United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division
Glen E. Conrad Senior United States District Judge.
instant action, Kristen Hagee, Michelle Haney, and Jeremy
Lang assert claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act
("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219, against
their former employer, Capital Tacos, Inc. ("Capital
Tacos"). Capital Tacos has moved to dismiss the
complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. For the reasons that follow, the court will
grant the defendant's motion, dismiss the plaintiffs'
claims without prejudice, and permit the plaintiffs to file
an amended complaint.
following factual allegations, taken from the plaintiffs'
complaint, are accepted as true for purposes of the pending
motion. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) ("[W]hen ruling on a defendant's motion to
dismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the factual
allegations contained in the complaint").
Tacos operates a restaurant known as "Fuzzy's Taco
Shop" in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hagee, Haney, and
Lang worked at the restaurant from May 2, 2017 until mid-June
of 2017. They received an hourly wage, along with a share of
the tips left by customers each day.
the first week of their employment, the plaintiffs worked
"long hours" as part of a "week-long
'orientation.'" Compl. ¶ 12, Docket No. 1.
The plaintiffs allege that the defendant failed to pay them
an "adequate wage" for the time that they worked
during the orientation period. Id. On or about June
8, 2017, Haney expressed concern to Lang regarding her
paycheck. Haney noticed that she had not been compensated for
a shift that she worked on May 20, 2017, and that she had not
received any overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40
hours per week. After speaking with Haney, Lang noticed
"discrepancies in his pay, including that the time
recorded on his 'check-out slip' at the end of each
shift did not match the amount of time recorded on the pay
stub of his most recent pay check." Compl. ¶ 15.
Lang also noticed that he had not received overtime pay for
hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
about June 9, 2017, Lang approached the
"owner/manger" of the restaurant, Pranav Shah, and
"asked for a copy of a labor report." Id.
¶¶ 7, 16. Shah refused to provide the report, and
advised Lang that his employment would be terminated if he
insisted on obtaining it. Lang did not appear for his
assigned shift the following day, and was subsequently
returned to work on June 10, 2017. Upon her arrival, Shah
informed Haney that she was being terminated. "When
Haney asked why she was being terminated, [Shah] stated a
number of reasons, before admitting that Haney was terminated
out of concern that she would exercise her statutory rights
under the FLSA and Virginia law." Id. ¶
same day, after discovering a problem with her own pay check
and learning that Haney and Lang's pay checks were
purportedly incorrect, Hagee approached Shah and requested a
copy of her labor report. Hagee informed Shah that she
intended to consult an attorney regarding her rights under
the FLS A, and that she refused to return to work until she
was paid all of the wages and overtime pay that she was due.
11, 2017, an officer with the Albemarle County Police
Department delivered a notice of termination of employment to
Lang and Haney, which was drafted and signed by Shah. The
officer advised Lang and Haney that they would be arrested
for trespassing if they returned to Fuzzy's Taco Shop.
Haney, and Lang filed this action against Capital Tacos on
October 25, 2017. In Count One of the complaint, the
plaintiffs claim that the defendant violated the FLS A
"by failing to compensate [them] at the required
overtime rate." Id. ¶ 28. In Count Two,
the plaintiffs claim that the defendant violated the FLS A
"by failing to compensate [them] for all of the time
that they worked at the appropriate wage." Id.
¶ 33. In Count Three, the plaintiffs claim that the
defendant violated the FLSA "by terminating . . . Lang
and Haney for exercising their statutory rights."
Tacos has moved to dismiss the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6).
The plaintiffs oppose the motion and, alternatively, seek
leave to amend the complaint. The matter is now ripe for