United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
McBRYDE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
for consideration the motion of defendants Turn Key
Installation, LLC ("Turn Key"), and Matthew Chayer
("Chayer") (together "defendants") for
summary judgment. The court, having considered the motion,
the response of plaintiff, Jeremy Farmer, the reply, the
record, and applicable authorities, finds that the motion
should be granted.
operative pleading is plaintiff's second amended
complaint filed June 13, 2019. Doc. 32. In it, plaintiff
was hired by defendants to help build conveyor systems and to
supervise other persons. Doc. 32, ¶12. He was employed
from approximately December 2017 to March 2018. Id.
¶ 13. Plaintiff was hired as an independent contractor
but came to believe that he should have been classified as an
employee. Id.¶¶ 15, 17. He complained
numerous times in March 2018 that the employment status of
various employees was improper. Id. ¶ 18, On or
about March 28, 2018, plaintiff contacted an attorney to
inquire about his misclassification status. Minutes after he
got off the phone, his supervisor asked him what he was doing
and plaintiff told him. The supervisor stepped away to make a
phone call and returned to tell plaintiff to join the call.
He was told by Chayer that he was being terminated as they no
longer needed his services. Id. ¶ 19.
asserts a claim for interference and retaliation under the
Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-19
of the Motion
urge one ground in support of their motion. The say that
plaintiff cannot establish a genuine issue of material fact
as to a causal link or pretext for his firing. Doc. 33.
56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
the court shall grant summary judgment on a claim or defense
if 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); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986). The movant bears the initial burden
of pointing out to the court that there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323, 325 (1986). The movant can discharge this
burden by pointing out the absence of evidence supporting one
or more essential elements of the nonmoving party's
claim, "since a complete failure of proof concerning an
essential element of the nonmoving party's case
necessarily renders all other facts immaterial."
Id. at 323. Once the movant has carried its burden
under Rule 56 (a), the nonmoving party must identify evidence
in the record that creates a genuine dispute as to each of
the challenged elements of its case. Id. at 324;
see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) ("A party asserting
that a fact ... is genuinely disputed must support the
assertion by . . . citing to particular parts of materials in
the record . . . ."). If the evidence identified could
not lead a rational trier of fact to find in favor of the
nonmoving party as to each essential element of the nonmoving
party's case, there is no genuine dispute for trial and
summary judgment is appropriate. Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 597
(1986). In Mississippi Prot. & Advocacy
Sys., Inc. v. Cotten, the Fifth Circuit explained:
Where the record, including affidavits, interrogatories,
admissions, and depositions could not, as a whole, lead a
rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving ...