United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT [#22] AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
Page Hood, United States District Court Chief Judge
instant dispute stems from Defendant's alleged violation
of Plaintiff's rights under the Family and Medical Leave
Act, 29 U.S.C.§ 2601 et seq. (the
“FMLA”). Plaintiff alleges Defendant interfered
with his rights under the FMLA by telling him he was not
qualified for FMLA and failing to provide him with up to 12
weeks unpaid leave to care for his mother who was suffering
from a serious medical condition.
August 1, 2016, Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
[Docket No. 22], and Defendant's Motion has been fully
briefed. A hearing on Defendant's Motion was held on
November 30, 2016. For the reasons that follow, the Court
grants Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and
dismisses Plaintiff's cause of action.
December 1993, Plaintiff Roderick Randolph began working as a
substitute teacher for Defendant Detroit Public Schools, a
covered employer under the FMLA. Beginning in May 2011,
Plaintiff became a full-time substitute teacher with
Defendant. As of February 2014, Plaintiff was a qualifying
employee for purposes of being entitled to take leave under
the FMLA because he had worked more than the required 1250
hours in the preceding 12-month period.
represents that he received notification in early February
2014 that his mother had been admitted to the hospital with
cancer. Plaintiff states that his mother was incapacitated in
the hospital and needed his assistance with care and personal
matters. Plaintiff claims he acted as his mother's
caretaker while she was incapacitated. About three days after
learning of his mother's medical condition, Plaintiff
went to Defendant's human resources department to request
medical leave to care for his mother. Plaintiff spoke with
Andrea Davis (“Ms. Davis”), who testified that
she was a human resources technician for Defendant. Plaintiff
testified that he indicated to Ms. Davis that he needed to
take leave to care for his mother in the hospital. Plaintiff
further testified that Ms. Davis advised him that he did not
qualify for FMLA leave because he was not a contract teacher.
Ms. Davis has offered fluctuating, even contradictory,
statements regarding what Plaintiff told her about his need
for leave and how she responded.
was not provided with any information regarding FMLA leave,
nor did Ms. Davis discuss Plaintiff's request for time
off with anyone else in the human resources department.
Ultimately, Plaintiff resigned from his position, effective
February 18, 2014. About two weeks later, when Plaintiff no
longer needed to care for his mother, he returned to
Defendant's human resources department to inquire about
being placed as a substitute teacher again. At that time,
Plaintiff learned he had been placed on Defendant's
“do not hire” list, and he was not rehired.
November 11, 2015, Plaintiff filed the instant cause of
APPLICABLE LAW & ANALYSIS
Standard of Review
56(a) of the Rules of Civil Procedures provides that the
court “shall grant summary judgment 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 presence of factual disputes will
preclude granting of summary judgment only if the disputes
are genuine and concern material facts. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute
about a material fact is “genuine” only if
“the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id.
Although the Court must view the motion in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party, where “the moving
party has carried its burden under Rule 56(c), its opponent
must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita
Electric Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S.
574, 586 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323-24 (1986). Summary judgment must be entered 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. In such a situation, there can be “no genuine
issue as to any material fact, ” since a complete
failure of proof concerning an essential element of the
nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other
facts immaterial. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322-23.
A court must look to the substantive law to identify which
facts are material. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.
FMLA prohibits an employer from “interfer[ing] with,
restrain[ing], or deny[ing] the exercise of” an
employee's FMLA rights. 29 U.S.C § 2615(a)(l). An
employer also must not retaliate against an employee who uses
FMLA leave. Bryantv. Dollar Gen. Corp.,
538 F.3d 394, 400-01 (6th Cir.2008). Courts have recognized
two distinct theories of recovery for violations of the FMLA:
(1) the so-called “interference” theory, and (2)
the “retaliation” or “discrimination”
theory. 29 U.S.C. § ...