United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
the Court is a 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants
JRV Services, LLC and Juana Vargas. R. Doc. 9. Plaintiff
Rolando Pereira opposes. R. Doc. 12. Having considered the
parties' briefs and the applicable law, the Court now
issues this Order & Reasons.
Rolando Pereira brings this action under the Fair Labor
Standards Act on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated to recover overtime wages against Defendants JRV
Services, LLC (“JRV”), PRA-SE Construction, LP
(“PRA-SE”), and Juana Vargas
JRV is a residential and commercial subcontractor that
provides labor for construction projects in Louisiana, owned
by Defendant Vargas. PRA-SE, a commercial construction
company, engaged JRV to provide labor for its jobsites.
Plaintiff alleges that he was hired by PRA-SE in 2014 and
worked as a construction laborer for Defendants until March
of 2018. During this time, Plaintiff claims he worked, on
average, 45-54 hours per week, and Defendants failed to pay
one-and-a-half times his regular hourly rate for all hours
JRV and Vargas now move the Court to dismiss Plaintiff's
claims against them under Rule 12(b)(6). R. Doc. 9.
Specifically, Defendants contend that Plaintiff has failed to
(1) allege the specific time period for which he claims he
was undercompensated; (2) plead facts sufficient to establish
that JRV and Vargas qualify as his “employer”
under the FLSA; and (3) sufficiently allege facts to show
that he is similarly situated to the putative class members.
LAW & ANALYSIS
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).
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)). “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. 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. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678. A court “do[es] not accept as true
conclusory allegations, unwarranted factual inferences, or
legal conclusions.” Plotkin v. IP Axess Inc.,
407 F.3d 690, 696 (5th Cir. 2005).
The Fair Labor Standards Act
FLSA requires “employers” to pay covered
employees at least one and one-half times their normal rate
for hours worked in excess of forty per week. 29 U.S.C.
§ 207(a)(1). To state a claim for unpaid overtime wages,
a plaintiff must plead “(1) that there existed an
employer-employee relationship during the unpaid overtime
periods claimed; (2) that the employee engaged in activities
within the coverage of the FLSA; (3) that the employer
violated the FLSA's overtime requirements; and (4) the
amount of overtime compensation due.” Johnson v.
Heckmann Water Resources, Inc., 758 F.3d 627, 630 (5th
Cir. 2014). JRV and Vargas argue that Plaintiff inadequately
pleads elements (1) and (4), and that Plaintiff fails to
adequately plead a collective action.
the FLSA, “employer” is defined as “any
person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an
employer in relation to an employee.” 29 U.S.C. §
203(d). The Fifth Circuit determines employer status under
the “economic reality” test, considering whether
the putative employer “(1) possessed the power to hire
and fire the employees, (2) supervised and controlled
employee work schedules or conditions of employment, (3)
determined the rate and method of payment, and (4) maintained
employment records.” Williams v. Henagan, 595
F.3d 610, 620 (5th Cir. 2010). The Court must consider the
totality of the circumstances and the economic reality of the
overall relationship, and all four factors need not be
present in every case. Gray v. Powers, 673 F.3d 352,
357 (5th Cir. 2012). “The dominant theme in the case