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Dixon v. Prospect Mortg., LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

January 14, 2014

ALICE DIXON, Plaintiff,
v.
PROSPECT MORTGAGE, LLC, Defendant

Page 606

For Alice Dixon, Plaintiff: David Lawrence Scher, Nicholas Wyckoff Woodfield, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Robert Scott Oswald, The Employment Law Group PC (DC), Washington, DC.

For Prospect Mortgage, LLC, Defendant: Taron Kato Murakami, LEAD ATTORNEY, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Washington, DC.

Page 607

MEMORANDUM OPINION

James C. Cacheris, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Prospect Mortgage, LLC's (" Defendant" or " Prospect" ) Motion for Summary Judgment. [Dkt. 6.] For the following reasons, the Court will grant Defendant's Motion.

I. Background

Prospect is a California corporation that offers consumer lending products. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff Alice Dixon (" Plaintiff" ) worked as a mortgage loan officer at Prospect from October 29, 2007, until February 26, 2010. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 6; Joint Statement of Facts ¶ 7.)

In October 2010, several former mortgage loan officers filed a collective action against Prospect under the Fair Labor Standards Act (" FLSA" ). See Sliger v. Prospect Mortg., LLC., No. CIV. S-11-465 LKK/EFB, 2011 WL 3747947, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 24, 2011). Plaintiffs alleged that Prospect " misclassified them as exempt employees under the FLSA, and therefore improperly failed to pay them minimum wage and overtime." Id. at *2. Plaintiff opted-in to the Sliger matter on November 16, 2011. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 15.)

On January 23, 2013, the Sliger action decertified and Plaintiff was removed from the case. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 19.) Consequently, Plaintiff filed this case against Prospect alleging analogous violations of the FLSA.[1] Plaintiff avers that Defendant wrongfully classified her as an exempt employee, resulting in lost minimum wage and overtime compensation. ( Id. at ¶ ¶ 23-33.)

Defendant has now moved for summary judgment. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. at 1.) Defendant's only argument is that Plaintiff is exempt from the FLSA's overtime and minimum wage requirements under the statute's " outside sales exemption," which provides that employers are relieved of these obligations for employees engaged " in the capacity of outside salesman." (Def.'s Mem. in Support at 6 (citing 29 U.S.C. § 213 (a)(1)).) In support, Defendant points to Plaintiff's employment contract, which specifies that her primary duty was to sell mortgages away from

Page 608

Prospect's office. ( Id. at 7-8.) Defendant has also produced testimony from Plaintiff that she regularly engaged in sales work away from the office. ( Id. at 8-9.) Thus, Defendant concludes that Plaintiff was properly classified as exempt. ( Id. )

On January 2, 2014, Plaintiff filed an opposition disputing her classification as an outside salesperson. (Pl.'s Opp'n at 1.) According to Plaintiff, the evidence shows that she hardly ever met with borrowers at their home or place of business and instead performed a vast majority of her work inside Prospect's office. ( Id. at 15-17.) Thus, surmises Plaintiff, the outside sales exemption is inapplicable. ( Id. )

Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is now ...


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