Jackson v. Haynes & Haynes PC et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION re 1 Complaint; Edna Jackson filed this lawsuit against her former employers, Haynes & Haynes, P.C., Alicia Haynes, and Kenneth Haynes, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act; Presently before the court are defendants' motion for sanctions for spoliation of evidence, 35 , motions for summary judgment, docs. 43 & 48 , and 40 Motion to Strike; Jackson's motion to strike defendants' reply in support of their motio n for sanctions, 40 , is DENIED; for reasons stated within the motion for sanctions, 35 , is due to be denied, and the motions for summary judgment, docs. 43 & 48 , are due to be granted; Therefore, Jackson's remaining claims (Counts I, II, and V) are due to be dismissed; The court will enter a separate order consistent with the foregoing. Signed by Judge Abdul K Kallon on 07/26/2017. (KBB)
2017 Jul-26 AM 08:39
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
HAYNES & HAYNES, P.C., et al.,
Civil Action Number
Edna Jackson filed this lawsuit against her former employers, Haynes &
Haynes, P.C., Alicia Haynes, and Kenneth Haynes, alleging violations of the Fair
Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, and Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. §
1681 et seq. Doc. 1. This court previously dismissed the FCRA claims (Counts III
and IV). See doc. 18. Presently before the court are defendants’ motion for
sanctions for spoliation of evidence, doc. 35, and motions for summary judgment,
docs. 43 & 48. The motions are fully briefed, docs. 35; 38; 39; 40; 47; 48; 55; 56;
57; and 59, and ripe for review. 1 For the reasons stated below, the motion for
sanctions, doc. 35, is due to be denied, and the motions for summary judgment,
docs. 43 & 48, are due to be granted.
Jackson’s motion to strike defendants’ reply in support of their motion for sanctions,
doc. 40, is DENIED.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), summary judgment is proper
“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.” “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 Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986)
(alteration in original). The moving party bears the initial burden of proving the
absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. Id. at 323. The burden then shifts to
the non-moving party, who is required to go “beyond the pleadings” to establish
that there is a “genuine issue for trial.” Id. at 324 (internal citations and quotation
marks omitted). A dispute about a material fact is “genuine” if “the evidence is
such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
The court must construe the evidence and all reasonable inferences arising
from it in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress
& Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157 (1970); see also Anderson, 477 U.S. at 244 (all
justifiable inferences must be drawn in the non-moving party’s favor). Any factual
dispute will be resolved in the non-moving party’s favor when sufficient competent
evidence supports that party’s version of the disputed facts. But see Pace v.
Capobianco, 238 F.3d 1275, 1276-78 (11th Cir. 2002) (a court is not required to
resolve disputes in the non-moving party’s favor when that party’s version of
events is supported by insufficient evidence). However, “mere conclusions and
unsupported factual allegations are legally insufficient to defeat a summary
judgment motion.” Ellis v. England, 432 F.3d 1321, 1326 (11th Cir. 2005) (citing
Bald Mountain Park, Ltd. v. Oliver, 863 F.2d 1560, 1563 (11th Cir. 1989)).
Moreover, “[a] mere ‘scintilla’ of evidence supporting the opposing party’s
position will not suffice; there must be enough of a showing that a jury could
reasonably find for that party.” Walker v. Darby, 911 F.2d 1573, 1577 (11th Cir.
1990) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252).
Jackson worked as a paralegal for Haynes & Haynes, P.C., a law firm owned
and managed by Alicia Haynes and Kenneth Haynes, for approximately three
weeks in August 2014. Doc. 54-1 at 2. Jackson’s first paycheck included overtime
pay “for at least some of the hours [Jackson] had worked over 40 during the work
week or weeks covered by that first pay-check.” Doc. 1 at 5. Allegedly, after
Alicia Haynes learned about the overtime payment, she “had a conversation with
[Jackson],” and purportedly informed Jackson that Haynes & Haynes did not pay
overtime and that Jackson should record her daily “stop time” as 5:00 p.m.
regardless of when Jackson actually stopped working. Doc. 1 at 5. Thereafter,
after noticing that Kenneth Haynes was “alter[ing] the hours of work [Jackson]
recorded for Defendants and reduc[ing] them,” id. at 6, Jackson complained to
Kenneth Haynes about the failure to pay her overtime. Still, Kenneth Haynes
continued to alter the hours Jackson recorded on the firm’s TrackSmart database.
