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Davis v. Medxcel Facilities Management, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

September 30, 2019

PAUL DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
MEDXCEL FACILITIES MANAGEMENT, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING MEDXCEL’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          JAMES PATRICK HANLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Paul Davis was the Facilities Supervisor at St. Vincent’s Women’s Hospital. After his employment was transferred from St. Vincent’s to MedXcel Facilities Management, Mr. Davis was reclassified from an hourly, non-exempt employee to a salaried, exempt employee, put on a performance development plan, and terminated several months later. Mr. Davis alleges that he was improperly denied overtime wages as a result of the reclassification and that MedXcel terminated his employment because of his age and disability. Because the designated evidence shows that there are triable issues of material fact, MedXcel’s motion for summary judgment is DENIED. Dkt. [33].

         I.

         Because MedXcel has moved for summary judgment under Rule 56(a), the Court views and recites the evidence “in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw[s] all reasonable inferences in that party’s favor.” Zerante v. DeLuca, 555 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted).

         A. Employment Background and Job Duties

         St. Vincent Women’s Hospital hired Mr. Davis as a Facilities Mechanic in 2006 and promoted him to Facilities Supervisor in 2013. Dkt. 35-2 at 5 (Davis Dep. 18:1–17). Mr. Davis was the only Facilities Supervisor at the Women’s Hospital. Id. at 8 (23:10–13).

         Mr. Davis was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2008; he experienced a heart attack and had open heart surgery. Id. at 71 (158:11–15). Between 2007 and 2016, Mr. Davis had five stents and a pacemaker placed. Id. at 73 (160:1–14). His most recent stent surgery was in June 2016. Id. (160:21–24).

         In 2008, Mr. Davis was placed on a 25-pound lifting restriction, related to his heart condition. Id. (160:16–17). MedXcel honored his lifting restriction. Dkt. 35-5 at 9 (Callis Decl. ¶ 35); dkt. 36-19 at 41–42 (Gordon Dep. 41:21– 42:1); dkt. 36-7 at 46 (Davis Dep. 169:3–9).

         In 2015, the Women’s Hospital outsourced facilities maintenance to MedXcel so Mr. Davis became an employee of MedXcel. Dkt. 35-1 (Waller Decl. ¶ 4); dkt. 36-7 at 10 (Davis Dep. 18:21–25). Mr. Davis retained his position as Facilities Supervisor and continued to be paid as an hourly, non-exempt employee. Dkt. 35-2 at 5 (Davis Dep. 18:18–25); id. at 35 (80:22–81:1).

         At the time Mr. Davis’ employment transferred to MedXcel, two facilities technicians reported to him. Id. at 16 (32:13–21). Mr. Davis’ duties and responsibilities included approving paid time off and purchase order requests, overseeing vendors and contractors, id. at 26 (59:4–11), and participating in interviews and some termination decisions, id. at 24–25 (51:24–52:17).

         On November 4, 2015, MedXcel reclassified Mr. Davis from an hourly, non-exempt employee, to a salaried, exempt employee. Id. at 39 (85:16–18); dkt. 35-1 at 2–3 (Waller Decl. ¶ 6). From the date of the reclassification until Mr. Davis’ termination in July 2016, MedXcel did not pay Mr. Davis any overtime wages. Dkt. 36-7 at 61 (Davis Dep. 241:8–10).

         B. Disciplinary Warnings and the March 2016 Performance Development Plan

         In December 2015, Mr. Davis received a written disciplinary notice for discourtesy or verbal abuse of guests and other associates because he used the word “crap” in an email to another associate. Dkt. 35-2 at 116–19 (Davis Dep., Ex. 5). The Notice also listed two other incidents, including a water main break where Mr. Davis failed to timely communicate with his supervisor, and the shutdown of an operating air handling unit, where Mr. Davis failed to properly investigate. Id. at 48–50 (102:4–103:8; 103:20–104:22).

