United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. Teilborg Senior United States District Judge
before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 45) and Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 47). The Court now rules on the motions.
April 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed the pending Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 45). At the Court's request,
Defendants filed a Response on May 15, 2017 (Doc. 52).
Plaintiff then filed a Reply on May 18, 2017 (Doc. 55).
April 14, 2017, Defendants also filed their pending Motion
for Summary Judgment (Doc. 47). At the Court's request,
Plaintiff filed a Response on April 28, 2017 (Doc. 49).
Defendants then filed a Reply on May 15, 2017 (Doc. 51).
Complaint in this case alleges that Defendants violated the
Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for failure
and/or refusal to pay overtime to Plaintiff. (Doc. 1).
Undisputed Material Facts
Avalon Mobility, Inc., d/b/a Desert Sun Moving (“Avalon
Mobility”) is a moving company owned by Defendant
Brenda Huffman and organized as a corporation in Arizona with
gross income exceeding $500, 000 per year. (Plaintiffs
Statement of Facts in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment
(“PSOF”), Doc. 46 at ¶¶ 1, 3;
Defendants' Response to Plaintiffs Statement of Facts and
Controverting Statement of Facts (“DCSOF”), Doc.
53 at ¶¶ 1, 3; Doc. 46-3 at 5-6). Avalon Mobility
is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona and maintains an office
and warehouse in Phoenix, Arizona. (PSOF at ¶¶ 1;
DCSOF at ¶¶ 1). Avalon Mobility and Brenda Huffman
(together, “Defendants”) employed Plaintiff Dean
Cameron (“Plaintiff) at Defendants' Phoenix
location with the title of “Warehouse Manager”
from approximately June 13, 2014 to approximately March 4,
2015. (PSOF at ¶¶ 5; DCSOF at ¶¶ 5;
Plaintiffs Controverting Statement of Facts in Support of
Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment
(“PCSOF”), Doc. 50 at ¶¶ 12).
the duration of his employment with Defendants, Plaintiff
received a flat weekly salary of $550 regardless of the
number of hours that Plaintiff worked each week. (PSOF at
¶¶ 10; DCSOF at ¶¶ 10). Defendants did
not use a time clock to maintain an exact record of the hours
Plaintiff worked. (PSOF at ¶¶ 16; DCSOF at
¶¶ 16). According to Defendants, Plaintiff spent
approximately twenty percent of his time performing manual
labor and the remainder of his time operating a forklift in
some capacity. (PSOF at ¶¶ 7-8; DCSOF at
¶¶ 7-8). Both parties agree that Plaintiffs duties
included “the care, placement, organization, inventory,
cataloging, loading, unloading, and damage claims relating to
warehoused shipments and maintenance of the
[w]arehouse.” (Defendants' Statement of Facts in
Support of Motion for Summary Judgment (“DSOF”),
Doc. 48 at ¶¶ 23; PCSOF at ¶¶ 23).
Plaintiff prepared a resume later found on Defendants'
computer, which describes his duties and responsibilities as
• Select product to be distributed for the day.
• Stock incoming product.
• Maintain production rate in a fast paced work
• Prepare itinerary for drivers delivery and pickups
• Answering calls from carriers and customers
• Scheduling new deliveries and pack jobs
• Train new employees
• Supervise warehouse employees
• Oversee daily upkeep in warehouse
• Weigh all outbound deliveries
• Prepare paperwork for payroll
• Make inbound deliveries and local moves when short
(DSOF at ¶¶ 26; PCSOF at ¶¶ 26).
his employment, Plaintiff, at times, worked with one
full-time Warehouse Assistant and one part-time Warehouse
Assistant with only partial overlap. (DSOF at ¶¶
29; PCSOF at ¶¶ 29). Who had oversight
responsibility for these employees and whether Plaintiff
supervised any others who occasionally performed work in the
warehouse is disputed. (DSOF at ¶¶ 29-30; PCSOF at
¶¶ 29-30). During his employment with Defendants,
Plaintiff did not “recommend to general management
hiring, disciplinary action, or termination of any
employee.” (DSOF at ¶¶ 33; PCSOF at
Disputed Material Facts
Plaintiffs Specific Employment and Oversight Duties
addition to the undisputed facts outlined above, Plaintiff
alleges and Defendants dispute that “Plaintiffs primary
duty was operating a forklift.” (PSOF at ¶¶
9; DCSOF at ¶¶ 9). Alternatively, Defendants allege
and Plaintiff dispute that “Plaintiffs primary duty was
to manage the warehouse and using the forklift was one of his
tools with which to accomplish that.” (DCSOF at
¶¶ 9; PSOF at ¶¶ 9; PCSOF at ¶¶
23). Defendants rely on Plaintiffs resume as an accurate, if
incomplete, description of Plaintiffs employment duties, but
Plaintiff disputes that bulleted contents of his resume are
an accurate description of his duties. (DSOF at ¶¶
26; PCSOF at ¶¶ 26).
