United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
J. BARBIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (R.
Doc. 16) filed by Defendants New Orleans Metalworks, Inc.
(“Metalworks”) and its owner David Waldheim
(collectively, “Defendants”). Plaintiff Osman
Maldonado opposes the motion (R. Doc. 29). Having considered
the motion and legal memoranda, the record, and the
applicable law, the Court finds that the motion should be
GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
litigation arises from Defendants' alleged violation of
the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Plaintiff
alleges that he and other similarly situated employees were
not paid proper overtime compensation. (R. Doc. 9 at 1.)
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant O&G Construction, LLC
(“O&G Construction”), owned by Defendant Olan
David Del Arca Sabat, provides manual labor for general
contractors such as Metalworks. Id. at 3. Plaintiff
alleges he was employed as a painter for Defendants from
February 2015 to September 2016 and he was paid approximately
$15.00 per hour regardless of the number of hours worked per
week. Id. at 2, 5. Additionally, Plaintiff alleges
that Defendants failed to pay other similarly situated
employees overtime in violation of the FLSA's overtime
requirements. Id. at 5.
March 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed the present lawsuit and asked
the Court to certify a collective action, pursuant to 29
U.S.C § 216(b), against New Orleans Millworks
(“Millworks”) and its owner Scott Taranto. (R.
Doc. 1.) Plaintiff amended his complaint and added O&G
Construction and Olan David Del Arca Sabat as Defendants, R.
Doc. 4 at 3-4, and amended his complaint again to replace
Millworks and Scott Taranto with Metalworks and David
Waldheim, R. Doc. 9 at 3. On May 3, 2017, Defendants
Metalworks and Waldheim filed the present Motion to
Dismiss. Defendants argue that Plaintiff's complaint
fails to adequately allege an individual or collective FLSA
claim. Plaintiff contends that his complaint sufficiently
alleges both an individual and collective action against
Defendants for failure to pay proper overtime compensation.
Defendants' motion is now before the Court on the briefs
and without oral argument.
argue that Plaintiff's FLSA claims must be dismissed
under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) because
his allegations are too vague and conclusory. (R. Doc. 16- 1
at 2). As to Plaintiff's individual claim, Defendants
contend Plaintiff fails to adequately allege the amount of
overtime compensation he is owed because he does not identify
the time period and overtime hours he worked. Id. at
4. Defendants also argue that Plaintiff has not alleged
sufficient facts to warrant a collective action. Id.
at 4-6. Defendants assert that Plaintiff's allegations do
not adequately describe the work, pay, or hours of other
similarly situated employees. Id. at 5. Defendants
buttress their argument by noting that Plaintiff is the only
“painter” on staff, and Defendants' employees
either perform different duties or are independent
contractors hired at a fixed price. Id.
argues that he has adequately alleged the approximate dates
and amount of time he worked and that he was not paid any
overtime during this period. (R. Doc. 29 at 2.) Thus,
Plaintiff contends that he has properly alleged an individual
FLSA claim for overtime compensation. Plaintiff also argues
that he has adequately alleged an FLSA collective action.
Id. at 3-4. While Plaintiff admits that he seeks to
certify a broad range of employees, he argues against
narrowing the field of eligible class members before
discovery because employers tend to control the information
necessary to an FLSA plaintiff's claims. Id. at
4. Plaintiff argues he has alleged sufficient facts to
survive Defendants' motion and that he should not be
barred from filing a motion for conditional certification at
a later date.
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint must “give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Dura Pharm., Inc. v.
Broudo, 544 U.S. 336, 346 (2005). The allegations
“must be simple, concise, and direct.”
Rule 12(b)(6), a claim may be dismissed when a plaintiff
fails to allege any set of facts in support of his claim
which would entitle him to relief.” Taylor v. Books
A Million, Inc., 296 F.3d 376, 378 (5th Cir. 2002)
(citing McConathy v. Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Corp., 131
F.3d 558, 561 (5th Cir. 1998)). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must plead enough facts to
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible when the
plaintiff pleads facts that allow the court to “draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. A court must accept
all well-pleaded facts as true and must draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Lormand v. U.S.
Unwired, Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 232 (5th Cir. 2009);
Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996).
The court is not, however, ...