United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Court
before the Court is Plaintiff Mechelle Evans's
(“Plaintiff's”) Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment. (ECF No. 13). Defendant Encore Event Technologies,
Inc. (“Defendant”) filed a Response (ECF No. 19),
and Plaintiff filed a Reply (ECF No. 24).
pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 14), to which Plaintiff filed a
Response (ECF No. 17), and Defendant filed a Reply (ECF No.
reasons discussed below, the Court denies both Motions for
case arises out of a wage dispute between Defendant employer
and Plaintiff former employee. Defendant is a company that
provides audio-visual (“AV”) products for
conventions and conferences at Las Vegas hotels. Plaintiff
worked as an Account Executive for Defendant from June 2012
to May 2015. (Compl. ¶¶ 7, 8, ECF No. 1). During
this time, Plaintiff was classified as an exempt employee for
purposes of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor
Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 207.
Plaintiff alleges that this classification was inaccurate
based on her job duties, and she seeks back-pay for the many
hours above forty that she allegedly worked each week while
employed as an Account Executive for Defendant. (Id.
¶¶ 9-13). Plaintiff also seeks an additional thirty
days' wages as a penalty for Defendant's alleged
violation of NRS § 608.040, which requires employers to
pay all wages due at the time an employee resigns, quits, or
is discharged. (Id. ¶¶ 17-21).
15, 2015, Plaintiff filed her case in this Court.
(See Compl.). On August 12, 2015, Defendant filed
its Answer. (Answer to Compl., ECF No. 7). Then, on March 8,
2016, Plaintiff filed her Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
(ECF No. 13), and the following day, Defendant filed its
Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 14). These cross-motions
center on whether Plaintiff's prior job duties constitute
an exempt or non-exempt classification for purposes of the
FLSA overtime provision, specifically under the
administrative employee exemption. Plaintiff argues that her
position was “sales and service, ” “75
percent of her work was clerical in nature, ” with the
“essential functions [as] . . . sales, data entry,
securing contracts and collecting payments, setting up rooms
for business meetings and shows, and even helping the hotel
staff clean the room when turnaround times were too
brief.” (Pl. Mot. Partial Summ. J. (“Pl.
MPSJ”) 4:23-5:10, ECF No. 13). Defendant contends that
Plaintiff “negotiated contracts with clients on behalf
of [Defendant] with no prior authorization or approval
needed[, ] and that 75% of her time as an Account Executive
was spent managing client contracts where she would
investigate matters and respond to client's requests and
proposed changes to the contract.” (Def. Mot. Summ. J.
(“Def. MSJ”) 2:16-20, ECF No. 14).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary
adjudication when the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show 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).
Material facts are those that may affect the outcome of the
case. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is genuine
if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to
return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See Id.
“Summary judgment is inappropriate if reasonable
jurors, drawing all inferences in favor of the nonmoving
party, could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's
favor.” Diaz v. Eagle Produce Ltd. P'ship,
521 F.3d 1201, 1207 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing United States
v. Shumway, 199 F.3d 1093, 1103-04 (9th Cir. 1999)). A
principal purpose of summary judgment is “to isolate
and dispose of factually unsupported claims.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24
determining summary judgment, a court applies a
burden-shifting analysis. “When the party moving for
summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it
must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a
directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at
trial.” C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden
Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000)
(citations omitted). Then, “the moving party has the
initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue
of fact on each issue material to its case.”
Id. In contrast, when the nonmoving party bears the
burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can
meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to
negate an essential element of the nonmoving party's
case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party failed
to make a showing sufficient to establish an element
essential to that party's case on which that party will
bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex
Corp., 477 U.S. at 323- 24. If the moving party fails to
meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and
the court need not consider the nonmoving party's
evidence. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398
U.S. 144, 159-60 (1970).
moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then
shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine
issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the
opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact
conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that “the
claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge
to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth
at trial.” T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec.
Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 631 (9th Cir.
1987). In other words, the nonmoving party cannot avoid
summary judgment by relying solely on conclusory allegations
that are unsupported by factual data. See Taylor v.
List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Instead, the
opposition must go beyond the assertions and allegations of
the pleadings and set forth specific facts by producing
competent evidence that shows a genuine issue for trial.
See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324.
summary judgment, a court's function is not to weigh the
evidence and determine the truth but to determine whether
there is a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson,
477 U.S. at 249. The evidence of the nonmovant is “to
be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn
in his favor.” Id. at 255. But if the evidence
of the nonmoving party is merely colorable or is not
significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted.
See Id. at 249-50.
FLSA Overtime Claim
FLSA was created to provide a uniform national policy of
guaranteeing compensation for all work or employment covered
by the act. Barrentine v. Arkansas-Best Freight Sys.,
Inc., 450 U.S. 728, 741 (1981). The FLSA grants
individual employees broad access to the courts and permits
an action to recover minimum wages, overtime compensation,
liquidated damages, or injunctive relief. Id. at
the overtime provision of the FLSA does not apply to
“any employee employed in a bona fide executive,
administrative, or professional capacity . . . (as such terms
are defined and delimited from time to time by regulations of
the [s]ecretary).” 29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(1). The
regulations clarify that an “employee in a bona fide
administrative capacity” refers to an employee that is:
(1) Compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate of not
less than $455 per week . . . exclusive of board, lodging ...