussion of the actual job duties of the named plaintiffs and the opt-in plaintiffs as developed in discovery.

         A. The Job Classification System

         Plaintiffs maintain that CSC's globally consistent job-titling system, rolled out in 2006 along with a set of consistent job descriptions and set of "essential job functions" for each position, shows that the primary job functions were at heart routine and rote. In these internal documents, Defendant describes its system as providing managers with "more information about work accountabilities and minimum requirements, " and as ensuring that CSC was in compliance with FLSA (Ex. 30 ("Job Classification Training") to Sagafi Aff. [Doc. # 304-30] at CSC017726). One of the goals in drafting the new job descriptions was to "ensure that [CSC was] consistently describing the predominant work performed" across all the U.S. employees. (Ex. 40 ("Josephson Tr.") to Sagafi Aff. [Doc. # 304-40] at 133.)

         Each job title-Associate Professional SA, Professional SA, and Senior Professional SA- was accompanied by a comprehensive job description whose "fundamental purpose . . . [was] to communicate to CSC management and employees information regarding their job title, job[] duties, responsibilities and requirements." (Ex. 4 to Strauch Tr.) These job descriptions incorporate terminology taken directly from the FLSA's description of various exemptions, including verbs like "coordinate, " the use of "complex" as an adjective, and the catchall "matters of significance" to describe the problems that SAs are called on to resolve. Plaintiffs argue this terminology carries no independent meaning and was "sprinkled" into the job descriptions to help support the exempt classification.

         This job-titling and description system demonstrates Defendant's belief in some degree of homogeneity among employees in these job classifications. Not only was there some degree of homogeneity in job duties, but CSC used that homogeneity to distinguish between exempt and non-exempt job classifications by using the title 'technician' to identify nonexempt jobs and using the title 'administrator' to identify exempt jobs. (Ex. 38 ("Engelmann Tr.") to PL's Mot. [Doc. 304-38] at 93). Pursuant to this system, CSC classified its Technicians, Field Technicians, Helpdesk Technicians, Helpdesk Coordinators, System Technicians and Telecommunications Technicians as non-exempt and by contrast classified all System Administrator positions as exempt. (Def.'s Mem. Opp'n Mot. to Certify ("Opp'n") [Doc. # 309] at 4.)[1]

         The Associate Professional System Administrator-the lowest rank of the three levels of SA at issue in his case-has a brief "Job Summary" that reads, "[i]nstalls, investigates and resolves matters of significance with computer software and hardware equipment" and lists six "Essential Job Duties:"

1. Analyzes, logs, tracks and resolves software/hardware matters of significance pertaining to networking connectivity issues, printer, servers and applications to meet business needs.
2. Performs troubleshooting to isolate and diagnose common system problems; documents system events to ensure continuous functioning. Recommends course of action and implements as approved.
3. Upgrades system software and hardware components as required to meet business needs; coordinates backups. Ensures upgrades are occurring in accordance with established parameters.
4. Coordinates the installation of client department specific applications and systems. Determines appropriate method for installing applications and systems. Resolves matters of significance and implements corrective course of action as needed.
5. Installs, tests, upgrades and configures system files and services to enhance performance.
6. Utilizes standard corporate tools to record change and problem activities for tracking purposes*

(Ex. 4 ("Assoc. Prof. Sys. Admin. Description") to Sagafi Decl. [Doc. # 304-4].)

         The Professional System Administrator's job summary reads "[i]nstalls, investigates and resolves routine and complex matters of significance with computer software and hardware equipment, " and the essential job functions are:

1. Analyzes, logs, tracks and resolves complex software/hardware matters of significance pertaining to networking connectivity issues, printer, servers and applications to meet business needs.
2. Coordinates hardware/ software installations and upgrades to ensure work is properly performed in accordance with company policy. Recommends resolution to complex matters of significance and coordinates the implementation of the approved course of action.
3. Coordinates and monitors troubleshooting to isolate and diagnose common system problems, document system events to ensure continuous functioning, recommends course of action and implements as approved.
4. Oversees the installation of client department specific applications and systems, ensures installations are in accordance with appropriate operating procedures, determines revisions or updates to installation as needed.
5. Coordinates testing upgrades and configuration of system files and services, ensures changes are in accordance with appropriate operating procedures, recommends revisions or changes based upon results, prepares for and prescribes approaches to possible downstream implications.
6. Utilizes standard corporate tools to record change and problem activities for tracking purposes.

