United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
pending and ready for resolution in this employment case is a
motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary
judgment filed by Defendant International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers, Local Union No. 1200
(“Defendant” or “Local IBEW”). (ECF
No. 8). The issues have been fully briefed, and the court now
rules, no hearing being deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6.
For the following reasons, the motion to dismiss, construed
as a motion for summary judgment, will be denied.
represents broadcasting and freelance members working for TV
stations, production houses, and sporting events across the
nation. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 14). Plaintiff began working as an
office assistant for Defendant in 1994. (Id. ¶
16). Plaintiff was hired as an hourly employee and was paid
$10.50 hourly. (Id. ¶¶ 32, 33). Upon hire,
Plaintiff was offered and accepted an employment agreement
that included terms for a medical plan for all employees with
premiums paid by Defendant, vacation and holiday pay, sick
leave, termination only for just cause, and payment for
unused vacation time upon termination. (Id. ¶
18). On May 15, 2005, Plaintiff was offered and she accepted
an updated employment agreement, which included the same
terms as the prior agreement and additional terms for an
employee pension benefit, amended vacation pay, and updated
severance terms. (Id. ¶¶ 19, 20). The
updated agreement still included the term that
Plaintiff's employment could only be terminated for
“just cause.” (Id. ¶ 21).
began renting out its offices in December 2010 and told
employees to work from home. Local IBEW documents, supplies,
and equipment were moved to Plaintiff's home office.
(Id. ¶ 55). In January 2015, Plaintiff was
promoted from Office Assistant to Production Coordinator, and
her hourly rate increased to $25.45. (Id.
¶¶ 17, 36). In July 2015, the office manager in
charge of member billing and dues processing was terminated,
and Plaintiff's supervisor and Local IBEW Business
Manager Tom Albano passed all of the office manager's
duties and responsibilities to Plaintiff with no additional
compensation. (Id. ¶¶ 56, 57). In August
2015, Plaintiff asked Mr. Albano about hiring a part-time
employee to assist Plaintiff with her multiple duties.
Instead, Mr. Albano hired an accountant who was not tasked
with assisting Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 59). In
addition to working at least 8 hours a day Monday through
Friday, Plaintiff was required to work 8 hours a day on
Saturday and Sunday approximately 30 weekends a year to
assist with different TV sporting events staffed by Local
IBEW members. (Id. ¶ 37, 38). Defendant did not
pay Plaintiff for all of her overtime hours and only paid
Plaintiff overtime on two occasions - once in 2014 and once
in 2016. (Id. ¶ 52, 53).
alleges that Defendant failed to provide her a medical plan
and that the Local IBEW Board “met and finally
approved” a medical plan for her and her husband in
September 2015. (Id. ¶¶ 23, 27). In
October 2015, Plaintiff asked Mr. Albano for the status of
her medical plan, and Mr. Albano responded that “they
lost the paperwork.” (Id. ¶ 28).
Plaintiff's medical plan was not finalized until late
January 2016 and became effective in February. (Id.
6, 2016, Kenneth Brown was sworn in as the new Local IBEW
Business Manager. That same day, around 11 a.m., Mr. Brown,
Mr. Albano, Mr. Albano's son, and a friend of Mr.
Albano's son, arrived at Plaintiff's home
unannounced. Plaintiff's husband answered the door and
the men demanded entrance into Plaintiff's home to
retrieve Local IBEW documents, supplies, and equipment.
Plaintiff's husband told the men, “[Plaintiff] is
unavailable at the moment and will be right with you.”
(Id. ¶ 62). When Plaintiff came to the door,
she saw a U-Haul truck driving down her driveway, which her
husband had asked Mr. Brown to drive off their property. Mr.
Brown came back to inform Plaintiff that he was there to get
“his stuff” and that he was relocating the Local
IBEW office. (Id.). Plaintiff was “shocked,
” “began hyperventilating, ” and told Mr.
Brown that they should have given her notice. (Id.
¶¶ 63, 64). The men then removed all Local IBEW
materials from Plaintiff's home to the new Local IBEW
office, approximately 80 miles away from Plaintiff's
home. (Id. ¶ 66).
alleges that, by the actions of Mr. Brown and Mr. Albano,
Defendant forced her to resign on July 6 and breached her
employment agreement by terminating her employment without
just cause and failing to pay her earned vacation balance and
pension contributions upon termination. (Id.
¶¶ 67, 70, 71). Plaintiff contends that she is owed
$9, 569.20 in unused vacation time, $2, 646.80 in pension
contributions, and approximately $51, 876.00 for overtime
worked during the period of July 2013 through July 2016.
(Id. ¶¶ 54, 72).
January 16, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the
“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.
(Count I); the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (the
“MWHL”), Md.Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. §
3-401, et seq. (Count II); and the Maryland Wage
Payment and Collection Law (the “MWPCL”), Md.Code
Ann., Lab. & Empl. § 3-501, et seq. (Count
III). Plaintiff also alleges breach of contract (Count IV).
(ECF No. 1). On March 17, Defendant filed the pending motion
to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. (ECF
No. 8). Plaintiff submitted her opposition on March 31 (ECF
No. 11), and Defendant replied on April 14 (ECF No. 12).
Standard of Review
has moved to dismiss or for summary judgment. Because both
parties rely extensively on matters outside the pleadings,
the court will treat the motion as a motion for summary
judgment. See Walker v. True, 399 F.3d 315, 319 n.2
(4thCir. 2005); Offen v. Brenner, 553
F.Supp.2d 565, 568 (D.Md. 2008).
may enter summary judgment only if there is no genuine issue
as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Emmett
v. Johnson, 532 F.3d 291, 297 (4th Cir.
2008). Summary judgment is inappropriate if any material
factual issue “may reasonably be resolved in favor of
either party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,