United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
Anthony J. Trenga, United States District Judge
has sued Defendants Starwest Services, LLC
("Starwest"), Ehab Khalil, and Tariq Algaily for
violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §
206 et seq. ("FLSA") (Counts I and V),
breach of contract (Count II), quantum meruit (Count III),
and unjust enrichment (Count IV). Plaintiff seeks damages for
unpaid wages and overtime pay, compensatory damages,
liquidated damages, fees, interest, and costs pursuant to the
FLSA. On March 19, 2018, the Court denied the parties'
Motions for Summary Judgment and on March 26, 2018, held a
bench trial with respect to the following issues: (1) whether
Plaintiff is an "employee" or independent
contractor under the FLSA; and (2) if an
"employee," whether Defendants' classifying
Plaintiff as an independent contractor was in good faith and
with reasonable grounds for believing such a classification
was not a violation of the FLSA. Based on the evidence presented, the
Court finds and concludes that (1) Plaintiff was an
"employee" for the purposes of the FSLA; (2) each
of the Defendants is an "employer" under the FLSA;
(3) Defendants failed to pay the Plaintiff regular wages in
the amount of $6, 400 and overtime wages in the amount of $6,
354, for a total of unpaid wages in the amount of in the
amount of $12, 754; and (4) Plaintiff is entitled to
liquidated damages in the amount of $12, 754. Accordingly,
the Court issues its verdict in favor of the Plaintiff in the
amount of $25, 508. In support of this verdict, the Court
issues the following findings of fact and conclusions of law
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Findings of Fact
on all the evidence presented at trial, including the
Court's assessment of the credibility of witnesses and
the weight to be given each piece of evidence, the Court
finds as follows:
Beginning in 2015, Plaintiff provided housekeeping services
at a residence located in Great Falls, Virginia (the
During the time that Plaintiff provided housekeeping services
at the House, the House was owned by Princess Michelle and
Prince Saud and was occupied from time to time by Prince
Bader ("the Prince"). The House was under the
general supervision of the Prince's agents, Mr. Joseph
and Dr. Nouri.
Defendant Starwest is a concierge services company that was
formed on or around June 2015. The company provided, among
other services, cleaning and/or housekeeping services.
Defendants Ehab Khalil and Tariq Algaily are principals of
2008 to 2015, the Plaintiff provided her services to the
House through a company called Springvale and later on, a
company called Nash. Under her arrangements with those
companies, she worked on an hourly basis and was treated as
an employee, with tax and other withholdings from her pay.
2015, the owners of the home stopped using the services of
Springvale and Nash and at the Prince's suggestion,
Defendants Khalil and Algaily, who were the drivers of the
Prince's friends, formed Starwest. In 2017, Starwest had
two clients other than the Prince.
early 2015 (formally executed on March 4, 2016), Starwest and
the Prince entered into a contract, under which Starwest was
to provide the Prince house management services which
included house maintenance such as landscaping and cleaning,
as well as chauffeur services.
Beginning in 2015, the Plaintiff entered into an arrangement
with Starwest and continued to provide housekeeping services
for the House through her arrangement with Starwest. Under
that arrangement, Defendants designated the Plaintiff an
"independent contractor" and paid the Plaintiff $20
per hour, with no withholdings.
addition to providing the Plaintiffs services, Starwest
continued providing the services of Defendant Khalil as the
Prince's limousine driver.
Starwest has no individuals it considers to be employees and
has designated Defendant Khalil as an independent contractor.
Starwest had the right to hire and fire the Plaintiff; and
direct the details of her work.
Prince, acting through Mr. Joseph, had the authority and the
ability to supervise the Plaintiff and direct the details of
her work, including setting Plaintiffs schedule. Although the
Plaintiff was permitted to set her own work schedule when the
Prince was not occupying the House, she worked on an hourly
basis and ...