(Id.)

         The Senior Professional Systems Administrator job summary reads "[p]rovides support for moderately complex technical and team management activities related to system and database administration, " and has ten essential job functions:

1. Performs moderately complex systems and database administration, monitors and tunes appropriate systems to ensure optimum level of performance.
2. Oversees appropriate level software installation and upgrade and related software packages.
3. Collects and reviews system data for capacity and planning purposes. Analyzes capacity data and develops capacity plans for appropriate level enterprise-wide systems. Coordinates with appropriate management personnel in implementing changes.
4. Supports the design and- configuration of complex system landscapes.
5. Supports complex data/media recoverability through system backups and database archive operations. Plans, coordinates and directs appropriate level data refresh strategies.
6. Oversees, recommends and implements appropriate level database solutions and enhancements to ensure an improvement in system reliability and performance.
7. Oversees and applies appropriate support packages/patches to maintain system integrity.
8. Develops and maintains appropriate system documentation to ensure that documentation is current. Oversees the maintenance of the library of system-supporting process and procedure documentation.
9. Interacts with client management to answer questions, problems and requests regarding complex system issues.
10. Provides leadership and work guidance to less experienced personnel.

(Id.) Throughout all of the job descriptions across all three levels of SA, the use of multiple verbs within some sentences (e.g. "analyzes, logs, tracks, and resolves") and the multiple sentences within some of the numbered descriptions (e.g. "Coordinates the installation.....Resolves matters of significance") underlines the fact that each of these essential job duties encompasses various tasks.

         The parties dispute whether each of the essential job functions can be assigned a single meaning that encompasses a finite and definite set of tasks. For example, the first job duty under the associate professional system administrator (. . . [R]esolves software/hardware matters of significance pertaining to networking connectivity issues, printer, servers and applications . . .) might apply to an SA who diagnoses problems with internet connection, an employee who helps a user recover a password, one who creates email accounts for all new hires, one who physically assembles computers to a client's specifications, one who loads programs onto a computer, one who updates programs, or one who diagnoses problems with printers. Below, the Court will discuss the extent to which these broad job descriptions capture a reasonably finite or definite set of tasks that permits the common proof to support the claims of the class. While some of the variation in actual job duties may be immaterial for the analysis (e.g. whether an SA troubleshoots problems with Lotus Notes email or Microsoft Exchange email), other differences may have an impact on whether a job is exempt or non-exempt (e.g. whether an SA has discretion to implement system-wide solutions to problems), and will thus have an impact on whether the common proof is sufficient to support the claims of the class.

         B. The Core Processes

         The Plaintiffs offer Defendant's core processes to demonstrate how SAs' discretion and judgment are restricted in performing the essential job functions. CSC's proprietary management system, Catalyst, and the public-source IT Infrastructure Library ("ITIL") set forth a set of core processes that provide guidelines regarding the best ways to structure teams and the kinds of practices necessary for efficient achievement of goals for information technology service organizations. CSC's Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(b)(6) deponent Frank Cebula testified that the audience for the Catalyst documents was "people engaged in management. .. account management or project management, service delivery management" (Ex. 37 ("Cebula Tr") to Sagafi Aff. [Doc. # 304-29] 198-199) and that the policies enabled project managers to ensure efficient completion of tasks by ensuring everyone followed industry standards. He testified that the core processes included having a daily service review meeting, implementing a change control process, establishing a system of escalation for problem solving, having a team dedicated to service restoration, and having a root cause analysis process. (Cebula Tr. at 181.)

