United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
JOSEPH YOUNG, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated
XG SECURITY SERVICES, LLC
WELLS ROBY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File
First Amended Complaint (R. Doc. 18). The motion was
submitted on September 27, 2017. For the following reasons,
the motion is GRANTED.
collective action was filed by Plaintiff Joseph Young
(“Young”), individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated (“Co-Plaintiffs”),
under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
Young also filed a breach of contract and FLSA retaliation
claim on his own behalf. Young sued his ex-employer, XG
Security Services, LLC (“XG”), where the others
worked as field technicians, often travelling significant
distances to work sites to perform work on assigned jobs. R.
Doc. 1. The Plaintiffs allege that they were required to work
an excess of forty (40) hours per week; however, they were
not paid for the overtime work or for travel time to work.
Id. at p. 4. Young also seeks reimbursement for
mileage where he used his personal vehicle. The owner of XG,
Bernard Yoscovits (“Yoscovits”), acknowledged
that XG owed Young compensation for unreimbursed mileage. On
March 20, 2017, Young was terminated on the pretext that he
had excessive tardiness and was slow in completing his work.
Id. at p. 7.
time, Young seeks to file his First Amended Complaint to add
Yoscovits as a Defendant and to include area technicians as a
job similar to field technicians. R. Doc. 18. Young asserts
that his Counsel has interviewed opt-in Plaintiffs, and has
now gathered sufficient information regarding XG's
ownership and daily operations to add XG's owner,
Yoscovits. Id. at p. 2. In addition, Young asserts
that his Counsel's interviews revealed that area
technicians are similarly situated to field technicians,
arguing that at least one potential opt-in Plaintiff worked
in that position and has alleged facts similar to those
asserted in the original complaint. As such, Young seeks to
expand the scope of the putative claimants to include area
technicians. Id. Young argues that he is not
dilatory in bringing his motion, nor has he acted in bad
faith. Further, Young contends that no prejudice will result
in granting his motion.
no written opposition was filed, Young contacted XG in an
attempt to obtain consent. R. Doc. 18-2. Counsel for XG did
not respond. Id.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) governs the amendment of
pleadings before trial. Rule 15(a) allows a party to amend
its pleadings “only with the other party's written
consent or the court's leave.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)(2). Moreover, the Rule urges that the Court
“should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Id. In taking this liberal
approach, the Rule “reject[s] the approach that
pleading is a game of skill in which one misstep by counsel
may be decisive to the outcome and accept the principle that
the purpose of pleading is to facilitate a proper decision on
the merits.” Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 48
15(a) requires a trial court ‘to grant leave to amend
freely, ' and the language of this rule ‘evinces a
bias in favor of granting leave to amend.'”
Jones v. Robinson Prop. Grp., 427 F.3d 987, 994 (5th
Cir. 2005) (internal quotations marks omitted) (quoting
Lyn-Lea Travel Corp. v. Am. Airlines, 283 F.3d 282,
286 (5th Cir.2002)). When denying a motion to amend, the
court must have a “substantial reason”
considering such factors as “‘undue delay, bad
faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated
failures to cure deficiencies by amendments previously
allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party . . . and
futility of the amendment.'” Marucci Sports,
LLC v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 751 F.3d
368, 378 (5th Cir. 2014) (quoting Jones, 427 F.3d at
994). An amendment is deemed to be futile if it would be
dismissed under a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Id. (citing
Briggs v. Miss., 331 F.3d 499, 508 (5th Cir 2003)).
seeks to add Yoscovits as a Defendant and include area
technicians as a job similar to field technicians. R. Doc.
18. Young contends that he was not dilatory in bringing his
motion, nor did he act in bad faith. Further, Young contends
that there is no identifiable prejudice in granting his
motion because he is within the deadline to amend and add
parties, and the case is in the early stages of discovery.
Young sought consent from XG to file the instant motion;
however, XG has not responded.
Young's motion for leave to file his first amended
complaint is timely, leave to amend is “not
automatic.” Moore v. Manns, 732 F.3d 454, 456
(5th Cir. 2013). As such, the Court will not grant
Plaintiff's motion merely because the amendment is
timely. “It is within the district court's
discretion to deny a motion to amend if it is futile.”
Stripling v. Jordan Prod. Co., 234 F.3d 863, 872-73
(5th Cir. 2000) (citation omitted). In determining the
futility of a proposed amendment, the Court must determine
whether the plaintiff has pled “enough facts to state a
claim of relief that is plausible on its face. 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).” (internal quotations omitted) In Re Katrina
Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
547 (2007)) (footnote omitted). A claim is facially plausible
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Where viability of a
claim is at least facially possible, futility does not
provide grounds for denying an amendment. Jaso v. The
Coca Cola Co., 435 Fed.Appx. 346, 353-54 n.6 (5th Cir.
2011). The Court shall consider each of Young's proposed
Addition of Area Technicians as a Job Similar to ...