United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
For BOGUMILA JOCHIM, Plaintiff: STEPHEN P. DENITTIS, LEAD ATTORNEY, DENITTIS OSEFCHEN PC, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
For JEAN MADELINE EDUCATION CENTER OF COSMETOLOGY, INC., doing business as THE JEAN MADELINE AVEDA INSTITUTE, Defendant: EDWARD M. CRAMP, LEAD ATTORNEY, DUANE MORRIS LLP, SAN DIEGO, CA; CAROLINE AUSTIN, CHRISTOPHER DRAKE DURHAM, DUANE MORRIS LLP, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
Stewart Dalzell, Judge.
We consider here defendant Jean Madeline Education Center of Cosmetology, Inc., d/b/a The Jean Madeline Aveda Institute's (" Jean Madeline" or " the School" ) motion for summary judgment.
Plaintiff Bogumila Jochim (" Jochim" ), a graduate of the School, is suing Jean Madeline for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. (the " FLSA" ) and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law, 43 P.S. § 260.1 et seq., claiming that she should have been paid for work done in Jean Madeline's clinic while enrolled there as a student. Jean Madeline, an accredited cosmetology school, argues that its students are not employees under the FLSA.
We have jurisdiction over Jochim's FLSA claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and supplemental jurisdiction over her state law claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
II. Standards of Review
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) provides:
A party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense -- or the part of each claim or defense -- on which summary judgment is sought. The court shall grant summary judgment 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. The court should state on the record the reasons for granting or denying the motion.
A party moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden of informing the district court of the basis for its argument that there is no genuine issue of material fact by " identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986) (internal quotations omitted). If the moving party meets this initial burden, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 then obliges the non-moving party to show, via submissions beyond the pleadings, that there are genuine factual issues for trial. Id. at 324.
There is a genuine issue of material fact only when there is sufficient evidence such that a reasonable juror could find for the party opposing the motion. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986) (explaining further that a mere scintilla of evidence is insufficient). Material facts are those that would affect the outcome of the case under the governing law. Id. at 248. We may not make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence, and we must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150, 120 S.Ct. 2097, 147 L.Ed.2d 105 (2000); Armour v. County of Beaver, 271 F.3d 417, 420 (3d Cir. 2001). Our function is to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial, and we may not prevent a case from reaching a jury simply because we favor one of several reasonable views of the evidence. Abraham v. Raso, 183 F.3d 279, 287 (3d Cir. 1999) (citing
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249). However, a non-moving party cannot rely on unsupported assertions, speculation, or conclusory allegations to avoid the entry of summary judgment.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324.
III. Factual Background
For the purposes of its motion for summary judgment, Jean Madeline has accepted Jochim's deposition testimony as true. MSJ at 2 n.1. We recite the relevant facts of this case.
A. Pennsylvania's Regulation of Cosmetology
The Pennsylvania State Board of Cosmetology, pursuant to 63 Pa. Stat. § 507 et seq., regulates cosmetology schools and cosmetologists in the Commonwealth. Cosmetologists in Pennsylvania must pass an examination and obtain a license before practicing. 63 Pa. Stat. § § 508, 509. The examination tests theoretical knowledge and practical skills. 49 Pa. Code § 7.32(c). Before taking the examination, aspiring cosmetologists must meet a host of requirements, including completing 1,250 hours as a student in a registered cosmetology school or serving as an apprentice for 2,000 hours in a licensed cosmetology salon. 63 Pa. Stat. § 510(a)(3). The Board recommends at least 1,000 hours of cosmetology skills curriculum covering cognitive and manipulative tasks. 49 Pa. Code § 7.129(a).
The Board provides that cosmetology students may practice upon the public, but only " by way of clinical work upon persons willing to submit themselves to such practice after having first been properly informed that the operator is a student." 63 Pa. Stat. § 513. Cosmetology schools are not permitted to charge for treatments provided by students and " shall only charge the reasonable cost of materials used in such treatment." Id.; see also 49 Pa. Code § 7.120(a)(1) (providing that cosmetology students who have completed 300 hours of instruction may practice on the public in limited circumstances). Schools are required to conspicuously notify the public through signs that they are cosmetology schools and not salons. 49 Pa. Code § 7.120(b)-(c). Cosmetology schools may advertise their clinics under similar restrictions. Id. at § 7.121. Schools permitting students to practice upon the public must " require students to keep their stations clean and to assist in general cleanup and other duties that may be required in an operating salon, except that students may not be required to scrub floors, wash windows or perform janitorial tasks." Id. at § 7.123. Schools must observe the same health and safety requirements as prescribed for salons. Id. at § 7.125.
B. Jochim's Enrollment at Jean Madeline
Jean Madeline is a licensed and accredited cosmetology school with three locations in the Philadelphia area. MSJ at 3 & Ex. B. A basic cosmetology course at Jean Madeline costs $18,680 and allows students to reach the 1,250-hour requirement the Pennsylvania statute imposes. MSJ Ex. B at 3.
Jochim enrolled at Jean Madeline in January of 2012. Jochim Dep. (MSJ Ex. A) at 32:9-16. She knew that Jean Madeline would not guarantee her a job at one of its regular salons after graduation, but thought that she would receive assistance finding a job at a salon and might have had a greater chance of being hired at an Aveda Institute. Id. at 56:19-58:21.
When Jochim enrolled at Jean Madeline, she signed an enrollment contract and no other agreements. Id. at 36:13-22. The enrollment contract provided that Jochim would pay Jean Madeline for educational services. Id. at 37:18-25. Jean Madeline helped Jochim successfully apply for financial aid, and she received both ...