United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division
Glen E. Conrad United States District Judge.
Timothy Kenney filed this action against defendant
Palmer-Stuart Oil Company, Inc., alleging a violation of the
Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §
201 et se£, and breach of contract. The Clerk has
entered default, and this matter is currently before the
court on plaintiffs motion for default judgment. Defendant
has not responded to the motion. For the reasons set forth
below, the motion will be granted.
the defendant is in default, the facts underlying this
litigation are uncontested. The defendant, a restaurant, gas,
and service station in Charlottesville, Virginia, employed
the plaintiff in the restaurant's kitchen from December
2013 to December 2014 and September 21, 2015 to May 29, 2016.
During the first period of employment, the plaintiff signed
an agreement establishing his pay at $10.00 per hour for
eight hours a day. During the second period of employment,
the defendant orally agreed to pay the plaintiff $10.00 per
hour and required the plaintiff to work eight-and-a-half
hours per day without any breaks.
to the plaintiff, however, the defendant routinely reduced
the plaintiffs total hours of work by an average of five
hours per week for an average of seven-and-a-half hours per
day. The plaintiff asserts that he notified the
defendant's management about the unpaid wages, but the
defendant denied that it had underpaid the plaintiff and
refused to produce the plaintiffs time cards.
28, 2017, the plaintiff filed the instant action alleging two
counts against the defendant: (1) that the defendant failed
to pay plaintiff overtime wages, in violation of the FLSA
("Count I"), and (2) that the defendant had
breached the parties' contract to pay the plaintiff the
agreed-upon hourly wage for all hours worked ("Count
II"). On September 1, 2017, the Clerk made an entry of
default against the defendant. The plaintiff now moves for
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets forth a two-step
process for obtaining a default judgment. When a defendant
fails to plead or otherwise defend an action, the Clerk has
the authority to enter a default. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a).
After the Clerk's entry of default, a party may move for
default judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b).
reviewing the motion, the court may view all well-pleaded
facts alleged in the complaint as true for purposes of
liability. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(b)(6) ("An allegation -
other than one relating to the amount of damages - is
admitted if a responsive pleading is required and the
allegation is not denied."); see also Ryan v.
Homecomings Fin. Network, 253 F.3d 778, 780 (4th Cir.
2001) ("The defendant, by his default, admits the
plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations of fact.") (internal
citation omitted)). Accordingly, in the default judgment
context, "the appropriate inquiry is whether or not the
face of the pleadings supports the default judgment and the
causes of action therein." Anderson v. Found, for
Advancement, Educ. & Emp't of Am. Indians, 187
F.3d 628 (4th Cir. Aug. 10, 1999) (unpublished table
facts alleged in the complaint establish liability, the court
must then determine the appropriate amount of damages.
Ryan, 253 F.3d at 780-81. In so doing, the court may
conduct an evidentiary hearing under Rule 55(b)(2). The court
may also decide the amount of damages without a hearing if
the record contains sufficient evidence. See Anderson v.
Found, for Advancement. Educ. & Employment of Am.
Indians, 155 F.3d 500, 507 (4th Cir. 1998) (noting that
"in some circumstances a district court entering a
default judgment may award damages ascertainable from the
pleadings without holding a hearing"); Painters
& Allied Trades Indus. Pension Fund v. Capital
Restoration & Painting Co., 919 F.Supp.2d 680, 684
(D. Md. 2013) (finding that the court need not conduct an
evidentiary hearing to determine damages and "may rely
instead on affidavits or documentary evidence in the record
to determine the appropriate sum.").
Fair Labor Standards Act
alleges that the defendant violated the FLSA by failing to
pay the plaintiff earned overtime wages. The FLSA creates a
private right of action for employees to recover unpaid
overtime wages from employers. 29 U.S.C. § 207. The
FLSA's broad definition of "employer" includes
"any person acting directly or indirectly in the
interest of an employer in ' relation to an
employee." Id. § 203(d). The employee must
be "engaged in commerce or in the production of goods
for commerce, or [be] employed in an enterprise engaged in
commerce or in the production of goods for commerce."
Id. § 207(a)(1).
FLSA requires that an employee receive overtime pay for work
performed over 40 hours in any workweek at a rate not less
than one and a half times the employee's regular rate of
pay. Id. § 207(a)(2). The "regular
rate" means the hourly rate. 29 C.F.R. § 778.109.
While an employer need not compensate employees on an hourly
basis, overtime compensation must be based on an hourly rate.
Id. "The statute, however, exempts from this
requirement 'any employee employed in a bona fide
executive . ...