Id. at 7. On August 29, 2014, after two complaints by Jackson about the purported
FLSA violations, Kenneth Haynes discharged Jackson. Doc. 54-1 at 5–6.
The court begins its analysis with the motion for sanctions for spoliation of
evidence, followed by the summary judgment motions.
The subject of defendants’ spoliation motion is electronically stored
information (“ESI”) Jackson purportedly maintained, reflecting her arrival and
departure times from work.2 According to Jackson, discrepancies between her pay
stubs and these records demonstrate defendants’ failure to compensate her for all
her overtime hours. See doc. 56 at 6.
The motion also addresses a recording Jackson purportedly made of her termination
meeting with Kenneth Haynes. See doc. 35 at 16. Jackson alleges that she transferred the
recording to her daughter’s MacBook computer, but that the recording is no longer on the
MacBook. See doc. 35-2 at 11. The court will not focus on this aspect of defendants’ spoliation
motion, because, as explained in Parts III.B.1.c and III.B.2.c, infra, defendants’ motions for
summary judgment as to the retaliation claim are due to be granted.
To keep track of her work hours, Jackson used an “HoursTracker”
application on her cell phone. See doc. 54-1 at 3. However, because Jackson used
a free version of the application, she could not export the data electronically.
Therefore, Jackson manually transposed the information into Excel and Microsoft
Word spreadsheets on her daughter’s MacBook. See doc. 35-2 at 8. Jackson no
longer has the cell phone, which she returned to Verizon after filing a complaint
with the Department of Labor about the overtime pay and retaining counsel for this
Also, Jackson’s daughter allegedly denied Jackson access to the
MacBook for a period of time, during which the information Jackson inputted into
Excel and Microsoft Word somehow disappeared. After Jackson regained access
to the MacBook, she took it to the Apple Genius Bar, where store personnel were
unable to recover the data. See doc. 38-6 at 3. However, sometime before her
daughter denied her access to the MacBook, Jackson apparently printed copies of
the data and is seeking to use her printouts to prove her claims in this lawsuit. This
failure to preserve the original data is the basis for the motion for sanctions.
Spoliation is the “failure to preserve property for another’s use as evidence
in pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation.”
Oil Equip. Co. v. Modern
Welding Co., 661 F. App’x 646, 652 (11th Cir. 2016) (internal quotation marks
omitted). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e), which governs a party’s failure to
preserve electronic evidence, states that:
If electronically stored information that should have been preserved in
the anticipation or conduct of litigation is lost because a party failed to
take reasonable steps to preserve it, and it cannot be restored or
replaced through additional discovery, the court:
(1) upon finding prejudice to another party from the loss of the
information, may order measures no greater than necessary to
cure the prejudice; or
(2) only upon finding that the party acted with the intent to deprive
another party of the information’s use in the litigation may:
(A) presume that the lost information was unfavorable to
(B) instruct the jury that it may or must presume the
information was unfavorable to the party; or
(C) dismiss the action or enter a default judgment.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(e).
