United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
WAYLON TAYLOR, ET AL.
WARRIOR ENERGY SERVICES, CORPORATION D/B/A SPC RENTALS
HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MAURICE HICKS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are two Rule 12(b)(6) Motions to Dismiss filed by
Defendant Warrior Energy Services, Corporation d/b/a SPC
Rentals (“SPC Rentals”). See Record
Documents 9 & 15. The first motion (Record Document 9) is
addressed to Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint (Record
Document 3) and the second motion (Record Document 15) is
addressed to Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint (Record
Document 11). Plaintiffs have opposed both motions.
See Record Documents 12 & 17. For the reasons
set forth below, SPC Rentals' first Rule 12(b)(6) Motion
to Dismiss (Record Document 9) is DENIED AS MOOT and its
second Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (Record Document 15)
is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
Michael Brand, Devin Cappleman, William Crow, Michael Hicks,
Jeffery Huffman, Cephas Chad LaCroix, Elbert McKinney, James
Tate, Waylon Taylor, Michael Touchstone, and Roger Woods
filed the instant civil action in 2015 against SPC Rentals
asserting claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
(“FLSA”) and Louisiana law. See Record
Document 11 at ¶¶ 1-2. SPC Rentals is in the
business of performing labor and furnishing services and
materials, machinery and supplies in connection with oil and
gas drilling, completion and workover operations. See
id. at ¶ 7. Under the name Superior Pressure
Control, SPC Rentals also provides labor, services, and
equipment for oil and gas well pressure control. See
id. at ¶ 8. Plaintiffs were employed by SPC Rentals
and assigned to the Minden, Louisiana location. See
id. at ¶ 1. Plaintiffs operated machinery, tools, and
equipment - primarily well pressure control equipment used in
connection with oil and gas drilling, well completion, and
workover operations. See id. at ¶ 10.
Plaintiffs were either pump operators or grease operators.
See id. at ¶ 11.
were salaried. See id. at ¶ 21. In addition to
salary, they were paid a day rate for each day worked at a
well site. See id. Plaintiffs were assigned 12
hour-shifts, but allege that they actually worked for a
longer period of time each shift. See id. at ¶
15. Plaintiffs allege that “to perform their duties as
required, [they] regularly worked 13 to 14 hours each shift
and not infrequently worked 16, 18 and 24 hours when assigned
to operate equipment and perform other labor at well site
locations.” Id. at ¶ 19. Plaintiffs
allege that SPC Rentals knew they worked more than 40 hours
in a workweek at well site locations. See id. at
¶ 20. Plaintiffs allege that SPC Rentals “assigned
[them] to work more than 40 hours in the workweek, ”
yet they were not paid for overtime work. Id. at
¶ 23. Plaintiffs assert that SPC Rentals labeled them as
“supervisors” to avoid paying overtime
compensation. Id. at ¶ 25. Plaintiffs maintain
they were not supervisors. See id. at ¶ 26.
upon the above facts, Plaintiffs assert FLSA claims for
failure to pay overtime. They also assert a “failure to
pay wages timely” claim under La. R.S. 23:633. This
Louisiana state law claim is based on SPC Rentals'
“failure to make timely payment of [Plaintiffs']
salaries and day rates.” Id. at ¶¶
of Plaintiffs were subjected to “en masse” drug
testing in July 2015. Id. at ¶¶ 44-45.
These Plaintiffs “were corralled with approximately 40
of their co-workers in a room at the Minden, Louisiana
office, where the Defendant had arranged for collection from
the Plaintiffs[‘] hair, urine and breath samples . . .
for substance abuse testing.” Id. at ¶
45. “Some of the . . . Plaintiffs were ordered to
report to collection sites elsewhere for the collection of
the same type of samples.” Id. The drug
testing was carried out under the direct supervision of SPC
Rentals' Safety Director. See id. at ¶ 46.
Plaintiffs allege that “as a direct result of the
manner in which the Safety Director conducted the drug
testing . . ., they were defamed and suffered invasions of
privacy.” Id. at ¶ 50.
filed their First Amended Complaint on October 5, 2015.
