United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
M. HILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
case arises from Plaintiff Souleymane Camara's employment
with Defendant Gold Coast IT Solutions, LLC
("GCITS"). Plaintiff alleges that he was employed
by GCITS from May 4, 2015, until March 28, 2016, as an IT
specialist. Plaintiff brought this action against GCITS and
Defendant Arjun Akkara, the sole member of GCITS and a
manager of that company, alleging violations of the Fair
Labor Standards Act. Plaintiff's complaint alleges that
Defendants failed to pay Plaintiff wages, salary, or
commissions which were due to him during his employment.
April 2015, Plaintiff received from GCITS an invitation to
join GCITS's JAVA Analyst Program. According to the
invitation, completion of the training would render Plaintiff
eligible for full time deployment on a work project.
Plaintiff began his training on May 4, 2015.
14, 2015, GCITS sent Plaintiff an offer of employment as a
Technical Engineer. The offer stated that it was conditional
upon Plaintiff's completion of the training program,
execution of the GCITS Employment Agreement, and "final
approval of the client permitting [Plaintiff] to commence the
project at its site." Plaintiff executed the employment
agreement on May 18, 2015. The Employment Agreement provided
that compensation for Plaintiff's services would be
provided by GCITS at the rate specified in a Project
Determination Form, and that compensation would be paid for
all time recorded on timesheets signed by Plaintiff and
approved by GCITS.
executed a Project Determination Form on May 18, but was not
assigned to a project until July 16. At that time Plaintiff
was outsourced to work on a project for the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office through Sciences Application International
Corporation (hereinafter "USPTO/SAIC"). Once
Plaintiff began working and submitting timesheets for work
completed for USPTO/SAIC, GCITS began paying Plaintiff wages
for the hours submitted. On March 28, 2016, Plaintiff left
GCITS and accepted employment directly with USPTO/SAIC.
April 8, 2016, GCITS filed suit against Plaintiff in the
Fairfax County General District Court, Case No. GV16-006625,
alleging that Plaintiff breached his employment agreement.
Plaintiff responded by filing a counterclaim against GCITS on
August 30, 2016, along with an answer to GCITS's
complaint. Plaintiff's answer asserted as a defense that
GCITS had violated the FLSA by failing to pay Plaintiff wages
during his training period and failing to pay Plaintiff wages
after he signed his employment agreement but before he was
outsourced. Plaintiff also alleged that his employment
agreement was "void as against public policy because it
violates the [FLSA]" by only promising to pay him after
outsourcing him to a third-party company, despite his status
as an employee. These same allegations were raised by
Plaintiff at trial in the Fairfax County court on February
17, 2017. Plaintiff also filed a counterclaim, asserting that
GCITS violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act by making
misrepresentations to Plaintiff. Plaintiff's counterclaim
hinged in part on the argument that GCITS had represented to
Plaintiff that he would be paid for services that he
ultimately was not paid for.
February 17, a final judgment was entered in favor of GCITS
and against Plaintiff with respect to GCITS's case
against Plaintiff. Additionally, Plaintiff's counterclaim
was dismissed with prejudice.
filed the present suit on January 17, 2017, asserting that
Defendants willfully violated the FLSA by failing to pay
Plaintiff wages during his training period and during the
period after he executed his employment agreement but before
he was outsourced. Plaintiff also alleged that Defendants
violated the FLSA by failing to pay Plaintiff at the proper
overtime rate for time worked beyond 40 hours a week. On
October 23, 2017, Defendants filed this Motion for Summary
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, a court should grant
summary judgment if the pleadings and evidence show that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In reviewing a motion for summary
judgment, the court views the facts in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. See Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). Once a
motion for summary judgment is properly made, the opposing
party has the burden to show that a genuine dispute of
material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). The
Court finds this case is ripe for summary judgment.
s claims are barred by the doctrine of res judicata.
The parties previously litigated these same issues in the
General District Court for Fairfax County, and a final
judgment was entered on the merits in that case. Thus,
Plaintiff is precluded from relitigating these issues.
full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution directs
federal courts to look to the laws of the state in which a
prior judgment was rendered to determine the preclusive
effect of that judgment in a subsequent federal suit. See
Harrese v. Am. Acad. Of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 470 U.S.
373, 380 (1985). Thus, the Virginia rules of res
judicata apply in this case.
Virginia doctrine of res judicata encompasses two
types of preclusion: claim preclusion and issue preclusion.
Lee v. Spoden, 290 Va. 235, 245 (2015). Claim
preclusion, under Virginia Supreme Court Rule 1:6, bars a
party from litigating in a subsequence suit a claim that was
previously litigated in a prior suit. Id. By
contrast, issue preclusion bars "successive litigation
of an issue of fact or law actually litigated and resolved in
a valid court determination essential to the prior
judgment:." Id. at 246. Claim and issue
preclusion apply whenever a claim or issue is being
relitigated by the same two parties to a prior litigation or
any party in privity with a party to the prior litigation.
See Funny Guy, LLC v. Lecego, LLC, 795 S.E.2d 887,
890 (Va. 2017); Lee, 290 Va. at 248 (citing Va. S.Ct. Rule
issues of fact underlying Plaintiffs FLSA claims are barred
by issue preclusion. First, the parties to this litigation
are the same as the parties to the prior litigation. Although
Defendant Akkara was not personally a party to the prior
litigation, he is in privity with GCITS, the plaintiff in the
prior litigation, by virtue of being the sole member of the
LLC. See id. (finding that the interests of the sole
shareholder of ...