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Bean v. Doug & Matthew Home Remodeling, LLC

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Northern Division

April 15, 2015

DAVID BEAN, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DOUG & MATTHEW HOME REMODELING, LLC, et al. Defendants.

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND CANCELING HEARING

THOMAS L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge

On June 27, 2014, Plaintiffs David Bean, Michael Harris, and Joshua Thorpe filed suit against their former employer, Doug & Matthew Home Remodeling, LLC, and its manager Douglas Wooding. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by requiring them to work more than forty hours per week without any overtime pay.

On March 2, 2015, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment contending that Plaintiffs had not established that they worked more than forty hours a week, which is part of their prima facie case. Because Plaintiffs are entitled to rely on their own deposition testimony to establish the factual issue of whether they worked more than forty hours a week, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment will be denied.

I.

Defendants are in the business of buying homes, repairing them, and then reselling them. Mot. Summ. J. 2.

Each Plaintiff worked for Defendants between 2012 and 2014. Compl. ¶ 8-11. Plaintiffs worked as general laborers, performing plumbing, roofing, drywall installation, window installation, siding installation, and painting. Id. ¶ 13. Plaintiffs allege that they worked an average of fifty-six hours per week, but were not paid overtime. Id. ¶ 17.

II.

A motion for summary judgment should be granted if the “movant shows 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). The moving party has the initial burden of identifying where to look in the record for evidence “which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The burden then shifts to the opposing party who must set out specific facts showing “a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986) (citation omitted). The Court must view the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-movant and determine “whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law.” Id. at 251-52.

III.

The Fair Labor Standards Acts compels employers to pay the federal minimum wage and provide overtime pay to those employees covered by the Act’s overtime provisions. Jewell Ridge Coal Corp. v. Local No. 6167, 325 U.S. 161, 167 (1945). An employer must compensate any covered, non-exempt employee who works more than forty hours per workweek for “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 an action by the employee to recover unpaid wages under the FLSA, the employee “must prove by a preponderance of evidence that he or she performed work for which he was not properly compensated.” Myers v. Copper Cellar Corp., 192 F.3d 546, 551 (6th Cir. 1999) (citing Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Potter Co., 328 U.S. 680, 686-87 (1946)).

A.

In their motion for summary judgment, Defendants assert only one argument: that Plaintiffs cannot establish that they ever worked more than forty hours in one week because they kept no written time records:

In this case no time records were kept by anyone. It is pure speculation as to the amount of hours Plaintiffs worked. Without being able to prove the essential element of their case (that they worked more than 40 hours in any ...

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