United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
For Blanca Delmi Rodriguez, Plaintiff: Edward Gonzalez, LEAD ATTORNEY, Edward Gonzalez PC, Washington, DC; Matthew Bryce Kaplan, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Kaplan Law Firm, Arlington, VA.
For F & B Solutions, LLC., Dave Crance, Defendants: James Lewis Heiberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Offices of Jonathan Gelber PLLC, Falls Church, VA.
Gerald Bruce Lee, United States District Judge.
THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendants F& B Solutions LLC and Dave Crance's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Blanca Delmi Rodriguez's Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Doc. 7.) This case concerns Plaintiff's allegations that the Defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (" FLSA" ) of 1938, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. by failing to pay her minimum wage and failing to pay her overtime wages.
Plaintiff was employed by Miguel's Restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia from January 2006 until November 15, 2013. (Doc. 1, at 2-3.) Miguel's Restaurant is owned by Defendant F& B Solutions, LLC which in turn is owned by Defendant Dave Crance who was actively involved in supervising Plaintiff. ( Id. at 2.) Plaintiff's work involved " ordering food and supplies, preparing food, cleaning the restaurant, serving customers, booking sales of group banquet packages, cashiering, and general day-to-day operation and function of the restaurant." ( Id. at 3-4.) Plaintiff alleges that " at all or nearly all times during her employment" she worked more than 40 hours per week. ( Id. ) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants failed to properly compensate her for her overtime work (one-and-one half times the regular rate) as evidenced by the fact that she was paid a bi-weekly fixed amount regardless of the number of hours actually worked. ( Id. ) Additionally, she alleges that " for many or all of Plaintiff's employment the fixed payment that she received divided by the number of hours she worked yielded an hourly rate of pay of less than the minimum wage." ( Id. ) Plaintiff avers at all times during her employment, Defendants knew how many hours they required and/or " suffered or permitted" Plaintiff to work and that Defendants' actions were willful and intentional and in bad faith. ( Id. at 4-6.)
On March 24, 2014, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted because " Plaintiff's Complaint consists of 'threadbare recitals of the elements' of a FLSA cause of action with 'conclusory statements' with little to no factual support." (Doc. 8, at 2.) On April 7, 2014, Plaintiff filed an opposition to Defendants' Motion urging that she had provided " specific facts to support her claim and easily makes the plausibility showing[.]" (Doc. 13.) Defendants did not file a reply to Plaintiff's Opposition. The Court heard oral argument on April 25, 2014. (Doc. 16.)
I. Standard of Review
A motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6) should be granted unless an adequately stated claim is " supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint." Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 563, 127 S.Ct.
167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (internal citations omitted); see Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). " A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (internal quotations and citations omitted). A complaint is also insufficient if it relies upon " naked assertions devoid of further enhancement." Id.
In order to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must set forth " a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Id. A claim is facially plausible " when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, read the complaint as a whole, and take the facts asserted therein as true. Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993).
" Conclusory allegations regarding the legal effect of the facts alleged" need not be accepted. Labram v. Havel, 43 F.3d 918, 921 (4th Cir. 1995). Because the central purpose of the complaint is to provide the defendant " fair notice of what the plaintiffs claim is and the grounds upon which it rests," the plaintiff's legal allegations must be supported by some factual basis sufficient to allow the defendant to prepare a fair response. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556 n.3.
Federal courts across the country have diverged regarding the level of specificity required to be pled in a FLSA claim in order to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. See Butler v. DirectSat USA, LLC, 800 F.Supp.2d 662 (D. Md. 2011) (finding sufficient a FLSA complaint which stated generally that plaintiff worked in excess of 40 hours, was not compensated for those hours, and employer had knowledge of the lack of overtime compensation for the overtime work); but see Dejesus v. HF Management Services, LLC, 726 F.3d 85 (2d Cir. 2013) (holding that complaint stating that plaintiff worked more than 40 hours per week for some or all weeks without being paid 1.5 times her rate of ...