Although Jackson concedes that she had a duty to preserve the ESI, she
contends that she took “reasonable” steps to preserve it and that defendants have
not proven that the ESI cannot be restored or replaced through additional
discovery. See doc. 38 at 5–6. The court is confounded by Jackson’s latter point
and the related contention that defendants failed to subpoena the MacBook, 3 in
light of Jackson’s testimony that her daughter refuses to turn over the MacBook for
a forensic inspection despite this court’s order. See docs. 33 at 6–8; 33-2 at 3 (“I
See doc. 38 at 11 (Jackson’s contention that defendants “chose not to subpoena the
Macbook from [Jackson’s] daughter to see if the computer expert (of their own choice) could
recover . . . the information.”).
told my daughter I have been ordered [by the court] to give her MacBook to a
forensic expert, and my daughter will not agree for me to do so.”). In any event,
Jackson ultimately has the burden to prove her claims. As such, to the extent that
source records exist to support her claims, she cannot hide behind her daughter’s
ownership of the MacBook while also insisting that defendants prove that the data
is no longer recoverable. Given that Jackson seeks to use printouts of the data to
prove her claims in this lawsuit, if anyone had a duty to retrieve the computer —
including by a subpoena, if necessary — to establish that other means to recover
this evidence may exist, it is Jackson.
The court is also not persuaded by Jackson’s contention that she took
reasonable steps to preserve the ESI. Accusing an employer of violating any law is
a serious allegation. To the extent evidence exists to support this contention, the
employee must take reasonable and prudent steps to preserve it — a fact Jackson
acknowledges. See doc. 38 at 5. Here, Jackson admits that she relinquished the
phone — the source of the raw data — after retaining counsel to litigate this case.
Doc. 35-2 at 9. Although Jackson claims she returned the phone to Verizon
because she “had already downloaded or wr[itten] down the information,” 4
Jackson concedes that this “assumes that [she] honestly wrote down the
Jackson also states that, before returning the phone to Verizon, she “backed up [the
information on it] to iTunes” on the MacBook and advised her daughter not to delete any data off
of the MacBook. Doc. 35-2 at 5.
information” and that “the best evidence of the records [Jackson] kept at the time”
was the original data on the phone. Id. At a minimum, Jackson also should have
upgraded to the paid version of the HoursTracker application to export the data
before returning the phone to Verizon, or taken reasonable steps to preserve the
Excel or Word spreadsheets on the MacBook by, for example, emailing them to
herself or her counsel. Based on this record, defendants have established that
Jackson failed to take reasonable steps to preserve the ESI and that they are
prejudiced “from the loss of the information . . . .” Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(e).
As a sanction, defendants ask the court to impose a default judgment or to
issue an “adverse inference instruction” regarding the ESI.
Doc. 35 at 15.
However, Rule 37(e) limits these severe sanctions to situations where a party
“acted with the intent to deprive another party of the information’s use in the
litigation.” Being “negligent and irresponsible in maintaining the information” and
“know[ing] of her obligation to preserve the integrity of the information,” see doc.
35 at 14–15, are not sufficient to show an intent to deprive defendants of the
information to warrant the severe sanctions defendants seek. Accordingly, the
motion for sanctions is due to be denied. Instead, consistent with the directive that
it “order measures no greater than necessary to cure the prejudice,” Fed. R. Civ. P.
37(e), and the Federal Rules of Evidence, the court will analyze the printouts under
standard evidentiary rules in evaluating the motions for summary judgment.
B. Summary Judgment
The court has for consideration two separate motions for summary
judgment: one by Kenneth Haynes and Haynes & Haynes P.C., doc. 43, and the
other by Alicia Haynes, doc. 48. The court examines the motions separately
1. Kenneth Haynes and Haynes & Haynes, P.C.
Kenneth Haynes and Haynes & Haynes raise various grounds in support of
their motion: (1) that they properly classified Jackson as “nonexempt” and paid
her all the overtime due; (2) that no private right of action exists for a
recordkeeping violation under the FLSA; and (3) that Jackson cannot prove pretext
on her retaliation claim.
a. FLSA Overtime Violation (Count I)
Jackson alleges that defendants improperly classified her as an “exempt”
employee and failed to pay her for all the overtime hours she worked. Although
the parties bicker over whether defendants actually classified Jackson as “exempt,”
the parties’ disagreement centers primarily on the number of overtime hours
Jackson worked. Indeed, Jackson concedes that defendants paid her at least some
overtime compensation, and is primarily challenging the failure to pay her for all
of the overtime she claims she worked. Relevant here, defendants’ records show
that Jackson worked 162.71 hours, including 5.83 overtime hours, see doc. 44-1 at
13–14, and Jackson claims that she worked 182.75 hours, including 22.75 overtime
hours, see doc. 45-7 at 11. To support her position, Jackson relies on the printout
of the summaries she independently created of the HoursTracker data and for
which, to date, she has not successfully recovered the metadata from the MacBook.
