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Henderson v. City of Grantville

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Newnan Division

August 14, 2014

DARRYL HENDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF GRANTVILLE, GEORGIA, Defendant

Page 1279

For Darryl Henderson, Plaintiff: Andrew Yancey Coffman, LEAD ATTORNEY, Parks Chesin & Walbert, Atlanta, GA.

For City of Grantville, Georgia, Defendant: Sammie Mark Mitchell, McKee & Mitchell, LLC, Newnan, GA.

Page 1280

ORDER

Timothy C. Batten, Sr., United States District Judge.

This wage-and-hour case comes before the Court on the motion for summary

Page 1281

judgment filed by Defendant City of Grantville, Georgia.

I. Background

Plaintiff Darryl Henderson alleges that the City retaliated against him in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. On May 7, 2012, Henderson applied to serve as a reserve police officer with the City. Reserve officers are not paid. Sometime after May 7, Henderson was selected as a reserve officer; shortly after his selection, the City lost several full-time police officers. As a result, the City converted some of the reserve officers, including Henderson, to paid, part-time officers.

On December 14, 2012, Henderson missed a shift that he was scheduled to work. He made up the shift on December 17 despite not being scheduled for a shift that day. One of Henderson's direct supervisors, Dustin Bulcher, took issue with the missed shift and unauthorized make-up shift. In consultation with Doug Jordan, the chief of police, Bulcher altered Henderson's time entries by deducting the unauthorized hours. When Henderson received the corresponding pay stub, he saw that he was not paid for the hours he worked during the unauthorized shift. On December 25, Henderson complained orally to Bulcher about the altered entries and missing pay. On the same day, Henderson also complained to Jordan, who told Henderson that the city manager had authorized docking his pay because he worked without authorization. On January 3, 2013, Henderson discussed the issue with the city manager, who is the ultimate decision-maker with respect to termination decisions.

On January 5, 2013, Henderson worked his last paid shift. On January 6, he was told not to report for his scheduled shift, to turn in his uniform and badge, and that he was suspended. Henderson has not worked for the police department since.

On January 10, 2013, Henderson filed a written complaint with the city manager, alleging that he had not been paid for the hours he worked during the unauthorized shift in December 2012. Sometime in late 2012 or early 2013, Henderson also filed a similar complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor. The City did not know about the DOL complaint until April 29, 2013, when it received a letter from the DOL stating that Henderson had not received $110.80 in wages. The City mailed Henderson a check in this amount, but he never cashed the check.

On May 23, 2013, Henderson filed this action seeking payment of the unpaid wages and alleging retaliation for complaining about it. He avers that the City retaliated against him by refusing to schedule him for any additional shifts. The parties have settled Henderson's unpaid-wage claim. All that remains is the retaliation claim. The City now moves for summary judgment.

II. Legal Standard

A. Summary Judgment


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