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Mayhew v. Angmar Medical Holdings, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Kansas

October 28, 2019

LYNNETTE MAYHEW, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
ANGMAR MEDICAL HOLDINGS, INC., d/b/a ANGELS CARE HOME HEALTH, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          HON. KENNETH G. GALE, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Now before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Compel. (Doc. 41.) After reviewing the submissions of the parties, Defendant's motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part as more fully set forth herein.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff brings this action for allegedly unpaid and improper wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. Plaintiff alleges that she

worked as an hourly, non-exempt LPN from 2017 until the end of her employment. At all relevant times, Defendant employed Plaintiff as an hourly employee. Plaintiff alleges that her job duties routinely required her to work in excess of forty (40) hours per workweek, and that she was often denied overtime premiums and/or not paid for the entirety of the compensable straight time or overtime hours she worked per workweek.
Plaintiff alleges that she (and all similarly situated hourly, non-exempt employees) kept her hours of work using the company-wide timekeeping practices and policies put in place by Defendant. Plaintiff alleges that she and other similarly situated hourly, non-exempt employees were required to work off the clock. This work occurred before the beginning of their shifts, following the end of their shifts, and during their shifts.
As hourly, non-exempt employees, Plaintiff and other similarly situated hourly, nonexempt employees are and were entitled to overtime premiums for hours worked in excess of forty (40) each week. See 29 U.S.C. § 213. The unpaid work time that Defendant required Plaintiff and other similarly situated hourly, non-exempt employees to work off the clock often put Plaintiff and other similarly situated employees at a total number of hours exceeding forty (40) in a workweek. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant's policies and practices willfully deny hourly, non-exempt employees overtime pay for all hours worked including hours worked beyond forty (40) in a workweek.

(Doc. 40, at 1-2; see also generally Doc. 1.) Plaintiff has plead her case as a collective action and recently filed a brief seeking conditional certification, which is currently pending before the District Court. (Doc. 40, at 10; Doc. 43.)

         Defendant generally denies Plaintiff's allegations. Defendant contends that it was never Plaintiff's employer. (Doc. 48, at 2-3.) Rather, according to Defendant, Plaintiff was employed by E Medical Group of Kansas, Inc. and E Medical Group No. 4, LLC and during that employment, “the named defendant, AngMar Medical Holdings, Inc. provided certain payroll and Human Resources services to those entities.” (Id., at 3.) Defendant contends that it “was not plaintiff's employer, and indeed, has not employed any LPNs at any time material hereto.” (Id.)

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant “owns and operates multiple subsidiary entities, including but not limited to, E Medical Holdings of Kansas, E Medical Holdings of Kansas No. 4, Angels Care Home Health, and other entities.” (Doc. 1, at 3.) According to Plaintiff,

[e]vidence gathered to date indicates that Angmar was a co-employer pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §201, which states that under the FLSA, an ‘employer' subject to the Act is defined as ‘any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee.' Under a Department of Labor (‘DOL') regulation interpreting the FLSA, joint employers exist ‘where the employee performs work which simultaneously benefits two or more employers.' 29 U.S.C. § 201. A joint employment relationship generally exists in situations: (1) where employers arrange to share the employee's service; (2) where one employer acts in the interest of the other employer in relation to the employee; or (3) where employers are not entirely dissociated with respect to a particular employee and may share control of the employee, either directly or indirectly, because of the fact that one employer is controlled by or under common control with the other employer. To determine the existence of joint employers, courts generally look to whether the alleged joint employers ‘exercise[d] significant control over the same employees.' Courts recognize independent entities as joint employers if the entities ‘share or co-determine those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment.' Creech v. P.J. Wichita, L.L.C., No. 16-CV-2312-JAR-GEB, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33340, at *13-14 (D. Kan. Mar. 8, 2017). Plaintiff seeks evidence through this discovery to refute Defendant's assertion that it was not a Plaintiff's employer.

(Doc. 40, at 2-3.)

         At issue are Plaintiff's responses to certain of Defendant's First Combined Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions, and Requests for Production of Documents. (Doc. 41-1.) Although the parties were able to resolve several of their disagreements, other issues remain unresolved, resulting in the present motion. (Doc. 41, at 4-6.)

         ANALYSIS

         I. Legal Standard for Motion to Compel.

         “Courts are given broad discretion to control and place appropriate limits on discovery.” Semsroth v. City of Wichita, No. 06-2376-KHV-DJW, 2007 WL 2287814, at *1 (D. Kan. Aug. 7, 2007) (citing Kutilek v. Gannon, 132 F.R.D. 296, 297 (D. Kan. 1990)) (in context of whether to stay discovery). Magistrate Judges are “afforded broad discretion in the resolution of non-dispositive discovery disputes.” In re Urethane Antitrust Litig., No. 04-1616-JWL, 2014 WL 61799, at *1 (D. Kan. Jan. 8, ...


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