See doc. 44-2 at 2, 10–11. Jackson maintains that she “created” these summaries
from “information generated by and electronically stored on her phone.” Doc. 47
at 22. Although the Federal Rules of Evidence allow a party to produce large
volumes of data in the form of a summary in certain circumstances, “[t]he
proponent must make the originals or duplicates available for examination . . . .”
See Fed. R. Evid. 1006. As defendants note, however, the data upon which the
summaries are based is “no longer available to [Jackson] and has not been
produced to Defendants.” Doc. 47 at 22. Absent the original ESI or duplicates
thereof, Jackson cannot rely upon these summaries to rebut defendants’ contention
that they fully compensated Jackson for her regular and overtime hours. See U.S.
v. Arias-Izquierdo, 449 F.3d 1168, 1184 (11th Cir. 2006) (“[O]ther parties to the
case must be provided the original records upon which the summary is based — or
duplicates of those originals — prior to the admission of the summary.”). 5
Jackson’s contention that the court may admit her summaries as a “personal business
record,” see doc. 56 at 7 n.3 (stating that her charts are “not inadmissible hearsay because [they
are] [Jackson’s] personal business record she made and maintained during her employment”), is
unpersuasive. Rule 803(6) requires, among other things, that the “opponent does not show that
the source of information or the method or circumstances of preparation indicate a lack of
trustworthiness.” Here, Jackson has conceded that her summaries contain inaccuracies. For
Therefore, because these summaries are inadmissible without the source data being
available to defendants, and in light of Jackson’s failure to take reasonable efforts
to preserve the original data, see Part III.A, supra, Jackson may not rely upon these
summaries to create a genuine factual dispute. Accordingly, in the absence of
admissible evidence to rebut defendants’ records of her overtime hours, Kenneth
Haynes’s and Haynes & Haynes’s motion as to the failure to pay overtime claim
(Count I) is due to be granted.
b. FLSA Recordkeeping Violation (Count II)
Next, Jackson seeks equitable relief due to defendants purportedly
“misclassif[ying] [her] as ‘exempt’ and fail[ing] to keep accurate records of the
hours [she] worked in violation of the FLSA . . . .” Doc. 1 at 15. As defendants
correctly point out, no private right of action exists for such a claim. See Powell v.
Florida, 132 F.3d 677, 678 (11th Cir. 1998) (“[W]e follow the decisions of the
other circuits which have held that the plain language of the [FLSA] provides that
the Secretary of Labor has the exclusive right to bring an action for injunctive
relief.”). Although Jackson acknowledges that “prior FLSA case law is against
[her] on this issue,” doc. 56 at 19, she asks the court to consider other potential
vehicles for relief, including the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), Section 2 of
example, Jackson’s document shows that she worked a full day on August 27, 2014, even
though, when confronted during her deposition with a doctor’s note she submitted, she admitted
that she, in fact, spent part of that work day at the optometrist. See doc. 54-2 at 22.
Article III of the United States Constitution, and the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28
U.S.C. § 2201, id. at 20. The court declines to do so in light of Powell, and finds
that the motion as to Count II is also due to be granted.
c. Retaliation (Count III)
Lastly, Jackson alleges that defendants discharged her in retaliation for her
Doc. 1 at 20.
Where, as here, Jackson has presented no direct
evidence of retaliation, the court “must employ the burden-shifting framework
established by the Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S.
792, 93 S. Ct. 1817, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668 (1973), to analyze [her] retaliation claim.”