See Record Document 3. SPC Rentals filed the first
Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss on November 10, 2015.
See Record Document 9. Plaintiffs opposed the motion
on November 24, 2015 and likewise filed a Second Amended
Complaint on that same day. See Record Documents 11
& 12. In the Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs stated:
Plaintiffs incorporate herein by reference, as if set forth
in full, the allegations of their Original and First Amended
Complaint, except as modified herein below for claims
asserted under La. R.S. 23:633. Plaintiffs amend their
complaint to submit more definite statements of their claims.
Record Document 11. SPC Rentals objects to the Second Amended
Complaint because it was filed without leave of court.
See Record Document 15 & Record Document 20. In
opposing the second Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss,
Plaintiffs ask this Court to view the Second Amended
Complaint as a proposed pleading in the event it should not
have been accepted for filing. As leave to file amended
complaints has been freely granted in related cases,
this Court hereby GRANTS leave of court for the Second
Amended Complaint to be filed.
Court has reviewed the Second Amended Complaint and finds
that the incorporation by reference clause is sufficient. The
adoption contains sufficient specificity and clarity for this
Court to determine the nature and extent of the
incorporation. Thus, this Court will be guided by the Second
Amended Complaint. Accordingly, the first Rule 12(b)(6)
Motion to Dismiss (Record Document 9), which addressed the
First Amended Complaint, is DENIED AS MOOT. The Court will
now proceed to its analysis of the Second Amended Complaint
and the second Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (Record
Rule 12(b)(6) Standard.
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the
requirements for pleadings that state a claim for relief,
requiring that a pleading contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” The standard for the adequacy of complaints
under Rule 8(a)(2) changed from the old, more
plaintiff-friendly “no set of facts” standard to
a “plausibility” standard found in Bell
Atlantic v. Twombly and its progeny. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007). Under this standard,
“factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level ... on the assumption that
all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact).” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555-556, 127 S.Ct. at 1965. If a pleading only contains
“labels and conclusions” and “formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action, ” the
pleading does not meet the standards of Rule 8(a)(2).
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949 (2009) (citation omitted).
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court generally
“may not go outside the pleadings.” Colle v.
Brazos County, Texas, 981 F.2d 237, 243 (5th Cir. 1993).
Courts must also accept all allegations in a complaint as
true. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.
However, courts do not have to accept legal conclusions as
facts. See Id. Courts considering a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) are only obligated to allow those
complaints that are facially plausible under the
Iqbal and Twombly standard to survive such
a motion. See id. at 678-679, 129 S.Ct. at
1949-1950. If the complaint does not meet this standard, it
can be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. See id. Such a dismissal ends
the case “at the point of minimum expenditure of time
and money by the parties and the court.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 558, 127 S.Ct. at 1966.
first Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, SPC Rentals argued
that Plaintiffs failed to plead specific factual allegations,
such as dates of employment, rates of pay, or hours of
overtime worked in support of their FLSA claims. See
Record Document 9-1 at 4-7. SPC Rentals also maintained in
its first motion that Plaintiffs failed to allege sufficient
facts to support willfulness. See Record Document
9-1 at 7-8. The Court's review of the Second Amended
complaint reveals that these deficiencies have been cured.
Plaintiffs allege dates of employment, salary plus day rate
pay structure, hours of overtime work, and established
workweek schedules. Plaintiffs also make factual allegations
relating to willfulness, namely that SPC Rentals (1) knew
that Plaintiffs worked more than 40 hours in a workweek at
well site locations; (2) regularly assigned Plaintiffs to
work shifts “8 overtime hours to more than 55 overtime
hours in a workweek”; (3) intentionally misclassified
Plaintiffs as supervisors to avoid paying overtime; and (4)
was sued for similar overtime violations in other various
jurisdictions. Record Document 11 at ¶¶ 20, 22, 25,
29 & 30. At this stage, these factual allegations must be
accepted as true and raise a ...