United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
TORIA ANDERSON, et al., individually, and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
CREVE COEUR URGENT CARE LLC, et al., Defendants.
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs’ Motion for
Summary Judgment, [Doc. No. 74]. The Motion is opposed by
Defendants. For the reasons set forth below,
Plaintiffs’ Motion is granted.
December 22, 2016, Plaintiffs Toria Anderson
(“Anderson”) and Wendy Medina
“Plaintiffs”) filed a three-count Complaint
alleging that Defendants, their former employers, violated
the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C.
§ 201 et seq. (Count I), violated the overtime
provisions of the Missouri Minimum Wage Law
(“MMWL”), Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.505 (Count
II), and committed breach of contract (Count III). Since
then, Plaintiffs have seemingly abandoned Count III.
Plaintiffs now seek summary judgment on Counts I and II for
Defendants’ failure to pay proper overtime.
have, in accordance with the Court’s Local Rules,
submitted a “Statement of Undisputed Material
Facts.” Defendants responded to Plaintiffs’
Statement, admitting some facts and issuing substantively
identical denials to the remainder. Generally, the denials
This paragraph should be disregarded. Rule 7-4.01 of the
Local Rules of the United States District Court of Eastern
Missouri requires the indication of “whether each fact
is established by the record, and, if so, the
appropriate citations.” (Emphasis
Supplied). The [evidence, i.e. deposition testimony and/or
exhibits] cited by Plaintiffs does not stand for the
proposition advanced by Plaintiffs.
do not elaborate as to why the cited evidence does not stand
for the fact asserted by Plaintiffs.
argue that Defendants’ responses are noncompliant with
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because the responses do
not “show that the materials cited do not establish
the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B), nor “properly address
[Plaintiffs’] assertion of fact, ” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(e). Plaintiffs also cite Local Rule 7-4.01(E), which
states in pertinent part, “All matters set forth in the
statement of the movant shall be deemed admitted for purposes
of summary judgment unless specifically controverted by the
opposing party.” The Court agrees that
Defendants’ responses denying Plaintiffs’ facts
do not specifically controvert Plaintiffs’ assertions;
the generic denials provide no specific indication as to why
Plaintiffs’ submitted facts are inaccurate or in
dispute. Nevertheless, Defendants claim that they have put
forth specific facts showing a genuine dispute for trial.
Assumedly, Defendants are referring to their “Statement
of Genuine Material Facts Remaining in Dispute.” Each
of Defendants’ eight purportedly disputed facts cites
to corresponding fact(s) put forth by Plaintiffs, presumably
indicating which of Plaintiffs’ facts is/are genuinely
disputed by Defendants’ submission.
Court, having carefully examined Plaintiffs’
“Statement of Undisputed Material Facts” and
Defendants’ “Statement of Genuine Material Facts
Remaining in Dispute, ” finds that none of the facts
submitted by Defendants are in dispute with Plaintiffs’
facts. For example, Defendants’ paragraph 5 states that
“Plaintiff Medina never talked to Dr. Saggar about not
being compensated at the proper rate, ” but none of
Plaintiffs’ facts state anything to the contrary. The
same is true of the other seven facts put forth by Defendants
– they simply do not controvert Plaintiffs’
Defendants have failed to controvert Plaintiffs’
Undisputed Material Facts either by specific denial or by
raising facts that genuinely dispute them, Plaintiffs’
facts are deemed admitted for the purposes of this motion.
Fed. R.Civ.P. 56 (e); Local Rule 7-4.01(E). Accordingly, the
following facts are undisputed:
Creve Coeur Urgent Care LLC, Downtown Urgent Care LLC, Eureka
Clinic LLC, North City Urgent Care LLC, UCSL LLC
(collectively, the “Urgent Cares”) jointly
operate urgent care facilities marketed under the name
“STLHealthWorks, ” although the Eureka Clinic
closed in 2016. The Urgent Cares share a common business
purpose, are under common management and control, and share
employees’ services. The Urgent Cares are covered
employers for FLSA purposes.
Urgent Cares are owned by the Saggar Family Trust dated
September 4, 2013, a Missouri trust. Defendant Sonny Saggar
(“Saggar”) and his wife are the sole trustees of
the Saggar Family Trust. Saggar is the founder and managing
member of each of the Urgent Cares. He exercises operational
and managerial control over each of the Urgent Cares and
provides direct patient care as a physician.
were formerly employed by the Urgent Cares. Plaintiffs
received an hourly rate of pay from the Urgent Cares
(“Base Rate”), and a premium hourly rate for
shifts worked on weekends. The premium hourly rate for
weekend shifts was less than one and one-half (1.5) times the
Base Rate paid to each Plaintiff, respectively. To the extent
an employee’s hours worked for all of the Urgent Cares
combined exceeded 40 hours in a workweek, The Urgent Cares
paid overtime compensation. For some weeks, the hourly rate
Plaintiffs received for these overtime hours was less than
1.5 times their “regular rate” as defined by the
FLSA, as discussed in more detail below.
was directly involved in and has ultimate authority over the
hiring, firing, and pay rates of the medical assistants at
the Urgent Cares. He personally supervised the other members
of the Urgent Cares’ management teams and supervised
the medical assistants in a clinical capacity.
