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Caseres v. S & R Management Co., LLC

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

August 5, 2013

JAIME CASERES, Plaintiff,
v.
S & R MANAGEMENT COMPANY, LLC, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ALEXANDER WILLIAMS, Jr., District Judge.

Plaintiff Jaime Caseres filed this action on May 3, 2012, alleging that Defendants failed to pay him overtime wages from 2006 through 2012 in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (MWHL), and the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (MWPCL). Pending before the Court is remaining Defendant S&R Management Company, LLC's Motion for Summary Judgment.[1] Doc. No. 37. The Court has reviewed the parties' motion papers and exhibits and concludes that no hearing is necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2011). For the reasons articulated below, Defendant's Motion will be GRANTED.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The following facts are taken from the parties' motion papers and exhibits and are construed in a light most favorable to Plaintiff. The factual and procedural background from the Court's October 24, 2012 Memorandum Opinion is also incorporated by reference. See Doc. No. 24.

S&R Management Company, LLC (S&R) manages various apartment buildings in the Washington, D.C. area. Jill Matthews has worked as S&R's Property Manager since October 2005, and supervises Rebecca Moreno-Meoni, S&R's Office Manager, and Bill Beavers, S&R's Maintenance Supervisor. Beavers has worked as S&R's Maintenance Supervisor since October 2005, overseeing maintenance operations and supervising the maintenance crew that works at each S&R property. Beavers tries to visit each S&R property every day, and regularly visits each site multiple times per week.

Plaintiff Jaime Caseres began working for S&R as a maintenance worker in or about October 2006. Plaintiff was terminated from his employment in January 2012. While he was employed by S&R, Plaintiff's duties included painting, flooring, plumbing, electrical work, roofing, plastering, drywalling, and other construction and maintenance work on a variety of Defendant's properties. Beavers was Plaintiff's supervisor at all relevant times.

As with all of S&R's maintenance employees, Plaintiff was scheduled to work Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a half-hour unpaid lunch break from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Plaintiff knew his hours were from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and no one from S&R ever instructed Plaintiff to work outside of those hours. Plaintiff recalls seeing Beavers at his worksites once in a while.

In 2009, Beavers began maintaining the biweekly timesheets for S&R's maintenance workers, including Plaintiff, and submitting them to Matthews every two weeks. Plaintiff reviewed his paychecks upon receipt and never directly or formally complained to Beavers or Matthews about missing overtime pay. S&R did provide Plaintiff overtime pay for several Saturdays he worked in 2007 and 2008, however.

Plaintiff relied on public transportation to get to the S&R worksites, and on occasion would arrive and start working prior to 7:00 a.m. About three days a week, Plaintiff would stay at the properties and work until 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. According to Plaintiff, he worked extra hours "[t]o do it quickly, to take care of my job, and to have a higher demand for work." By higher demand, Plaintiff explained that S&R "would give [him] a deadline for the apartment to be ready, so [he] had to finish it." However, no one at S&R ever told Plaintiff that he was required to work prior to 7:00 a.m. or past 3:30 p.m. Plaintiff never informed Beavers or Matthews about the extra hours he was working. S&R claims that it first became aware of Plaintiff's extra hours when he filed this lawsuit.

When Plaintiff began working for S&R, he worked with German Villanueva. Plaintiff admits that Villanueva was a maintenance worker just like he was, but also claims that he was "in charge." S&R acknowledges that prior to 2009, Villanueva would sometimes assist other maintenance workers with preparing their timesheets and faxing them to the payroll office. This practice ceased beginning in 2009, however. In 2007, Plaintiff raised the issue of overtime pay to Villanueva. Villanueva told Plaintiff that he had raised the issue to Matthews, who told Villanueva that Plaintiff would not be paid overtime. Plaintiff did not raise the issue to Matthews or Beavers directly. Plaintiff also alleges that Beavers worked with him past 3:30 p.m. to change water heaters at one of the properties. Plaintiff cannot recall the precise date or dates or the amount of overtime worked, but believes this occurred in 2009 or 2010.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is only appropriate "if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-25 (1986). The Court must "draw all justifiable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party, including questions of credibility and of the weight to be accorded to particular evidence." Masson v. New Yorker Magazine, Inc., 501 U.S. 496, 520 (1991) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986)). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, "[c]redibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge...." Okoli v. City of Baltimore, 648 F.3d 216, 231 (4th Cir. 2011) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255).

To defeat a motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must come forward with affidavits or other similar evidence to show that a genuine issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). A disputed fact presents a genuine issue "if, after reviewing the record as a whole... a reasonable jury could return a verdict for [the non-moving party]." Evans v. Techs. Applications & Serv. Co., 80 F.3d 954, 959 (4th Cir. 1996) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). Although the Court should believe the evidence of the nonmoving party and draw all justifiable inferences in his favor, a nonmoving party cannot create a genuine dispute of material fact "through mere speculation or the building of one inference upon another." Beale v. Hardy, 769 ...


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