         One process-the "change control process"-restricts the ability of an SA to make changes to a computer system without proper authorization. For instance, James Atkinson, a System Administrator at Electric Boat in Connecticut, testified that

as an administrator I was even more bound by procedure as far as my actions on the server. A mistake on our part could cause a system outage. So we as admin are much more procedure driven. .. . We have to have prior approval to do anything that might cause an outage.... I know that other admins have to have those planned outages or work scheduled well in advance.

(Ex. 2 ("Atkinson Tr.") to Opp'n. [Doc. # 309-2] at 187-188.) However, these change control processes differ from client to client and Mr. Atkinson emphasized that Electric Boat was particularly strict because they build nuclear submarines. (Id. at 184.) Mr. Cebula testified that the change control process "probably varies more client to client than any of the other ones----[N]ot only that [different clients] have different procedures, but depending on the circumstances, you might have different entities weigh in." (Cebula Tr. at 182-183.)

         A second core process that restricts SAs' autonomy is the "escalation and notification" procedure. Though this procedure, too, vary from client to client, it delineates how long an SA may spend working on a ticket before escalating to the next level and moving on to a different project. (Cebula Tr. at 215-217.) Shaun Smith, an SA employed by CSC but embedded at Boeing testified that "[a] break fix issue [normally has] ... a ten-hour restore time frame as opposed to a request for service which [has] . . . more like a five-day time frame." (Ex. 30 ("S. Smith Tr.") to Opp'n [Doc. # 309-31] at 30.) By contrast, Vernon Carre, another of the named plaintiffs, testified that he had to escalate a ticket to the next level if he could not resolve a problem within thirty minutes. (Ex. 6 ("Carre Tr.") to Opp'n [Doc. # 309-6] at 19.)

         A third core process is the "root cause analysis, " which prescribes a set of steps an IT support team must take to diagnose a major problem. The Catalyst root cause procedure sets forth 11 steps, including "determine resource requirements, " "schedule meeting, " "gather/analyze data, " "brainstorm solution, " "identify/input action items, " "perform action items, " "verify resolution, " "update action items, " and "generate RCA report." (Ex. 12 ("Catalyst Scheduled Service Delivery") to Sagafi Aff. [Doc. 304-13] at CSC038094-95.)

         SAs testified that they were aware of change control processes and that restrictions placed on their ability to implement solutions affected the time in which a task could be accomplished. For example, Mr. DeConti described the process of migrating the active directory to fit into a new design created by the client. While the task may not be that complicated ("it's just longer and drawn out") it is conducted under strict client change control with backups and backouts in place because a mistake could disrupt the entire system. (Id. at 29.) These change control procedures require SAs to secure permission from various entities, and thus slow down the speed with which an SA works. Such change control processes also demonstrate that the SA does not exercise full discretion over the client's computer system.

         The SAs who discussed root cause analysis, however, did not treat it as a significant restriction on their autonomy. Patricia Smith testified that root cause analysis was essentially "working with a group of people to discuss what you feel caused the problem" and then the documentation of "what [the problem] was and what the impact on the business was and . . . recommendations for what can be done to prevent that from happening again." (Ex. 30 ("P. Smith Tr.") to Opp'n [Doc. # 309-30] at 137-139.)

         C. The Master Service Agreements ("MSAs")[2]

         Plaintiffs submit a set of Master Service Agreements that govern CSC's relations with its clients to show that the actual job duties of SAs are limited by the contractual provision between CSC and its clients. These contracts delineate the various services CSC provides to particular clients. For example, in the "incident management" section of the agreement between CSC and one of its clients, CSC promises to provide both Level 2 and Level 3 support services and to resolve reported problems according to a severity ranking agreed on between the parties. (Ex. 9 to Sagafi Aff. [Doc. # 304-9] at 1-2.) However, despite Plaintiffs' contentions, the MSAs do not specify who is assigned to perform which tasks, and thus do not adequately identify which tasks are performed by SAs. (See also Ex. 20 to PL's Mot. [Doc. # 304-20] (MSA with a different client that sets forth a long list of services CSC provides to the client, including installation and maintenance of all system software and planning the deployment and retirement of machines, but does not identify who performs these services or what tasks are required to perform these services).)