Jones v. Gulf Coast Health Care of Del., L.L.C., 854 F.3d 1261, 1271 (11th Cir.
“Under the McDonnell Douglas framework, the plaintiff must first
establish a prima facie case by demonstrating (1) she engaged in statutorily
protected activity, (2) she suffered an adverse employment decision, and (3) the
decision was causally related to the protected activity.” Schaaf v. Smithkline
Beecham Corp., 602 F.3d 1236, 1243 (11th Cir. 2010). If Jackson can establish a
prima facie case, then the burden shifts back to defendants to articulate a
legitimate, nonretaliatory reason for Jackson’s discharge. Finally, if defendants
meet this burden, then Jackson must show that the proffered reason(s) were pretext
designed to mask retaliation.
Jackson’s claim fails because she cannot show that defendants’ alleged
desire to retaliate was the but-for cause of her discharge. See Univ. of Tex. Sw.
Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, 133 S. Ct. 2517, 2528 (2013) (“Title VII retaliation claims
require proof that the desire to retaliate was the but-for cause of the challenged
employment action.”). In fact, Jackson testified to a number of reasons for her
discharge that had no connection to her purported protected activity. 6 Therefore,
Jackson cannot make a prima facie case, and her retaliation claim fails.
Alternatively, even if Jackson can establish a prima facie case, her claim
fails because she cannot rebut each of the legitimate, nonretaliatory reasons for her
discharge. Among other reasons, Kenneth Haynes asserts that he came to distrust
Jackson after speaking with her former employer (at Jackson’s request) 7 and
learning that Jackson had purportedly written nine checks to herself from that
employer’s business account and sent text messages to a former coworker named
See doc. 49-3 at 4 (Q: “. . . What is your opinion as to why you were terminated?”; A:
“Because of things that happened with Tammy Edwards. And for some reason they thought that
I was some hired implant to spy on another case, to be completely honest with you.”; Q: “Any
other reason you think you were fired?”; A: “Because of Hormone Health & Weight Loss.” . . .
Q: “Any other reason?”; A: “Mr. Haynes listened to the untrue statements that Hormone Health
& Weight Loss told him without giving me the opportunity to explain what happened.”). See
also id. at 8 (Q: “Do you think if Hormone Health had not made any communications to Mr.
Haynes, you would not have been fired?”; A: “Yes, ma’am, I do. I do not believe – I mean, I
believe that I was fired directly – one of the reasons was directly because of what was said by
Frank Paris and/or Scott or the attorney to Mr. Haynes. . . . .”).
Jackson sought Kenneth Haynes’s assistance with a legal matter concerning her former
employer, who, Jackson claimed, withdrew funds from Jackson’s personal checking account.
See doc. 45-6 at 30. The former employer informed Mr. Haynes that Jackson had written nine
checks from their business account without authorization. See doc. 45-2 at 4.
“Katie” stating that she missed work with the former employer because of a
funeral, when, in fact, Jackson worked at Haynes & Haynes on the subject date.8
Doc. 45-7 at 24 (citing doc. 45-8 at 14); see also doc. 45-2 at 4–5. Kenneth
Haynes further asserts that he lost confidence in Jackson’s integrity because she
failed to inform him of a previous arrest for possession of a forged instrument.
