|JOY EBERLINE; TRACY POXSON; CINDY ZIMMERMANN,
DOUGLAS J. HOLDINGS, INC.; DOUGLAS J. AIC, INC.;
DOUGLAS J. EXCHANGE, INC.; DOUGLAS J. INSTITUTE,
INC.; SCOTT A. WEAVER; TJ WEAVER,
| No. 19-1781|
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
No. 5:14-cv-10887—Judith E. Levy, District Judge.
Argued: May 5, 2020
Decided and Filed: December 17, 2020
Before: COLE, Chief Judge; BATCHELDER and STRANCH, Circuit Judges.
COLE, Chief Judge. Plaintiffs Joy Eberline, Tracy Poxson, and Cindy Zimmermann are
former cosmetology school students who sued defendants Douglas J. Holdings, Inc., Douglas J
AIC, Inc., Douglas J. Exchange, Inc., Douglas J. Institute, Inc., Scott Weaver, and T.J. Weaver
(collectively, “Douglas J”), the operators of the Michigan cosmetology schools that the plaintiffs
previously attended. The plaintiffs claim that Douglas J owes them compensation under the Fair
Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for work performed during their time in school. The district
court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs on a subset of their claims, holding as a matter
of law that the plaintiffs were owed compensation under the FLSA for certain cleaning and
janitorial work they were required to complete during their time as students at Douglas J.
We determine that the district court properly focused its partial summary judgment
analysis on the specific work for which plaintiffs seek compensation, rather than on the entirety
of the vocational training program in which plaintiffs participated. It failed, however, to
correctly apply our decision in Solis v. Laurelbrook Sanitarium & School, Inc., which governs
FLSA claims in an educational setting. See 642 F.3d 518, 529 (6th Cir. 2011). We therefore
reverse the district court’s order granting summary judgment to the plaintiffs and remand for
proper application of Laurelbrook to the work at issue.