Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Trigueros v. New Orleans City

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

May 23, 2018

JENNIFER TRIGUEROS
v.
NEW ORLEANS CITY ET AL

         SECTION "L" (4)

          ORDER & REASONS

         Before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss, R. Doc. 18. Plaintiff responds in opposition, R. Doc. 19. Having considered the parties' briefs and the applicable law, the Court issues this Order & Reasons.

         I. BACKGROUND

         From February 2015 to January 2017, Plaintiff Jennifer Trigueros was employed by Defendants New Orleans City (“City”) and Coroner Jeffrey Rouse (“Rouse”) as a death investigator. R. Doc. 1 at 2. The position of death investigator was classified as exempt from overtime and Plaintiff was not paid overtime even though she was often required to work more than 40 hours per week. R. Doc. 1 at 3. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants misclassified her job position and that she was entitled to overtime wages. R. Doc. 1 at 3. Plaintiff further alleges that she was terminated from her position because she complained about the lack of overtime wages on Facebook. R. Doc. 1 at 3-4. Plaintiff brings claims for overtime wages and damages due to retaliatory termination under the FLSA. R. Doc. 1 at 4. Plaintiff additionally brings claims for overtime and vacation pay under the LWPA. R. Doc. 1 at 5.

         Defendant New Orleans City answers the complaint generally denying Plaintiff's allegations. R. Doc. 6. City also asserts the following defenses: failure to state a claim, prescription, and failure to mitigate. R. Doc. 6 at 1. Defendants filed a 12(b)(6) motion on December 22, 2017. R. Doc. 5. The Court denied the motion and allowed Plaintiff to amend her complaint to add sufficient facts. R. Doc. 12. Plaintiff amended her complaint in April 2018. R. Doc. 17. Defendants have renewed their motion to dismiss. R. Doc. 18.

         II. PENDING MOTION

         Defendant Rouse has filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. R. Doc. 18. First, Defendant argues that because Plaintiff has alleged claims under the FLSA the LWPA claims are barred. R. Doc. 18-1 at 1, 4. Defendant argues that claims under the LWPA are preempted by the FLSA and should be dismissed. R. Doc. 18-1 at 5.

         Second, Defendant argues that Plaintiff has not alleged a protected activity under the FLSA. R. Doc. 18 at 1. Defendant argues that posting to Facebook is not a protected activity because it does not qualify as “filing a complaint” under the FLSA. R. Doc. 18 at 6. Defendant alleges that Plaintiff did not file a formal complaint with her employer and that her Facebook post does not qualify as an informal complaint. R. Doc. 18-1 at 6-7. Defendant notes that Plaintiff's Facebook post was not directed at her employer and did not allege any unlawful behavior. R. Doc. 18-1 at 7-8. Additionally, Facebook is not a recognized forum for protected activity under the FLSA. R. Doc. 18-1 at 7. Therefore, Plaintiff's FLSA claims should be dismissed because she cannot sustain a claim for retaliation. R. Doc. 18-1 at 8.

         Finally, Defendant argues that he is entitled to qualified immunity and state statutory immunity. R. Doc. 18 at 2, 8. Defendant argues that he is entitled to qualified immunity because it is not, and was not at the time Plaintiff was terminated, clearly established that posting to social media is a protected activity under the FLSA. R. Doc. 18-1 at 9. Defendant further argues that he is entitled to state statutory immunity because retention of personnel is a discretionary choice of the Defendant as coroner. R. Doc. 18-1 at 11.

         Plaintiff responds in opposition. R. Doc. 19. First, Plaintiff argues that her state law claims should not be dismissed as preempted because she is permitted to plead alternative theories. R. Doc. 19 at 3. Second, Plaintiff argues that her FLSA retaliation claim should not be dismissed because at the motion to dismiss state the court must assume her allegations that she engaged in protected activity to be true. R. Doc. 19 at 3. Finally, Plaintiff argues that Defendant is not entitled to qualified immunity because there is no Fifth Circuit precedent establishing qualified immunity for FLSA claims at the pleading stage. R. Doc. 19 at 3.

         III. LAW & ANALYSIS

         a. Motion to Dismiss Standard

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permit a defendant to seek a dismissal of a complaint based on the “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim “unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.” Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957). Generally, when evaluating a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court should not look past the pleadings.

         “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The district court must construe facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and must accept as true all factual allegations contained in the complaint. Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678. “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.