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Shammo v. Kanzaman, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

January 15, 2015

MOAYED SHAMMO and MARIA SANCHEZ, Plaintiffs,
v.
KANZAMAN, INC., and HERMIZ YOUNAN, Defendants

For Moayed Shammo, Maria Sanchez, Plaintiffs: Jamie G. Sypulski, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office Jamie Golden Sypulski, Chicago, IL.

For Kanzaman, Inc., Hermiz Younan, Defendants: Carol Billie Oshana, LEAD ATTORNEY, Chicago, IL; Carol L. Oshana, Oshana Law Chicago, IL.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

James B. Zagel, United States District Judge.

Plaintiffs Moayed Shammo and Maria Sanchez (" Plaintiffs") filed a complaint against Defendants Kanzaman, Inc. and Hermiz Younan (" Defendants") alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq . (" FLSA"), the Illinois Minimum Wage Act, 820 ILCS 105/1, et seq . (" IMWL"), and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, 820 ILCS 115/1, et seq . (" IWPCA"). Plaintiffs now move for summary judgment. Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment is denied in part and granted in part.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Shammo and Sanchez have been employed by Defendants Kanzaman, Inc. and Hermiz Younan at " Kan.Zaman, " a Lebanese restaurant located at 617 North Wells Street, Chicago, Illinois. As restaurant manager, Hermiz Younan (" Younan") is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the restaurant and exercises his authority to hire, fire, direct, and supervise the work of restaurant employees. Younan also performs banking and check writing, orders necessary supplies, selects vendors, schedules employees, and determines how much to pay kitchen employees. Defendants paid all employees, except Hermiz Younan, Elias Younan (President of Kanzaman and son of Hermiz Younan), Ismail Wardah, and Shammo, in cash and did not maintain time and payroll records for any employees, including hourly employees. Kanzaman also does not maintain any written employee job descriptions.

Shammo, an experienced cook having worked at Kan.Zaman since its opening in 2004, worked in the kitchen and was scheduled for and completed 65 hours per week, including permitted breaks. Shammo had various duties, including cooking and preparing food, training other cooks through his example, directing other cooks to prepare food and clean, cleaning and closing up the kitchen. Defendants paid Shammo $700.00 per week in wages prior to July 2012 and $750.00 per week after July 2012. Shammo was not compensated in overtime wages for time worked in excess of a 40-hour workweek. Maria Sanchez, Shammo's wife, also worked in the kitchen full time as a cook.

Other cooks employed by Defendants were paid the following amounts:

Employee

Position

Hourly Rate

Salam Yalda

Cook

$14.10

Salam Yalda

" Kitchen Manager"

$13.04

($600 per week/46 hours)

Ismael Wardah

Cook

$13.50

Alan Odeesho

Cook

$14.10

($550 per week/39 hours)

Georgis Dawood

Cook

$11.87

Nerai Gorgees

Cook

$13.19

Louis (LNU)

Cook and Kitchen Prep

$12.50

Plaintiff Maria Sanchez

Cook

$11.42

On December 18, 2012, a dispute related to the amount of chicken Sanchez was preparing for lunch escalated and resulted in the termination of Plaintiffs' employment with Defendants. At the time Plaintiffs' employment ended, Defendants owed Shammo for one day's wages plus three hours and Sanchez for between three to fourteen hours. Younan testified that, at the time, he did not have cash on hand to compensate Sanchez but that he intended to pay her at a later time. Younan attempted to have a check in the amount of $200 made out to Shammo delivered to him to compensate Shammo for one day and three hours worked, which Shammo did not accept. Younan testified that the check was meant only for Shammo, but later claimed that he thought it would also compensate Sanchez for the three hours she worked.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment should be granted when " the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). A genuine issue of triable fact exists only if " the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Pugh v. City of Attica, Ind., 259 F.3d 619, 625 (7th Cir.2001). The Court's " function is not to weigh the evidence but merely to determine if there is a genuine issue for trial." Bennett v. Roberts, 295 F.3d 687, 694 (7th Cir.2002).

Once the moving party has set forth the basis for summary judgment, the burden then shifts to the nonmoving party who must go beyond mere allegations and offer specific facts demonstrating that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d. 265 (1986). The nonmoving party must offer more than " [c]onclusory allegations, unsupported by specific facts" in order to establish a genuine issue of material fact. Payne v. Pauley, 337 F.3d 767, 773 (7th Cir.2003)(citing Lujan v. Nat'l Wildfire Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888, 110 S.Ct. 3177, 111 L.Ed.2d 695 (1990)). A party will be successful in opposing summary judgment only if it presents " definite, competent evidence to rebut the motion." EEOC v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 233 F.3d 432, 437 (7th Cir.2000). I consider ...


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