         Some of CSC's clients provide manuals that contain hyperlinks to step-by-step instruction guides for different services that SAs perform. For example, one client's manual contains hyperlinks to "work instructions" for activities like building a server. The hyperlinks for this activity then lead to specific checklists of steps that the client specifies must be completed during the server build process. (Ex 7 to Sagafi Aff. [Doc. # 304-7] at CSC038423.)[3]

         D. The Named Plaintiffs

         1. Joseph Strauch: Representative of the California Class

         Joseph Strauch is a California resident who was employed by CSC as an SA from 1999 to 2014 with two several-months-long hiatuses, one in 2004 and one in 2011. (Strauch Tr. At 33-34.) During his time as an employee he worked on two contracts: one for the county of San Diego, California (1999-2007) and one with Boeing (2007-end of employment) where he focused on supporting Solaris, a Unix-based operating system.[4] (Id. at 34.)

         Mr. Strauch worked primarily for two teams: the Unix incident response team and the Unix service request team (id. at at 78) and not in any of the other CSC teams, including the "Build Team, " the "Professional Services" team, the teams that supported Windows products, the Middleware team (the team responsible for web servers), the Storage Team, the Access Provisioning team, and the Network Services team. (See Id. at 78-81.)

         In 2012, Mr. Strauch rotated between the Unix incident team and the service request team at 4-6 week intervals. (Id. at 41-42.) When he was on the incident team, he spent all of his time resolving tickets.[5] Typical problems for which Mr. Strauch resolved tickets included assigning new passwords when a user forgot his or her password, helping a user connect to a server ("connectivity"), and helping users restore missing files by finding them on the backup tapes. (Id. at 51-53.) To resolve connectivity issues, Mr. Strauch testified that he would log in to make sure the website to which the user wanted to connect was up and running, check to "see if it was a disc issue or something obvious, " and then, if the problem remained unresolved, "pass the ticket along to the web people." (Id. at 55.) When doing this kind of troubleshooting, Mr. Strauch would try to identify the problem from the face of the ticket, call the user who reported the problem if necessary, and then diagnose the problem by relying on his experience. (Id. at 52-55.) He testified that in connection with at least one assignment, he worked on average more than 44 hours per week. (Id. at 84.)

         On the "service request team, " Mr. Strauch was responsible for "adding a user, adding patches, and maybe upgrading] some utilities ...." (Id. at 65.) Within this rubric, he also updated backup programs, added disk storage space, and added space to different directories. (Id. at 71.) These tasks were time-limited, which was the primary distinction between service request team and incident response team. (Id. at 66-67.)

         Mr. Strauch testified that he never worked with the web server group and that he lacked the knowledge and abilities to administer a web server. (Id. at 55-56.) Further, he did not work with Windows products because they were "too complicated" and required a different set of skills than his. (Id. at 78.) Because Mr. Strauch worked remotely from 2007 to 2014, he did not perform any tasks that required physically interacting with a computer on-site, including tasks like replacing a failed hard disk. (Id. at 58-59.)

         When asked to explain whether his actual job duties fell within the job descriptions for Associate Professional System Administrator, Professional System Administrator, and Senior Professional System Administrator, Mr. Strauch responded that he performed almost all of the duties listed for the Associate Professional System Administrator, but that none of the activities listed in Essential Job Function Four ("Coordinates the installation of client department specific applications and systems. Determines appropriate method for installing applications and systems; Resolves matters of significance and implements corrective course of action as needed.") and that he had no opinion on whether the matters he worked on were "significant." (Id. 113-116.)

