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Trammell v. Amdocs, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division

February 21, 2018

AMDOCS, INC., Defendant.



         This case is before the court on the Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Amdocs, Inc. (“Defendant” or “Amdocs”). (Doc. # 33). The Motion is fully briefed, and the parties filed evidentiary submissions. (Docs. # 33, 34, 35, 37, 40, 43). After careful review, the court concludes that the Motion is due to be granted.

         I. Relevant Undisputed Facts [1]

         Plaintiff Scott B. Trammell (“Plaintiff” or “Trammell”) was employed by Amdocs, a computer software company that provides billing and customer management services for communications service providers, from March 2010 to February 2015. (Docs. # 34 at p. 3; 40 at p. 2). He brings this action against Defendant asserting a claim for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 207.[2] (Doc. # 1). In particular, he contends that Defendant failed to pay him at the appropriate overtime rate for each hour worked in excess of forty hours during each workweek between August 2014 and January 2015. (Id. at p. 4). Defendant denies that it violated the FLSA and asserts that Defendant was exempt from the overtime rule because he meets the highly-compensated employee provision of the FLSA. (Doc. # 34 at p. 1). Alternatively, Defendant asserts that Plaintiff is exempt under the administrative exemption to the FLSA. (Id. at p. 1-2).

         Plaintiff worked as a Project Management Office Professional (“PMO Professional”)[3]from August 25, 2014 until he left Defendant's employment. (Docs. # 1 at p. 3; 34 at p. 3). He earned $4, 251.84 on a semi-monthly basis. (Docs. # 34 at p. 3; 40 at p. 2). Plaintiff's base salary was over $100, 000, and he also was eligible for and received certain awards and bonuses in addition to his base salary. (Id.).

         The PMO Professional role definition document, which was submitted by Defendant, reflects that the job duties and responsibilities of a PMO Professional include building and tracking holistic project plans, ensuring that projects are correctly planned and that work is executed to meet planned deliverables, providing an integrative view and analysis of various project aspects within the program to enable better decision making, ensuring that information is gathered and disseminated to all stakeholders and management, overseeing end-to-end project outcomes, tracking and highlighting risks and trends, raising concerns of possible project deviations, performing project audits and reviews, preparing risk management reports, and developing appropriate contingency plans, among other responsibilities. (Doc. # 35-1 at p. 5). However, Plaintiff denies that he performed the duties and responsibilities of a PMO during his last position with Defendant. (Doc. # 40 at p. 2). The parties are in agreement that Plaintiff's job duties as a PMO Professional consisted entirely of non-manual office work and included the following tasks: data verification, producing slides and presentations to report the status of projects, verifying information about project releases, creating (at least) pieces of presentations on the status of various projects, reviewing and compiling data from multiple sources, reviewing and ensuring the accuracy of project reporting data, mining data and generating weekly reports of that data, entering and verifying data in a dashboard, combining multiple data sources into a single report, meeting with and directly interfacing with AT&T with respect to upcoming releases, preparing and presenting a report to AT&T on at least one occasion, and providing instructions and guidance to Defendant's employees regarding entering and verifying information about project releases. (Docs. # 34 at p.3-5; 40 at p. 2-4). In his Affidavit, Plaintiff states that his “position as a ‘PMO Professional' consisted almost exclusively of generating reports and responding to email correspondence.” (Doc. # 40-1 at p. 2).

         II. Procedural History

         On August 26, 2015, Plaintiff filed his complaint against Defendant in federal court. (Doc. # 1). Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, which asserted that Plaintiff was an exempt employee under the FLSA's highly-compensated employee exemption, on October 19, 2015. (Doc. # 8). In support of its Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendant included a printout of Plaintiff's LinkedIn profile, which suggested that Plaintiff managed seven employees and two applications and that Plaintiff's duties as a PMO Professional included those listed on the PMO Professional role definition (Doc. # 35-1 at p. 5). (Doc. # 9-4 at p. 2-3).

         On July 6, 2016, the court denied Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 8) because Plaintiff's sworn denial that he did not engage in certain job duties created a question of material fact concerning whether Plaintiff was a highly-compensated employee. (Docs. # 18; 19). In the Memorandum Opinion, the court noted that “timing is everything.” (Doc. # 18 at p. 1-2). Defendants' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 33), which is currently before the court, presents additional evidence that Plaintiff was an exempt employee under the FLSA and also demonstrates that Defendant needed additional time to prove -- as a matter of law -- that Plaintiff was an exempt employee under the FLSA. (Docs. # 34, 35).

         III. Summary Judgment Standard

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, summary judgment is proper “if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The party asking for summary judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing the court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the pleadings or filings which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Id. at 323. Once the moving party has met its burden, Rule 56 requires the non-moving party to go beyond the pleadings and -- by pointing to affidavits, or depositions, answers to interrogatories, and/or admissions on file -- designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324.

         The substantive law will identify which facts are material and which are irrelevant. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). All reasonable doubts about the facts and all justifiable inferences are resolved in favor of the non-movant. See Allen v. Bd. of Pub. Educ. for Bibb Cnty., 495 F.3d 1306, 1314 (11th Cir. 2007); Fitzpatrick v. City of Atlanta, 2 F.3d 1112, 1115 (11th Cir. 1993). A dispute is genuine “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted. See Id. at 249.

         When faced with a “properly supported motion for summary judgment, [the non-moving party] must come forward with specific factual evidence, presenting more than mere allegations.” Gargiulo v. G.M. Sales, Inc., 131 F.3d 995, 999 (11th Cir. 1997). As Anderson teaches, under Rule 56(c) a plaintiff may not simply rest on his allegations made in the complaint; instead, as the party bearing the burden of proof at trial, he must come forward with at least some evidence to support each element essential to his case at trial. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. “[A] party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment ‘may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'” Id. at 248 (citations omitted).

         Summary judgment is mandated “against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322. “Summary judgment may be granted if the non-moving party's evidence is merely colorable or is not significantly probative.” Sawyer v. Sw. Airlines Co., 243 F.Supp.2d 1257, 1262 (D. Kan. 2003) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250-51).

         “[A]t the summary judgment stage the judge's function is not himself to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. “Essentially, the inquiry is ‘whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to the jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law.'” Sawyer, 243 F.Supp.2d at 1262 (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251-52); see also LaRoche v. Denny's, Inc., 62 F.Supp.2d 1366, 1371 ...

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