United States District Court, D. Arizona
William J. Litzendorf, Plaintiff,
Property Maintenance Solutions LLC, et al., Defendants.
Honorable G. Murray Snow United States District Judge.
before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment of
Defendant Property Maintenance Solutions, LLC, et. al, (Doc.
56) and the Motion for Summary Judgment of Plaintiff William
Litzendorf (Doc. 58). For the following reasons, the Court
denies both motions.
2014, William Litzendorf began working as a handyman for
Cluff Property Management, LLC (CPM). CPM is a property
management company based in Arizona that manages residential
rental properties. CPM is owned by Daniel Shreeve, Chad
Cluff, and James Israel. CPM uses Property Maintenance
Solutions, LLC (PMS) to coordinate the maintenance needs of
CPM's properties. PMS is owned by three members: Wallin
Holdings, LLC, Empire Capital, LLC, and Mission Capital, LLC.
Wallin Holdings is owned by James Wallin, Empire Capital is
owned by Daniel Shreeve and Lindsay Shreeve, and Mission
Capital is owned by Chad Cluff and Brittany Biggs. PMS's
sole purpose is to schedule and coordinate the maintenance
needs of CPM. Mr. Litzendorf was hired after responding to a
Craigslist advertisement and interviewing with Mr. Wallin and
Mr. Shreeve. Mr. Litzendorf signed an agreement that
classified him as an independent contractor. Mr. Litzendorf
was initially paid $18.00 an hour, and his pay was later
raised to $20.00 an hour.
residential rental property managed by CPM needed maintenance
work, CPM would notify PMS of the work opportunity. PMS would
then send a text message or email to the maintenance workers,
such as Mr. Litzendorf. The maintenance workers would then
respond to the opportunity, on a first-come basis.
Maintenance workers would go to the rental property and do
the repair work. When special tools or materials were
required, either the maintenance workers themselves, Mr.
Shreeve, or Mr. Wallin would purchase such materials from
Home Depot. After the maintenance work was completed, Mr.
Litzendorf would submit a work order to Mr. Shreeve. Mr.
Shreeve reviewed the work order and would then issue a weekly
paycheck to Mr. Litzendorf.
Litzendorf alleges that he was an “employee” of
Defendants, and therefore entitled to the protections of the
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Mr. Litzendorf estimates
that he worked 50-60 hours per week, but claims that he was
never paid overtime compensation. Defendants agree that Mr.
Litzendorf was never paid overtime compensation, but argue
that Mr. Litzendorf was an “independent
contractor” and therefore not owed overtime
compensation. Mr. Litzendorf further alleges that he was not
fully compensated for time spent travelling to work sites or
purchasing necessary materials. Defendants respond that Mr.
Litzendorf was compensated for all reasonable time spent on
parties filed cross motions for summary judgment on both FLSA
claims and Arizona Wage Act claims.
judgment is appropriate if the evidence, viewed in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party, demonstrates
“that 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). Substantive law determines
which facts are material and “[o]nly disputes over
facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary
judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). “A fact issue is genuine
‘if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'”
Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, Inc., 281 F.3d 1054,
1061 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at
248). Thus, the nonmoving party must show that the genuine
factual issues “‘can be resolved only by a finder
of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of
either party.'” Cal. Architectural Bldg.
Prods., Inc. v. Franciscan Ceramics, Inc., 818 F.2d
1466, 1468 (9th Cir. 1987) (quoting Anderson, 477
U.S. at 250).
FLSA requires that “no employer shall employ any of his
employees who in any workweek is engaged in commerce or in
the production of goods for commerce, or is employed in an
enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods
for commerce, for a workweek longer than forty hours unless
such employee receives compensation for his employment in
excess of the hours above specified at a rate not less than
one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is
employed.” 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). In order for the
FLSA protections to attach, however, Defendants must be
“employers” under the Act and Plaintiff must be
an “employee” under the Act.
Disputes of Fact Preclude Summary Judgment on Whether
Plaintiff is an Employee or an Independent
FLSA defines an “employee” as “any
individual employed by an employer.” 29 U.S.C. §
203(e)(1). An “employer” is “any person
acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer
in relation to an employee.” Id. at §
203(d). To “employ” is “to suffer or permit
to work.” Id. at § 203(g). The wide
definitions of these key terms have led courts to develop
“expansive interpretation[s] of the definitions of
‘employer' and ‘employee' under the FLSA,
in order to ...