         On March 30, 2016, Eric Waller, District Regional Director, noticed mismatched ceiling tiles in the Women’s Hospital and told Mr. Davis that he should be fired. Id. at 52–53 (106:18–107:4). That same day, Mr. Davis was placed on a performance development plan (“PDP”). Id. at 43–44 (93:21–94:2); 121–23 (Ex. 6). The PDP outlined various performance issues, including: (1) escalating issues appropriately; (2) challenges with staff management; (3) communication with staff, peers, and customers; and (4) management of work orders and record keeping. Id. at 121–23 (Ex. 6).

         Mr. Davis completed part of the first PDP, and Zach Matthews, a Human Resources Representative, told him that he was doing an excellent job. Id. at 56 (110:7–9).

         C. Kenneth Gordon becomes Mr. Davis’ manager

          In May 2016, Kenneth Gordon became Mr. Davis’s manager. Dkt. 36-7 at 27 (Davis Dep. 130:9–11); id. at 30 (136:4–6). Mr. Gordon regularly greeted Mr. Davis as “O’ Paul Davis.” Id. at 63 (243:6–9).

         Under Mr. Gordon’s management, Mr. Davis was responsible for completing work orders and ensuring preventative maintenance orders were completed. Dkt. 36-19 at 10 (Gordon Dep. 46:3–8). Mr. Gordon required Mr. Davis to complete daily rounding of the 300, 000 square foot building while younger employees were only required to complete daily rounding of a 65, 000 square foot building. Dkt. 35-2 at 63–64 (Davis Dep. 133:13–134:9). When Mr. Davis objected to completing the daily rounding, Mr. Gordon stated that he did not need pushback and that he had younger people over at another facility that could do the job. Id. at 64 (134:7–9). One time, when Mr. Davis gave Mr. Gordon paperwork showing that he completed daily rounds for one week, Mr. Gordon threw it in the trashcan. Dkt. 36-7 at 32–33 (Davis Dep. 138:18– 139:4).

         In late June 2016, Mr. Gordon asked Mr. Davis whether he would be retiring soon. Dkt. 35-2 at 78 (Davis Dep. 172:10–21). Mr. Davis responded that he would retire when he was sixty-six, four years in the future, and Mr. Gordon did not reply. Id. at 78–79 (172:23–173:4).

         D. Mr. Davis’ Decision to Remain as Facilities Supervisor

         On June 22, 2016, Mr. Davis met with Mr. Gordon and Mitchell Breeze, Mr. Gordon’s supervisor, to discuss changing roles and stepping down as Facilities Supervisor. Id. at 81 (176:11–178:5). Mr. Breeze informed Mr. Davis that he would have to come up with different options for other roles. Dkt. 36-7 at 48–49 (Davis Dep. 177:23–178:1). Daniel Lovelace, another employee, told Mr. Davis that Mr. Gordon wanted Mr. Davis to step down as supervisor. Id. at 49 (178:3–12). Shortly after the meeting, Mr. Davis told Mr. Gordon that he did not want to step down and that he wanted to keep his role as Facilities Supervisor. Id. (178:13–16). A day or two later, Mr. Gordon told Mr. Davis that he spoke with Mr. Breeze and that Mr. Davis “screwed up all the plans.” Id. (178:17–21).

         E. Mr. Gordon’s evaluation of his staff

          On June 23, 2016, Mr. Gordon emailed Mr. Breeze a memorandum outlining the strengths and weaknesses of his staff and listed “health concerns and restrictions” as one of Mr. Davis’ weaknesses. Dkt. 35-4 at 39–41. Mr. Davis was the only employee that had “health concerns and restrictions” listed as a weakness. See id.

         F. Mr. Davis’ Second Professional Development Plan, Annual Review, and Final Warning

          On July 7, 2016, Mr. Gordon met with Mr. Davis and told him that he wanted Mr. Davis to stay with MedXcel until he was in his ...


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