United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is David Shackleford's
("Shackelford") Motion to Dismiss (Doc.
6) Barry Delaune's ("Plaintiff')
complaint against him in his individual capacity. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Shackelford's
is the managing partner of SKR Construction, LLC
("SKR"). (Doc. 6-1 at p. 2). Plaintiff alleges
that he was employed by Defendants for approximately nine to
ten years, until February 20, 2018. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 5).
Plaintiff claims that over the course of his employment, he
was paid $51.00 - $55.00 per hour, and that he was a
"non-exempt" employee. (Id. at ¶11 6,
7). Plaintiff asserts that while his normal schedule required
him to work from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday,
occasionally, he would be required to work seven days a week
for at least 70 hours per week. (Id. at 1| 8).
Plaintiff alleges that he was not paid the requisite rate of
one and one-half times his regular rate for the times he was
required to work overtime, despite his status as a non-exempt
employee. (Id. at ¶ 9). Plaintiff further
asserts that Shackleford, as managing member of SKR, created
the policy wherein non-exempt employees would not be paid at
the required overtime rates. (Id. at ¶ 10).
Plaintiff also avers that Shackelford supervised and directed
Plaintiffs activities. (Id.). Plaintiff was
terminated on or about February 20, 2018.;
also claims that after his termination, he was denied a
payout of accrued vacation time, in contravention of
statutory authority and case law. (Id. at ¶ 21).
Plaintiff alleges that the policy under which SKR operates
sets forth that terminated employees are not entitled to
payment for the vacation time that had been accrued.
(Id. at ¶ 22).
admit that Plaintiff was not reimbursed for the overtime
hours he worked, but argues that Plaintiff was an exempt
employee, and therefore not entitled to such payments. (Doc.
8 at ¶11 9-10). Shackleford also argues that he cannot
be held individually liable for any injuries complained of by
Plaintiff, as Plaintiff has not made any allegations against
Shackleford that extend outside of his duties as managing
member of SKR. (Doc. 6-1 at p. 2).
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency
of the complaint against the legal standard set forth in Rule
8, which requires "a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Rule 8(a)(2). "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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "Determining whether a
complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] . . . a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense."
Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 679.
plausibility" exists "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. at 678 (citing Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556). Hence, the complaint need not set out
"detailed factual allegations," but something
"more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action" is
required. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. When conducting
its inquiry, the Court "accepts all well-pleaded facts
as true and views those facts in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff." Bustos v. Martini Club Inc.,
599 F.3d 458, 461 (5th Cir. 2010) (quotation marks omitted).
III. ARGUMENTS Shackleford asserts that Plaintiffs complaint
should be dismissed for failure to state a claim against
Shackleford in his individual capacity. (Doc. 6-1 at p. 2).
The Court notes that Shackleford's three-page motion,
which fails to feature a single paragraph offering anything
that, by the most generous standards, could be deemed an
analysis, is devoid of statutory and jurisprudential support
for Defendants' position. Defendants fail to even attempt
to establish how Plaintiffs claims do not apply to
Shackelford in his individual capacity as well as in his
capacity as managing partner of SKR. (Id.). In fact,
Shackleford's motion merely cites case law setting forth
the evidentiary standard that must be applied by this Court
when addressing motions to dismiss, generally.
response, Plaintiff argues that he has sufficiently pled that
Shackleford is an "employer" under the Fair Labor
Standards Act ("FLSA"). (Doc. 8 at p. 3). The FLSA
defines "employer" as "any person acting
directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in
relation to an employee. 29 U.S.C. § 203(d). Plaintiff
further argues that the term "employer" under the
FLSA "includes individuals with managerial
responsibilities and substantial control over the terms and
conditions of the employee's work." Lee v.
Coahoma County, 937 F.2d 220, 226 (5th Cir. 1991). (Doc.
8 at p. 3). Plaintiff also cites the "economic
reality" test set forth by the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Gray v. Powers, 673
F.3d 352, 354 (5th Cir. 1984) to establish that Shackleford
is an "employer." (Doc. 8 at p. 3). Plaintiff
asserts that he has pled all of the required criteria to
establish that Shackleford was an "employer" under
the FLSA. (Id. at p. 4).
Court finds that Plaintiff has pled sufficient facts which,
if taken as true, could form the basis of a valid claim
against Shackleford, both in his individual capacity and in
the capacity as managing member of SKR. "The
overwhelming weight of authority is that a corporate officer
with operational control of a corporation's covered
enterprise is an employer along with the corporation, jointly
and severally liable under the FLSA for unpaid wages."
Donovan v. Grim Hotel Co., 747 F.2d 966, 972 (5th
Cir. 1984). Plaintiff has alleged that Shackelford is a
manager of SKR, that he alone established the payroll policy,
and that he directed and supervised Plaintiff. (Doc. 1 at 1|
10). Because Shackleford may be held jointly and severally
liable for unpaid wages along with SKR, the Court finds no
reason to dismiss Plaintiffs claims as to Shackleford in his
individual capacity at this juncture.
counsel is admonished to review the pleading requirements set
forth in Local Rule 7 for the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Louisiana before submitting future
motions. This motion, given the absence of any cited
authority, has been a complete waste of this Court's
time. It is also clear that this motion took the Court longer
to address than for counsel to draft it. This pleading is
unbecoming of an attorney granted the privilege of practicing
in Federal Court.