United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
P. MEHTA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Irene Akinsinde is a former nurse at Defendant Not-For-Profit
Hospital Corporation who was fired after 11 years of service.
In this action, Plaintiff claims that her termination came
about due to her employer's negligent supervision of her
immediate supervisor, who had a personal vendetta against
her. She also seeks payment of unpaid overtime wages under
federal and District of Columbia law. Defendant has moved for
summary judgment on all claims.
reasons discussed below, the court grants Defendant's
motion as to Plaintiff's negligent supervision claim and
her D.C. Wage Payment and Collection Law claim, and in part
as to her claims for unpaid overtime wages under federal and
District of Columbia law. Plaintiff may proceed to trial on
her wage claims premised on unpaid 30-minute meal breaks, but
not as to two 15-minute breaks per shift, as there is no
dispute that Plaintiff received compensation for the latter
Irene Akinsinde is a licensed practical nurse, who for nearly
11 years worked in the psychiatric ward for Defendant
Not-For-Profit Hospital Corporation, which does business as
United Medical Center. See Def Mot. for Summ. J.,
ECF No. 43 [hereinafter Def's Mot.], Def's Stmt. of
Undisputed Material Facts [hereinafter Def's Stmt.], ECF
No. 43-1 ¶¶ 1, 4-5, 105; Pl.'s Mem. in
Opp'n to Def's Mot., ECF No. 45 [hereinafter
Pl.'s Mem.], Aff of Irene Akinsinde, ECF No. 45-3
[hereinafter Pl.'s Aff], ¶¶ 2, 3. According to
Plaintiff, while employed at United Medical Center, she
worked eight-and-a-half-hour shifts. Def's Mot., Ex. 1,
ECF No. 43-2 [hereinafter Def's Mot. Ex. 1.], at
14-15. During each shift, she was afforded two
15-minute breaks and one 30-minute meal break. Id.
at 13; Pl.'s Mem. at 1; Am. Compl. (Second), ECF No. 15
[hereinafter Compl.] ¶ 9. Due to chronic understaffing
in the psychiatric ward, however, Plaintiff asserts she was
unable to take these breaks and was not paid for this extra
work. Pl.'s Aff. ¶¶ 26, 27. According to
Plaintiff, this nonpayment occurred over the entirety of her
employment. Id. ¶ 27.
undisputed that Plaintiff was the subject of a number of
disciplinary actions during her employment. Def's Stmt.
¶¶ 69-75; Pl.'s Resp. to Def's
Stmt., ECF No. 45-1 at 3 (questioning the veracity of the
underlying complaints, but not contesting the disciplinary
actions imposed). The grounds for these actions included
tardiness, “a pattern of harassing and belittling
behavior, ” failing to complete assigned work and
fraudulently covering it up, and “rude and
unprofessional” conduct. Def's Stmt. ¶¶
69-75. Though Plaintiff does not contest the fact of these
disciplinary actions, she insists that they “have to be
taken with a large box of salt.” Pl.'s Resp. to
Def's Stmt. at 3. She asserts that her supervisor, Ms.
Grea Neverson-Daniels, falsified the complaints and
“pressured others to make false charges against
[Plaintiff].” Id. Plaintiff claims that Ms.
Neverson-Daniels harbored ill will towards her because of a
romantic relationship that she had with Ms.
Neverson-Daniels' late husband before they married.
unchecked animus, Plaintiff contends, led to her termination.
On or about February 15, 2015, a patient filed a formal
complaint against Plaintiff, alleging a pattern of
unprofessional behavior. Def.'s Mot. at 22-23; Pl.'s
Aff. ¶ 40. The complaint accused Plaintiff of yelling at
the patient and-when the patient responded by refusing to
take her medication-throwing the medication in the trash.
Def.'s Mot. at 23; Pl.'s Aff. ¶ 40. Ms.
Neverson-Daniels forwarded the complaint to higher-ups at the
hospital and, after reviewing the complaint, a group of three
supervisors, including Ms. Neverson-Daniels, decided to
terminate Plaintiff. Def.'s Stmt. ¶¶ 103- 104;
Pl.'s Resp. to Def.'s Stmt. at 4-5 (conceding the
firing but not the reason for it). Plaintiff was fired on
March 9, 2015. Def.'s Stmt. ¶¶ 105-107;
Pl.'s Resp. to Def.'s Stmt. (not disputing Def.'s
Stmt. ¶¶ 105-107).
originally filed this case in D.C. Superior Court on February
17, 2016. See Notice and Pet. for Removal, ECF No.
1, at 1. After removal to this court, Plaintiff amended her
complaint and asserted claims for: (1) violations of the Fair
Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the D.C. Minimum
Wage Revision Act, and the D.C. Wage Payment and Collection
Law, arising from the failure to pay overtime wages; (2)
negligent supervision; (3) fraud; and (4) intentional
interference with prospective advantage. Am. Compl., ECF No.
6. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss, which the court
granted in part. Mem. Op. and Order, ECF No. 11.
then filed a Second Amended Complaint, repleading only
federal and District of Columbia wage claims and a negligent
supervision claim. Compl. ¶¶ 29-54. Defendant moves
for summary judgment on the grounds that: (1) Plaintiff's
negligent supervision and District of Columbia wage claims
are preempted by the federal Labor Management Relations Act
(“LMRA”); (2) the undisputed record evidence does
not support her negligent supervision claim; (3) there is
insufficient evidence to support her federal and District of
Columbia claims for unpaid overtime wages; and (4) her
District of Columbia wage claims are actionable, if at all,
only under the D.C. Minimum Wage Revision Act. See
generally Def.'s Mot.
judgment is appropriate “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.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A “genuine dispute” of a
“material fact” exists when the fact is
“capable of affecting the substantive outcome of the
litigation” and “the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Elzeneiny v. District of Columbia, 125
F.Supp.3d 18, 28 (D.D.C. 2015). The moving party bears the
initial burden of demonstrating “the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). When the moving party
would not bear the burden at trial on a particular claim or
issue, it need only make a showing that the non-moving party
lacks evidence from which a reasonable jury could find in the
non-moving party's favor. Id. at 322-23.
assessing a motion for summary judgment, the court considers
all relevant evidence presented by the parties. See Brady
v. Office of Sergeant at Arms, 520 F.3d 490, 495 (D.C.
Cir. 2008). The court looks at the facts in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party and draws all justifiable
inferences in that party's favor. See Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). If the
court determines “no reasonable jury could reach a
verdict in her favor, ” then summary judgment is
appropriate. Wheeler v. Georgetown Univ. Hosp., 812
F.3d 1109, 1113 (D.C. Cir. 2016). When ruling on a summary
judgment motion, courts are “not to make credibility
determinations or weigh the evidence.” Holcomb v.
Powell, 433 F.3d 889, 895 (D.C. Cir. 2006).
Preemption Under the LMRA
court begins with Defendant's assertion that
Plaintiff's negligent supervision and District of
Columbia wage claims are preempted by Section 301(a) of the
LMRA, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a). See Def.'s Mot.
at 4-8, 13-16. For reasons that will become apparent, the
court addresses this argument only as to Plaintiff's
District of Columbia wage claims. Defendant maintains, in
short, that the wage claims are preempted because their
resolution is substantially dependent on interpreting the
collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) to which
Plaintiff was bound as a member of a union. See
Def.'s Mot. at 16 (asserting that evaluating those claims
“would require extensive analysis of Plaintiff's
hours worked, ...