Doc. 47 at 24–25.9
To show pretext, Jackson cites, in part, a letter Kenneth Haynes sent to
Jackson’s placement agency following her discharge in which Mr. Haynes stated
that “Ms. Jackson represented in her new hire documents that she had never been
arrested.” Doc. 54-3 at 14. See also id. (“I terminated Edna Jackson last Friday
The text message conversation the former employer sent to Kenneth Haynes on August
21, 2014 read as follows: Katie: “Let me know when u get to the office please b/c Marylyn still
has my keys”; Jackson: “Is this Katie? I’m so sorry I dropped my phone over the weekend and
have lost all contacts.”; Katie: “Yes”; Jackson: “I left a message at the office because that’s
the only number I know by heart but I am in blountsville with my daddy. His wife passed away
last night and it’s horrible! I mean horrible Katie. I know I can’t be there today or tomorrow but
Wednesday I feel like I’ll be there fine. I do not have service in blountsville! It’s
RIDICULOUS! We had to go into town this morning just to call the office. Anyway I will let
you know the arrangements once I know for sure.” Katie [Wednesday]: “…ARE YOU
ALIVE???”; Jackson: “Barely. Getting ready for funeral now. I may have to take emergency
leave. I cannot leave my daddy. I don’t know what to do.”). Doc. 45-2 at 4–5. As Jackson
admitted, her dad’s wife was, in fact, not dead. See also doc. 46-1 at 19 (Q: “Had your father’s
wife died that week?”; A: “She did not.”) & 20 (Q: “Were you telling the truth when you texted
her, your father’s wife had died?”; A: “No, I was not. And I also told Mr. Haynes that that is
what I had told them.”).
Kenneth Haynes asserts that, when he confronted Jackson about the arrest, Jackson
“denied that the ‘Edna Elizabeth Jackson’ referenced in the court documents and who shares her
same birthdate, was in fact, . . . her.” Doc. 38-3 at 1. However, because Jackson disputes that
she lied to Kenneth Haynes about this incident, see doc. 54-2 at 13, and the court must construe
the evidence in the light most favorable to Jackson at summary judgment, the court will not
consider this proffered reason.
for misrepresenting to us that she had never been arrested.”). Jackson says this
reason is false, because Kenneth Haynes later acknowledged that the employment
application asked only whether Jackson had been “convicted” of a crime, see doc.
54-3 at 7, and that “it [was not] true that [he] terminated Edna Jackson for
misrepresenting to Haynes & Haynes, P.C. that she had never been arrested,” see
doc. 56 at 13. Jackson’s focus on the arrest ignores the rest of the letter where
Kenneth Haynes identified other reasons for his decision that are consistent with
his testimony in this case — i.e., the report from Jackson’s former employer that
Jackson “had written a number of checks to herself that were not authorized.”
Doc. 54-3 at 14. While Mr. Haynes stated in the letter to the placement agency
that the allegations against Jackson were “unfounded,” he noted also that the
allegations “caused some degree of concern.” Id. Mr. Haynes also testified that,
“whether [the former employer owed Jackson money] or not, . . . that was bad
judgment on [Jackson’s] part to [write the checks out of the employer’s account].”
Doc. 54-3 at 6. When viewed as a whole, Kenneth Haynes’s letter sufficiently
described the concerns he had about Jackson and is mostly consistent with his
testimony in this case. Therefore, Jackson’s reliance on this letter to show pretext
is unavailing.10 See Zaben v. Air Prods. & Chems., 129 F.3d 1453, 1458 (11th Cir.
As additional evidence of pretext, Jackson states that an employee informed Jackson
that Alicia Haynes would not allow Jackson to return to work “til [Jackson] c[ould] find
something else,” because Jackson “ha[s] too much drama and that’s why [Jackson is] gone.”
1997) (no evidence of pretext when employer offers differing explanations for its
decision that are not “necessarily inconsistent”).
Ultimately, Jackson cannot show pretext due to her failure to produce any
evidence showing that Kenneth Haynes did not sincerely believe that Jackson was
untrustworthy in light of the reports he received, including Jackson’s admission to
Mr. Haynes that her text messages to “Katie” about a funeral were untrue. See
Morgan v. Orange Cnty., 477 F. App’x 625, 628 (11th Cir. 2012) (“[I]f the
employer acted on an honestly held belief that the employee engaged in
misconduct, even if it was mistaken, no retaliation exists.”). See also Elrod v.