         Mr. Strauch similarly testified that he performed almost all of the functions listed in items 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the job description for Professional System Administrator, but that he did not perform function four: "Oversees the installation of client department specific applications and systems, ensures installations are in accordance with appropriate operating procedures, determines revisions or updates to installation as needed." (Id. at 116-119.)

         With respect to the Senior Professional System Administrator description, Mr. Strauch did not work with databases, so any description including databases did not apply to him. He also did not perform functions three, four, six, eight, or ten:

[3] Collects and reviews system data for capacity and planning purposes. Analyzes capacity data and develops capacity plans for appropriate level enterprise-wide systems. Coordinates with appropriate management personnel in implementing changes. [4] Supports the design and configuration of complex system landscapes. ... [6] Oversees, recommends and implements appropriate level database solutions and enhancements to ensure an improvement in system reliability and performance[8] Develops and maintains appropriate system documentation to ensure that documentation is current. Oversees the maintenance of the library of system-supporting process and procedure documentation. . . . [10] Provides leadership and work guidance to less experienced personnel.

(Id. at 120-123)

         Mr. Strauch's testimony established that he performed a finite set of different tasks that could be grouped under the general rubrics of responding to problems reported by users, troubleshooting those problems with a small set of typical solutions, and elevating problems he could not solve to specialists. (Id. at 41.) The tasks he performed were relatively rote and routine, including the resetting of passwords and the restoration of files. (Id. at 51-53.) His ability to act with discretion was limited by the rules restricting time he was allowed to spend on a task. (Id. at 66.)

         2. Timothy Colby: Representative of the Connecticut Class

         Timothy Colby is a Connecticut resident who worked at CSC from October 2011 to February 2014 as a "system administrator professional." (Ex. 8 to Opp'n ("Colby Tr.") [Doc. 309-8] 70:19-22.) He performed "general server maintenance" at CSC and his primary function was to "build and maintain Windows servers, "[6] (Id. at 59, 78) with 95 percent of his time dedicated to "run[ing] and maintain[ing the computers].... [O]ur typical tasks were to make sure the servers were up and running." (Id. at 69-70.) He also performed server builds, which consisted of "putting the components [of a computer] together:" "physically get the server, install any components that didn't come pre-installed... rack the server, cable it, configure remote access, and then go back to the office and run the automated installation process." (Id. at 71.)

         In comparing his actual job duties to those listed in the essential job functions, Mr. Colby explained that "I wouldn't say what we did was necessarily complex" and "I never touched networking and I never touched applications." (Id. at 95.) Like Mr. Strauch, Mr. Colby did not perform essential job function four. (Id. at 105.) In general, Mr. Colby testified that "most of the higher level things that are on this job description were handled by management." (Id. at 109.) Further, in describing how his job duties related to those of the first-level help desk technicians, Mr. Colby explained that the help-desk technicians were "Level 1" employees who responded to user requests, and that

Level 2 work to me is really the bulk of what I did because it's the day-to-day run and maintain. It's the day-to-day trouble ticket stuff, the stuff that you're just going to kind of take care of quickly. You know how to do it. There's an established procedure. You plug and play.

(Id. at 114.)

         Mr. Colby's testimony reflects the fact that some of what SAs do is manual labor. Sometimes building a server involves running cable into rooms, manually placing components into the computer box, and placing the computer box within an office. (Id. at 71.) His testimony also clarified the division of labor between help-desk employees and second-level SAs. SAs build up a base of knowledge that enables them to solve many problems quickly, but the base of knowledge comes from experience. Thus, they are capable of solving problems that the help-desk cannot solve, but at the second level, they are not involved in implementing system-wide changes.

