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Murphy v. Allstaff Medical Resources, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

May 22, 2017

LISA MURPHY, individually and on behalf of all similarly situated individuals and on behalf of the Proposed Rule 23 Class, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLSTAFF MEDICAL RESOURCES, INC., and ALLSTAFF HOMECARE, LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' EARLY MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          William J. Martinez United States District Judge.

         In this action, Plaintiff Lisa Murphy brings claims against Defendants Allstaff Homecare, LLC and Allstaff Medical Resources, Inc. (together, “Defendants”), on behalf of herself and a putative class, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq., the Colorado Wage Act (“CWA”), Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 8-4-101 et seq., and Colorado Minimum Wage Order Number 31 (“MWO”), Code Colo. Reg. § 1103-1. (ECF No. 7.) Before the Court is Defendants' Early Motion for Summary Judgment (“Motion”), in which Defendants contend that this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims. (ECF No. 36.) For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The following facts are undisputed, unless attributed to one party or another, or otherwise noted.

         Plaintiff was employed by Defendant Allstaff Homecare, LLC as an hourly paid care giver/home health-aide from August 26, 2015 through June 19, 2016. (ECF No. 41 at 3; ECF No. 7 ¶ 2; ECF No. 19 ¶ 2.) Plaintiff alleges that as a home health-aide worker she receives the benefit of “overtime and minimum wage protections” guaranteed by the FLSA. (ECF No. 7 ¶ 22.) “During her employment, Plaintiff regularly worked more than 40 hours a week in the homes of her employers' clients.” (ECF No. 7 ¶ 35; ECF No. 19 ¶ 18.) However, Plaintiff was only paid “straight time, and not overtime, despite her working well over 40 hours a week.” (ECF No. 7 ¶ 38; ECF No. 19 ¶ 17.)

         Based on this course of events, Plaintiff filed her “Collective and Class Action Complaint” on September 20, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff subsequently amended her “Collective and Class Action Complaint” on November 1, 2016. (ECF No. 7.) Defendants individually filed their Answers on December 6 and 7, 2016. (ECF Nos. 19, 20.) On December 15, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Conditional Collective Action Certification requesting entry of an order conditionally certifying the proposed collective FLSA class, and authorizing notice to all potential class members who are not already named plaintiffs in this action. (ECF No. 21.)

         On January 19, 2017, Defendants filed their Early Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 36.) On January 23, 2017, discovery and briefing on the pending Motion for Collective Action Certification (ECF No. 21) was stayed pending resolution of the instant Motion. (ECF No. 40.) On January 29, 2017, Plaintiff filed her Response to the Motion. (ECF No. 41). Defendants filed their Reply on February 9, 2017. (ECF No. 43.) The Motion is now ripe for review.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary Judgment is appropriate only if there is no genuine issue of 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); Adamson v. Multi. Cmty. Diversified Servs., Inc., 514 F.3d 1136, 1145 (10th Cir. 2008). Whether there is a genuine dispute as to a material fact depends upon whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or, conversely, is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986); Stone v. Autoliv ASP, Inc., 210 F.3d 1132, 1136 (10th Cir. 2000).

         On a motion for summary judgment, the moving party bears the burden of demonstrating that no genuine issue of material fact exists. Adamson, 514 F.3d at 1145. Where the moving party does not bear the ultimate burden of persuasion at trial, it may satisfy this burden by demonstrating a lack of evidence for an essential element of the nonmovant's claim. Id. In deciding whether the moving party has carried its burden, the Court does not weigh the evidence, and instead views it, and draws all reasonable inferences from it, in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Adamson, 514 F.3d at 1145.

         III. ANALYSIS

         The undersigned permits an early motion for summary judgment if filed “within 30 days after entry of the initial scheduling order, ” and if the motion “presents a substantial and well-supported argument for significantly reducing the claims or issues in the case.” WJM Revised Practice Standards III.E.2.

         Plaintiff's “First Amended Collective and Class Action Complaint” alleges that this Court “has subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's FLSA claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because Plaintiff's claim[] raise[s] a federal question.” (ECF No. 7 ¶ 12.) Defendants disagree with this assertion, and in their Motion argue that the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's FLSA claim, and accordingly may not exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. (ECF No. 36.) Defendants also contend that Plaintiff “virtually confesses Defendants' Motion” by disregarding Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 56(c) and (e). (ECF No. 43 at 1-2.) The Court will address both of Defendants' arguments.

         A. FLSA Coverage Requirements Are ...


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