United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. MESSITTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
in this case, Mi-Kee-Tro Metal Manufacturing, Inc., has filed
a Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 25. The motion is
fully briefed and no hearing is necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6.
For the following reasons, the Motion for Summary Judgment is
Factual and Procedural Background
Metal Manufacturing, Inc. ("MKT") is a manufacturer
of sheet metal and HVAC ducts with its primary place of
business in York, Pennsylvania. ECF No. 25. On December 30,
2015, pro se Plaintiff Stephen Simons accepted a position as
a Sales Associate with MKT. ECF No. 35-3. The offer letter
set out that the position paid "a salary of $58, 500 per
year, paid weekly at $1, 125." Id. The letter
contained no reference to the No. of hours Simons was to work
each week or if he was to be compensated for overtime.
Id. But according to Simons, on his first day on the
job. the head of the human resources department told him that
his salary was based on the expectation of a forty-five hour
work week. ECF No. 25-3. p. 17, ECF No. 25-4, p. 69. From the
outset of his employment, however, Simons says he routinely
worked fifty-five to sixty hours per week. ECF No. 16 ¶
18. According to Simons, on two occasions, one by telephone
and one by email, he informed MKT officers that he was
working long hours and wanted to discuss additional
compensation. ECF. Nos. 25-4, p. 139, 25-8. No. formal
commitment to specifically change his compensation was made.
On November 9, 2017, two weeks after the phone call and the
day after the email, MKT terminated Simons. ECF No. 35-6.
submits that MKT owes him unpaid wages, liquidated damages
and interest, and attorneys' fees and litigation costs
under the common law of contracts and quasi-contracts, and
the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, Md. Code Ann.,
Lab. & Empl. §§ 3-503, et seq., along with its
Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and North Carolina analogs. ECF
No. 16. He also alleges retaliation and unlawful termination
under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA").
Id., 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, et seq.
has filed an opposition and MKT a reply.
Rule 56(a), "[f]he 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). This does not
mean, however, that "some alleged factual dispute
between the parties" necessarily defeats the motion for
summary judgment. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original). Rather,
"the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of
material fact." Id. (emphasis in original).
reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the court views the
facts, and all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from
them, in the light most favorable to the non-moving party,
i.e. Simons. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.. Ltd. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587-88 (1986): Lee
v. Town of Seaboard, 863 F.3d 323, 327 (4th Cir. 2017).
The court must also "refrain from 'weigh[ing] the
evidence or mak[ing] credibility determinations"'
when evaluating motions for summary judgment. Lee,
863 F.3d at 327 (quoting Jacobs v. N.C. Admin. Office of
the Courts, 780 F.3d 562, 568-69 (4th Cir.
2015)). Further, '"[a]lthough pro se litigants are
to be given some latitude, the above standards apply to
everyone. Thus, as courts have recognized repeatedly, even a
pro se party may not avoid summary judgment by relying on
bald assertions and speculative arguments.'"
Smith v. Vilsack, 832 F.Supp.2d 573, 580 (D. Md.
2011) (citing cases).
Contract Law Claim
asserts that MKT breached its employment contract with him by
failing to compensate him for the work he performed in excess
of forty-five hours per week.
indicated, the offer letter, signed by Simons and MKTs head
of human resources, Tabitha Musso, sets out that the position
paid "a salary of S58, 500 per year, paid weekly at
¶ 1, 125." ECF No. 35-3, ECF No. 25-3, p. 17. The
offer letter contains no discussion about the No. of hours
Simons was to work each week or if he was to be compensated
for overtime, or if indeed there was any basis to determine
what hours would be considered overtime. ECF No. 35-3. He
began working for MKT on January 4, 2016, ECF No. 25-4, p.
70, and on his first day on the job, Simons alleges that
Musso told him that his salary was based on an expectation of
a forty-five hour work week. ECF No. 25-4, p. 69. From the
outset, however, Simons submits that he routinely worked
fifty-five to sixty hours per week, ECF No. 16 ¶ 18,
since he was responsible for a territory that included parts
of the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West, requiring him to travel
long distances from his home in West Virginia to meet with
customers. He often had to travel as far as North Carolina.
ECF No. 25-4, pp. 109-110.
initially pleading that Musso's statement on January 4,
2016, constituted an oral employment contract, ECF No. 16
¶ 17, Simons now appears to argue that Musso's
statement merely clarified the contract ...