United States District Court, D. Maryland
For David Vasquez Ramirez, Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Gregg Cohen Greenberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, Zipin Amster and Greenberg LLC, Silver Spring, MD.
For Amazing Home Contractors, Inc., Defendant, Counter Claimant: Neil E Duke, Ober Kaler Grimes and Shriver PC, Baltimore, MD.
James K. Bredar, United States District Judge.
David Vasquez Ramirez (" Plaintiff" ) brought this suit against Amazing Home Contractors, Inc. (" AHC" ) and James Ryder, Jr. (collectively, " Defendants" ) for violations of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (" FLSA" ), 29 U.S.C. § § 201 et seq., the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (" MWHL" ), Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. § § 3-401 et seq., and the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (" MWPCL" ), Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. § § 3-503 et seq. AHC is a home improvement business that performs " roofing and landscaping services" in Maryland, (ECF No. 19-1 at 1-2), and James Ryder, Jr. is an owner of AHC (ECF No. 19-2). Plaintiff was formerly employed by AHC, and is a resident of Maryland. (ECF No. 1 ¶ ¶ 1, 14.)
On July 7, 2014, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit alleging that Defendants failed to pay overtime wages in violation of the FLSA, MWHL, and MWPCL. (ECF No. 1.) After Defendants filed their Answer to Plaintiff's Complaint (ECF No. 5), the Court entered a scheduling order setting deadlines for the remainder of Plaintiff's case (ECF No. 11). According to the Court's order, discovery closed on January 26, 2015, and dispositive motions were due on February 23. ( Id. )
Now pending before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment.
(ECF No. 19.) The issues have been briefed (ECF Nos. 19, 21, and 24), and no hearing is required, Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons explained below, Defendants' motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 19) will be GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
I. Standard for Summary Judgment
" 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); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986) (citing predecessor to current Rule 56(a)). The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate the absence of any genuine dispute of material fact. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 26 L.Ed.2d 142 (1970). If sufficient evidence exists for a reasonable jury to render a verdict in favor of the party opposing the motion, then a genuine dispute of material fact is presented and summary judgment should be denied. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). However, the " mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the [opposing party's] position" is insufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment. Id. at 252. The facts themselves, and the inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts, must be viewed in the light most favorable to the opposing party, Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 167 L.Ed.2d 686 (2007); Iko v. Shreve, 535 F.3d 225, 230 (4th Cir. 2008), who may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading but instead must, by affidavit or other evidentiary showing, set out specific facts showing a genuine dispute for trial, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). Supporting and opposing affidavits are to be made on personal knowledge, contain such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and show affirmatively the competence of the affiant to testify to the matters stated in the affidavit. Rule 56(c)(4).
Critically, " the plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, 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." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants failed to pay overtime wages in violation of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 207. " An employee to whom the FLSA's overtime coverage applies and who works more than forty hours in a workweek is entitled to one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of compensation for all hours above forty." Veney v. John W. Clarke, Inc., 28 F.Supp.3d 435, 440 (D. Md. 2014) (emphasis added). The FLSA's overtime coverage applies in two scenarios: First, in what has been termed individual coverage, § 207 applies to any employee " who in any workweek is engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce . . . ." 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). Alternatively, in what has been termed ent ...