Urgent Cares and Saggar (collectively
“Defendants”) relied on third-party companies to
process their employee payroll. The decision to use a
third-party company was made by Saggar and an accountant.
Defendants took no independent steps to ensure that
Plaintiffs were being paid in accordance with state and
federal wage-and-hour laws. Prior to the commencement of this
action, Defendants did not seek or rely on any advice from
legal counsel regarding their compliance with state and
federal wage-and-hour laws.
judgment is proper where the evidence, when viewed in a light
most favorable to the non-moving party, indicates that no
genuine [dispute] of material fact exists and that the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Davison v. City of Minneapolis, Minn., 490 F.3d 648,
654 (8th Cir. 2007); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).
Summary judgment is not appropriate if there are factual
disputes that may affect the outcome of the case under the
applicable substantive law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute of material
fact is genuine if the evidence would allow a reasonable jury
to return a verdict for the non-moving party. Id.
“The basic inquiry is whether it is so onesided that
one party must prevail as a matter of law.” Diesel
Machinery, Inc. v. B.R. Lee Industries, Inc., 418 F.3d
820, 832 (8th Cir. 2005) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). The moving party has the initial burden of
demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute of material
fact. Torgerson v. City of Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031,
1042 (8th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted). Once the moving
party has met its burden, “[t]he nonmovant must do more
than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to
the material facts, and must come forward with specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
survive a motion for summary judgment, the “nonmoving
party must ‘substantiate his allegations with
sufficient probative evidence [that] would permit a finding
in [his] favor based on more than mere speculation,
conjecture, or fantasy.’” Putman v. Unity
Health System, 348 F.3d 732, 733-34 (8th Cir. 2003)
(quoting Wilson v. Int'l Bus. Machs. Corp., 62
F.3d 237, 241 (8th Cir. 1995)). The nonmoving party may not
merely point to unsupported self-serving allegations, but
must substantiate allegations with sufficient probative
evidence that would permit a finding in his or her favor.
Wilson, 62 F.3d 237, 241 (8th Cir. 1995).
“Mere allegations, unsupported by specific facts or
evidence beyond the nonmoving party's own conclusions,
are insufficient to withstand a motion for summary
judgment.” Thomas v. Corwin, 483 F.3d 516,
526-7 (8th Cir. 2007).
seek summary judgment on their FLSA and MMWL claims.
Plaintiffs address three issues in their motion: that
Defendants violated the FLSA and MMWL, that they are entitled
to liquidated damages, and that Saggar is individually
violated the FLSA and MMWL
FLSA requires covered employers to compensate non-exempt
employees at overtime rates for time worked in excess of
forty hours per workweek. See 29 U.S.C. §
207(a)(1). “Overtime rate” is defined as “a
rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at
which [an employee] is employed.” Id. An
employee’s “regular rate” is defined by the
FLSA as including “all remuneration for employment paid
to, or on behalf of, the employee . . .” 29 U.S.C.
§ 207(e). “Premium rate[s] paid for work by the
employee on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of
rest, or on the sixth or seventh day of the workweek, ”
are included in the regular rate, unless “such premium
rate is not less than one and one-half times the rate
established in good faith for like work performed in
nonovertime hours on other days.” 29 U.S.C. §
regular hourly rate of pay of an employee is determined by
dividing his total remuneration for employment (except
statutory exclusions) in any workweek by the total number of
hours actually worked by him in that workweek for which such
compensation was paid.” 29 C.F.R. § 778.109. In
this case, Plaintiffs were paid a Base Rate for non-premium,
non-overtime work, plus an extra “Shift
Differential” on top of their Base Rate for work on
Saturdays and Sundays. In each of the weeks for which
evidentiary hour and pay records were introduced by
Plaintiffs, this Shift Differential was $3/hour. Defendants
do not dispute that the Plaintiffs’ weekend Shift
Differentials are not statutorily excluded under the FLSA.
The Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (“DOL
WHD”) has provided specific guidance on how to
calculate overtime rates for employees who are paid a shift
differential. See Fact Sheet #54 – The Health
Care Industry and Calculating Overtime Pay (rev. July 2009),
(accessed September 22, 2019) (“Fact Sheet #54”).
The “Single Shift Differential” example provided
in Fact Sheet #54 applies to Plaintiffs’
essence, overtime rates are determined by summing all base
pay and shift differentials to which the employee is entitled
in the given week absent overtime considerations. That number
is then divided by the total hours the employee worked in the
given week to find the employee’s “regular
rate” for that week. The regular rate is then
multiplied by 1.5 to obtain the employee’s
“overtime rate” for the given week.
their Complaint and Statement of Undisputed Facts, each
Plaintiff has alleged three, two-week pay periods in which
she claims she was paid less than the FLSA-required overtime
rate in one or both workweeks. For each workweek, Plaintiffs
have calculated their regular rate and overtime rate, and
argue that their actual overtime compensation was deficient.
Defendants provide no evidence or argument in support of
their weak contention that Plaintiffs’ payroll