further alleges that he did not have supervisory authority
over any of Defendants' other employees. (PSOF at
¶¶ 21). Defendants contend that Plaintiff not only
supervised one full-time and one part-time warehouse staff
member, but also five to eight drivers and helpers who worked
in the warehouse at various times. (DCSOF at ¶¶
21). Defendants also contend and Plaintiff disputes that
Plaintiff had the authority and duty to make personnel
recommendations to management-including the need to hire or
terminate staff -but the need to make such recommendations
never arose during Plaintiff's employment. (DSOF at
¶¶ 30, 32; PCSOF at ¶¶ 30, 32).
Plaintiff's Work Schedule
also alleges and Defendants dispute that Plaintiff worked
over forty hours nearly every week of his employment with
Defendants. (PSOF at ¶¶ 11; DCSOF at ¶¶
11). Defendants maintain that Plaintiff's work schedule
was Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (less one
hour for lunch) and every other Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1
p.m., totalling forty or forty-six hours per week (DCSOF at
¶¶ 13). Plaintiff provides that his work schedule
was Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and every
other Saturday from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. for an estimated
fifty-five or sixty-one hours per week. (PSOF at ¶¶
14-16; Doc. 46-1 at 7-8). Defendants dispute that this
calculation is a “good faith” attempt to estimate
hours worked because Plaintiff did not account for any days
where he did not work at all, such as holidays or sick days.
(DCSOF at ¶¶ 11, 22).
SUMMARY JUDGEMENT STANDARD
judgment is appropriate when “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).
“A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is
genuinely disputed must support that assertion by . . .
citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits, or declarations, stipulations . . .
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials,
” or by “showing that materials cited do not
establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or
that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to
support the fact.” Id. 56(c)(1)(A), (B). Thus,
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. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
the movant bears the burden of demonstrating to the Court the
basis for the motion and the elements of the cause of action
upon which the non-movant will be unable to establish a
genuine issue of material fact. Id. at 323. The
burden then shifts to the non-movant to establish the
existence of material fact. Id. A material fact is
any factual issue that may affect the outcome of the case
under the governing substantive law. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The non-movant
“must do more than simply show that there is some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts” by
“com[ing] forward with ‘specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.'”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). A
dispute about a fact is “genuine” if the evidence
is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
non-moving party. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at
248 (1986). The non-movant's bare assertions, standing
alone, are insufficient to create a material issue of fact
and defeat a motion for summary judgment. Id. at
247-48. However, in the summary judgment context, the Court
construes all disputed facts in the light most favorable to
the non-moving party. Ellison v. Robertson, 357 F.3d
1072, 1075 (9th Cir. 2004).
summary judgment stage, the Court's role is to determine
whether there is a genuine issue available for trial. There
is no issue for trial unless there is sufficient evidence in
favor of the non-moving party for a jury to return a verdict
for the non-moving party. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. at 249-50. “If the evidence is merely colorable,
or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be
granted.” Id. (citations omitted).
FLSA OVERTIME REQUIREMENTS
FLSA generally requires employers to pay employees one and
one-half times their regular hourly rate of pay for hours
worked in excess of forty per week (“overtime”).
29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). The FLSA creates a private cause
of action for an employee against his employer to recover
unpaid overtime wages and back pay “[i]f a covered
employee is not paid the statutory wage.” Quinonez
v. Reliable Auto Glass, LLC, No. CV-12-000452-PHX-GMS,
2012 WL 2848426, at *1-2 (D. Ariz. July 11, 2012) (citing
Josendis v. Wall to Wall Residence Repairs, Inc.,
662 F.3d 1292, 1298 (11th Cir. 2011)). An FLSA claim includes
the following three elements: (1) Plaintiff was employed by
Defendants during the relevant time period; (2) Plaintiff was
a covered employee; and (3) Defendants failed to pay
Plaintiff overtime pay during the relevant time period.
Id. at *2 (citations omitted). Anyone
“employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or
professional capacity, ” however, is exempt from
overtime pay requirements by the FLSA. 29 U.S.C. §
Defendants were Plaintiff's Employers
the FLSA, an “employer” includes “any
person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an
employer in relation to an employee.” 29 U.S.C. §
203(d). Characteristics of an employer can include the power
or responsibility to: (1) hire and fire employees, (2)
supervise and control employee work schedules, (3) determine
rates of compensation, and (4) maintain employment records.
See Hale v. State, 993 F.2d 1387, 1394 (9th Cir.
1993). Here, both Avalon Mobility and Brenda Huffman, as the
owner and President of Avalon Mobility, exercised those
powers and responsibilities over Plaintiff. (PSOF at
¶¶ 2-4; ...