Sears, Roebuck & Co., 939 F.2d 1466, 1470 (11th Cir. 1991) (“We can assume for
purposes of this opinion that the complaining employees interviewed by [the
decisionmaker] were lying through their teeth. The inquiry . . . is limited to
whether [the decisionmaker] . . . believed that [plaintiff] was guilty of [of the
alleged conduct], and if so, whether this belief was the reason behind [plaintiff’s]
discharge.”) (emphasis in original). Based on this record, Jackson has failed to
demonstrate that Kenneth Haynes’s distrust of Jackson in light of the reports of the
former employer is a “false” reason. See St. Mary’s Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 509 U.S.
Doc. 54-3 at 15. Although Jackson presumably links the statement to her overtime complaints,
“too much drama” could also be a reference to the allegations against Jackson by her former
employer or the lie about her dad’s wife. In any event, the court does not have to reach this
issue, because Jackson acknowledges that she has no evidence that Alicia Haynes played any
role in Jackson’s discharge. See doc. 49-3 at 10.
502, 515 (1993) (“[A] reason cannot be proved to be a pretext for [retaliation]
unless it is shown both the reason was false, and that [retaliation] was the real
reason.”) (emphasis and internal quotation marks omitted). Therefore, because
Jackson has failed to rebut all of defendants’ proffered reasons for her discharge —
in particular, Kenneth Haynes’s contention that he discharged Jackson because he
found her untrustworthy due to reports he believed that challenged her
trustworthiness, Kenneth Haynes’ and Haynes & Haynes’s motion as to Count III
is due to be granted. See Crawford v. City of Fairburn, 482 F.3d 1305, 1308 (11th
Cir. 2007) (Where “the employer proffers more than one legitimate,
non[retaliatory] reason, the plaintiff must rebut each of the reasons to survive a
motion for summary judgment.”) (emphasis added).
2. Alicia Haynes
a. FLSA Overtime Violation (Count I)
Jackson alleges that Alicia Haynes violated the FLSA’s overtime provisions
by capping Jackson’s paid hours at 40 per week. See doc. 1 at 5. To support her
claim, Jackson cites a specific occasion when Ms. Haynes informed Jackson by a
text message that sending a work-related email after hours “creates an overtime
violation for [Ms. Haynes].” See doc. 49-1 at 6. Jackson undisputedly was not
paid for sending the email or communicating with Ms. Haynes about it via text
messages. See doc. 59 at 7–8 (Alicia Haynes arguing only that “the time spent
sending this e-mail is de minimis”).
However, “[w]hen the matter in issue
concerns only a few seconds or minutes of work beyond the scheduled working
hours, such trifles may be disregarded . . . . It is only when an employee is
required to give up a substantial measure of his time and effort that compensable
working time is involved.” Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680,
692 (1946). For this reason, and because, as discussed in Part III.B.1.a, supra,
Jackson has produced no other admissible evidence to contradict defendants’
records of her work hours or that they paid her the overtime due, Alicia Haynes’s
motion is also due to be granted as to Count I.
b. FLSA Recordkeeping Violation (Count II)
Because, as discussed in Part III.B.1.b, supra, there is no private right of
action for an FLSA recordkeeping violation, Alicia Haynes’s motion is due to be
granted as to Count II.
c. Retaliation (Count III)
Finally, because Jackson has presented no evidence that Alicia Haynes
played any role in her discharge, see doc. 49-3 at 10 (Q: “Do you have any
knowledge of any communications Kenny Haynes had with Alicia Haynes about
the decision to terminate you?”; A: “I don’t have any knowledge of any, no.”), and
because, as discussed in Part III.B.1.c, supra, Jackson has failed to show that each
of Kenneth Haynes’s proffered reasons for discharging Jackson are false, Alicia
Haynes’s motion is also due to be granted as to Count III.
For the reasons stated above, the motion for sanctions, doc. 35, is due to be
denied, and the motions for summary judgment, docs. 43 & 48, are due to be
granted. Therefore, Jackson’s remaining claims (Counts I, II, and V) are due to be
dismissed. The court will enter a separate order consistent with the foregoing.
DONE the 26th day of July, 2017.
ABDUL K. KALLON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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