Colvin v. Volusion, Inc.

2017 WL 2805010 (2017)

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Colvin v. Volusion, Inc.

United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
2017 WL 2805010 (2017)

Facts

Gary Colvin (plaintiff) worked for Volusion, Inc. (defendant). Colvin alleged that one day his supervisor informed him that he would have to begin using paid time off to attend medical appointments. Colvin alleged that he often worked extra hours, which exceeded time taken for medical appointments, and that he typically worked more than 40 hours weekly without being paid overtime. Colvin felt that he was the only salaried employee approached and indicated that he had never been mandated to use accrued leave time for medical appointments. Colvin filed a complaint with his supervisor, alleging a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) because he was classified as exempt and worked more than 40 hours weekly with no additional pay, and because the supervisor’s instruction regarding the use of paid time off for medical appointments had never been mandated for him or any employees classified as salaried. Five days after Colvin filed his complaint, Volusion terminated him. Colvin filed suit. Volusion filed a motion to dismiss Colvin’s claims, alleging that Colvin had failed to state a prima facie case for retaliation under the FLSA. To state a prima facie case for an employer’s retaliation pursuant to the FLSA, an employee had to aver (1) engagement in a protected activity, (2) an act of retribution by the employer, and (3) a causal link between the protected activity and the employer’s retributory act. Volusion claimed that Colvin had not alleged engagement in a protected activity or a causal link between the protected activity of filing the complaint and Volusion’s alleged retributory act of termination. Volusion alleged that Colvin had failed to aver that he filed the type of complaint that was regarded as protected activity, because no reasonable person would believe that the FLSA was violated by an employer requiring salaried employees to use available leave time when they needed to be out of work during their shifts.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Austin, J.)

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