United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
JOHN CORBETT O'MEARA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment,
which has been fully briefed. The court heard oral argument
on December 8, 2016, and took the matter under advisement.
For the reasons explained below, Defendant's motion is
Wayne Miller is suing his former employer, the Road
Commission for Oakland County (“RCOC”). Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant interfered with his right to take
leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
(“FMLA”) and retaliated against him, resulting in
his constructive discharge.
began working for RCOC in May 2011 as its information systems
supervisor. Plaintiff was responsible for supervising four
employees and reported to David Evancoe, the Director of
Planning and Environmental Concerns. Plaintiff worked in
Waterford, Michigan, while Evancoe's office was in
Beverly Hills, Michigan. Plaintiff was required to keep track
of his time by entering the hours worked and appropriate pay
code (regular, overtime, vacation, FMLA, etc.).
December 2014, Plaintiff's wife was seriously injured in
a car accident. Plaintiff submitted a request for
intermittent FMLA leave to care for his wife on December 26,
2014. Defendant approved Plaintiff's request for leave on
February 6, 2015. Plaintiff testified that Evancoe was
supportive of his need to take leave. Pl.'s Dep. at 25,
early 2015, several problems arose with RCOC's computer
system, including a number of “denial of service
attacks, ” viruses, and the crash of its email server.
Pl.'s Dep. at 77-78. Evancoe testified that it was
Plaintiff's responsibility to keep the IT systems running
smoothly. See Evancoe Dep. at 10-11.
March 2015, Evancoe noticed discrepancies on three of
Plaintiff's weekly time sheets. For example,
Plaintiff's time sheet indicated that he had worked forty
hours the week of March 2, 2015, but in emails to Evancoe,
Plaintiff stated that he was taking one and a half days off
that week. See Def.'s Ex. L. Plaintiff testified
that he was “distracted” by behavioral issues
with his children at school, his wife's and mother's
health issues, and viruses on RCOC's computer system.
Pl.'s Dep. at 31.
April 4, 2015, Plaintiff emailed Evancoe to say that he
forgot that his kids would be off for spring break the next
week. Plaintiff stated that he would come to work the next
week, but that he needed to leave by 11 a.m. each day. He
also said that “I have also self-diagnosed myself with
severe lack of sleep with the accompanying irrational
behavior. I need to get some rest.” Def.'s Ex. M.
April 8, 2015, Plaintiff emailed Evancoe: “I am still
unable to concentrate. I will need to take the remainder of
the week off. Will use FMLA if no ‘hours' are
available. Thanx!!” Def.'s Ex. K. Later that day,
Evancoe emailed Plaintiff, asking him to meet with Evancoe
and Pam Cahill, RCOC's human resources director. Evancoe
wrote: “We are concerned for you and would like to
discuss how we can be of assistance and to discuss some
resources that might be of benefit to you. Additionally, we
want to discuss your FMLA status and see whether a
modification to it would be appropriate to better reflect
your current situation.” Def.'s Ex. O.
Evancoe, and Cahill met on April 13, 2015. At that meeting,
Plaintiff was referred to the HelpNet Employee Assistance
Program, as a result of Defendant's concerns about his
absenteeism, leaving early, and sleep deprivation.
See Def.'s Ex. Q. Cahill also provided Plaintiff
with paperwork so that he could seek FMLA leave for his own
medical condition. Plaintiff requested FMLA leave for himself
on April 21, 2015. After granting Plaintiff extensions to
provide medical certification, Defendant approved
Plaintiff's FMLA leave on June 30, 2015.
April 13 meeting, Cahill went over Plaintiff's time
sheets with him, to ensure accurate timekeeping. In addition
to his written time sheets, Plaintiff kept track of his time
on a spreadsheet on his computer. Cahill and Plaintiff went
through every day from January to April 2015 to reconcile the
differences between what was submitted on his time sheets and
what Plaintiff indicated was reflected on his spreadsheet to
ensure the time was coded correctly. If Plaintiff stated he
was not at work on a particular day, Cahill asked if the time
was taken to care for his wife. If Plaintiff indicated that
he had, the time was coded as FMLA, if he said no, the leave
was unauthorized. Cahill Dep. at 44. Once Plaintiff's
time records were corrected, Defendant paid Plaintiff for
81.75 hours of overtime that had not been previously
reported. Def.'s Ex. S. Cahill stressed to Plaintiff the
importance of submitting timely and accurate time sheets.
8, 2015, Evancoe placed a memo in Plaintiff's file
regarding an “oral reminder” that he was given
regarding unauthorized absences and his failure to properly
report time worked. Def.'s Ex. U. The memo indicated that
Evancoe discussed various issues with Plaintiff, including
that he was to turn in accurate time sheets and seek
pre-approval for working remotely and overtime.
10, 2015, Evancoe provided Plaintiff with a copy of his
performance review, which was negative. Evancoe rated
Plaintiff as failing to meet expectations, noting that his
“[p]erformance has gradually declined since the last
performance appraisal. . . . Generally, there have been too
many IT crisis, too many user complaints, issues with time
keeping, little progress on advance initiatives, a loss of
confidence by upper management and the Board and there is now
a belief that ...