United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
SHAWEASAW N. STANLEY, Plaintiff,
QUALITY CAREGIVERS SOLUTION SERVICES LLC, et al., Defendants.
WILLIAM H. STEELE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the plaintiff's motion for
partial summary judgment. (Doc. 38). The defendants have filed a
response, (Doc. 40), the plaintiff declined the opportunity
to file a reply, (Doc. 39), and the motion is ripe for
resolution. After careful consideration, the Court concludes
the motion is due to be granted in part and denied in part.
to the amended complaint, (Doc. 30), the entity defendant
(“Quality”) is in the business of providing home
health care and assisted living services. The individual
defendant (“Stallworth”) is the owner, operator
and/or manager of Quality. Both were the plaintiff's
employer for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”). The plaintiff was employed by the
defendants as a medical assistant and/or caregiver from
August 2015 to August 2016.
alleges that the defendants violated the FLSA's minimum
wage requirement by withholding the plaintiff's pay for
her final pay period. Count II alleges the defendants
violated the FLSA's overtime requirement by treating the
plaintiff as an exempt employee even though the exemption on
which they rely was eliminated prior to the plaintiff's
employment. Under each count, the plaintiff seeks both her
actual damages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, as
well as an award of attorney's fees and costs. The
instant motion addresses only Count II.
judgment should be granted only if “there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The
party seeking summary judgment bears “the initial
burden to show the district court, by reference to materials
on file, that there are no genuine issues of material fact
that should be decided at trial.” Clark v. Coats
& Clark, Inc., 929 F.2d 604, 608 (11th
Cir. 1991). The moving party may meet its burden in either of
two ways: (1) by “negating an element of the non-moving
party's claim”; or (2) by “point[ing] to
materials on file that demonstrate that the party bearing the
burden of proof at trial will not be able to meet that
burden.” Id. “Even after
Celotex it is never enough simply to state that the
non-moving party cannot meet its burden at trial.”
Id.; accord Mullins v. Crowell, 228 F.3d
1305, 1313 (11th Cir. 2000); Sammons v.
Taylor, 967 F.2d 1533, 1538 (11th Cir. 1992).
the moving party has the burden of proof at trial,
that party must show affirmatively the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact: it must support its motion
with credible evidence ... that would entitle it to a
directed verdict if not controverted at trial. [citation
omitted] In other words, the moving party must show that, on
all the essential elements of its case on which it bears the
burden of proof, no reasonable jury could find for the
nonmoving party.” United States v. Four Parcels of
Real Property, 941 F.2d 1428, 1438 (11th Cir.
1991) (en banc) (emphasis in original); accord
Fitzpatrick v. City of Atlanta, 2 F.3d 1112, 1115
(11th Cir. 1993).
the party moving for summary judgment fails to discharge the
initial burden, then the motion must be denied and the court
need not consider what, if any, showing the non-movant has
made.” Fitzpatrick, 2 F.3d at 1116; accord
Mullins, 228 F.3d at 1313; Clark, 929 F.2d at
however, the movant carries the initial summary judgment
burden ..., the responsibility then devolves upon the
non-movant to show the existence of a genuine issue of
material fact.” Fitzpatrick, 2 F.3d at 1116.
“If the nonmoving party fails to make ‘a
sufficient showing on an essential element of her case with
respect to which she has the burden of proof, ' the
moving party is entitled to summary judgment.”
Clark, 929 F.2d at 608 (quoting Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986)) (footnote omitted);
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2) (“If a party
fails to properly support an assertion of fact or fails to
properly address another party's assertion of fact as
required by Rule 56(c), the court may … consider the
fact undisputed for purposes of the motion ….”).
deciding a motion for summary judgment, “[t]he
evidence, and all reasonable inferences, must be viewed in
the light most favorable to the nonmovant ….”
McCormick v. City of Fort Lauderdale, 333 F.3d 1234,
1243 (11th Cir. 2003). “Therefore, the
plaintiff's version of the facts (to the extent supported
by the record) controls, though that version can be
supplemented by additional material cited by the defendants
and not in tension with the plaintiff's version.”
Rachel v. City of Mobile, 112 F.Supp.3d 1263, 1274
(S.D. Ala. 2015), aff'd, 633 Fed.Appx. 784
(11th Cir. 2016).
is no burden on the Court to identify unreferenced evidence
supporting a party's position. Accordingly, the Court
limits its review to the exhibits, and to the specific
portions of the exhibits, to which the parties have expressly
cited. Likewise, “[t]here is no burden upon the
district court to distill every potential argument that could
be made based upon the materials before it on summary
judgment.” Resolution Trust Corp. v. Dunmar
Corp., 43 F.3d 587, 599 (11th Cir. 1995);
accord Gennusa v. Canova, 748 F.3d 1103, 1116
(11th Cir. 2014). The Court accordingly limits its
review to those arguments the parties have expressly
threshold question is whether the plaintiff is covered by the
FLSA. That would ordinarily require some analysis but, as she
notes, (Doc. 38 at 9), the defendants admit that “there
is some overtime owed to Plaintiff, ” (Doc. 38-2 at 6),
which necessarily encompasses an admission that the plaintiff
is covered by the FLSA. They also admit that Quality
“is subject to the FLSA.” (Doc. 30 at 3; Doc. 42
at 2). The defendants offer no response to the
plaintiff's showing. Based on the defendants'
admissions, the plaintiff is covered by the FLSA.
liability for failure to pay overtime extends to an
“employer.” 29 U.S.C. § 207(a). An
“employer” includes “any person acting
directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in
relation to an employee ….” Id. §
203(d). The plaintiff asserts that Stallworth qualifies as an
employer subject to individual liability. (Doc. 38 at 8-9).
The defendants admit that Stallworth is the owner, operator
and/or manager of Quality and that she “is in control
of the day to day operations of Quality, ” including
hiring, firing and payroll. (Doc. 30 at 3-4; Doc. 42 at 2).
They also admit that Stallworth is the CEO of Quality and the
only person involved in policymaking decisions regarding
Quality's method of paying the plaintiff. (Doc. 38-2 at
5). The defendants offer no ...