         3. Vernon Carre: Representative of the North Carolina Class

         Vernon Carre is a North Carolina resident who began working at CSC in 2009 and after three or four months began working from home. (Ex. 6 ("Carre Tr.") to Opp'n [Doc. # 309-6] at 17-18.) He remained at CSC as a System Administrator Professional with one break for FMLA leave until his retirement in 2013. (Id. at 18.) He worked "45 to 50 [hours per week], usually at the higher number" (id. at 84) and when he had on-call duty, he had to have a working cell phone and make himself available 24 hours a day. For on-call duty, he needed to be able to log in within 15 minutes of receiving a call and had 30 minutes to identify and fix any problem. (Id. at 19.)

         Mr. Carre testified that he spent the bulk of his time "troubleshooting] tickets" and that while "there were always nuances in a ticket, they were pretty much the same issues ... customers couldn't get email, customers couldn't send email, people couldn't connect to their mailbox, " meaning that, Mr. Carre worked primarily with email programs and specifically with Microsoft Outlook. (Id. at 83-84)

         To diagnose or troubleshoot problems, Mr. Carre would read "the event logs, for example, of the Exchange server and see if [he] could determine [the cause of the problem]" because users did not have access to the event logs. (Id. at 89.) He also logged onto individual users' PCs or laptops to "fix[] issues there." (Id. at 65.) He explained that to resolve some problems, he would google them and if he found a solution, he might speak to a superior about implementing that solution. (Id. at 114.)

         Although Mr. Carre testified that he spent his time troubleshooting, he disagreed that he performed Associate Professional SA essential job function two, "Perform troubleshooting to isolate and diagnose common system problems; document system event to ensure continuous functioning, recommend course of action, and implement as approved" because he was not authorized to make changes to the system, making the second half of the sentence inapposite. (Id. at 112-113, 117.) Like Mr. Strauch and Mr. Colby, Mr. Carre did not perform essential job function four. (Id. at 118.) With respect to the next level, Professional SA, Mr. Carre did not coordinate or monitor activities, but only did troubleshooting himself. (Id. at 123.) Finally, with respect to the Senior Professional SA, because of his seniority, Mr. Carre provided some leadership and training to more recent hires, but he did not perform any of the other nine functions identified in the job description. (Id. at 124-130.)

         Mr. Carre's testimony highlighted the fact that some SAs specialize in a product or system. Mr. Carre focused on Microsoft e-mail. It also fleshed out one of the ambiguities in the word "troubleshooting." Mr. Carre denied that he was authorized to make changes to a system, and thus that he did not perform essential job function number two. Nonetheless, he did resolve user problems and in that sense engaged in troubleshooting.

         4. Charles Turner[7]

         Charles Turner began work at CSC in February, 2001 and continues to work for CSC; from 2001 to 2014 in Farmington and St. Louis, Missouri, and since that time in Colorado. (Ex. 34 ("Turner Tr.") to Opp'n [Doc. 309-34] at 47, 16, 21.)

         Mr. Turner did not recall ever having the job title System Administrator (he believed he was an MTSA, but did not recall what the acronym stood for, as well as a Subject Matter Expert), and that he currently is a "systems engineer." (Turner Tr. 47-49.) While at CSC, Mr. Turner has worked on several different accounts, including for Motiva Enterprises and Textron, Incorporated, but over the course of his entire tenure, he has always focused on the email service Exchange. (Turner Tr. 61-62.) Mr. Turner testified that while he had the skills to administer Exchange, he did not have the skills to support the Lotus Notes email system, for example.[8] (Id. at 62.)

         Mr. Turner provided a useful overview of the range of teams he could remember that CSC uses to support his client, Textron:

there's a team that does firewall work, and they have some overlap with the networking team who oversee the routers. There's the Wintel team . . . They are effectively in charge of all Wintel servers at the OS level as opposed to the application level, which is what I support.[9] There's several different UNIX teams that support different UNIX systems. There's a perimeter team now that supports perimeter mail servers both for CSC and for various different clients. There is a mainframe team out of Wichita which supports the Cessna mainframe for Textron; the backup team that is responsible for the net backup ...

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