The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Paul A. Crotty, United States District Judge:
On June 13, 2011, pro se Plaintiff Edwin Williams ("Williams") filed this action, pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (the "FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq, against his former employer, Defendant Secure Resources Communications ("Secure Resources"). Williams claims Secure Resources withheld pay and that he was not given a W-2 wage statement. He seeks $24,000.00 in damages for what is at most $32.00 in withheld wages, as well as $2,000,000.00 in punitive damages. Williams worked for four hours at $8 per hour before he was fired for sleeping on his first day on the job.
On June 27, 2011, this Court referred the case to Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz for general pretrial matters and dispositive motions. (Dkt. No. 4.) On August 25, 2011, Defendant Secure Resources moved to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). On September 26, 2011, Magistrate Judge Katz issued a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") recommending that Defendant's motion to dismiss be granted in part and denied in part. Both parties filed timely objections. The Court has reviewed the R&R, as well as the objections. For the reasons that follow, the Court adopts Magistrate Judge Katz's recommendations, insofar as it grants Secure Resources' motion to dismiss Williams' claim concerning his W-2 statement.
With respect to the FLSA claim, the Court intends to convert the 12(b)(6) motion pursuant to Rule 12(d) into one for summary judgment. The parties are to respond as requested by this order, and the Court will proceed to address the merits of Williams' claim.
Williams was employed by Secure Resources from November 14, 2010 to November 15, 2010 as a security guard. He alleges that after approximately four hours of work, he was fired from his position for sleeping on the job. Williams claims that Secure Resources never paid him for the time he worked, and that he was not given a W-2 wage statement.
On December 10, 2010, Williams filed suit against Secure Resources in New York City Civil Court, Bronx County on his wage and hour claims. His attempt to remove the matter to this Court was rejected by Judge Richard Sullivan. Williams then voluntarily dismissed his Civil Court complaint and filed this FLSA action here in Federal Court. In a letter to the Court dated August 25, 2011, Secure Resources moved to dismiss the Complaint under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Secure Resources argued that it had paid Williams for the hours he worked and that he had been given a W-2 wage statement.
II.Magistrate Judge Katz's Report and Recommendation
In his R&R, Magistrate Judge Katz recommended that the Court grant in part and deny in part Secure Resources' motion to dismiss. Magistrate Judge Katz found that although Williams stated a claim under the FLSA for unpaid wages, Williams did not have a cause of action for Secure Resources' alleged failure to provide him with a W-2 statement.
In considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court must "take [ ] factual allegations [in the complaint] to be true and draw [ ] all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor." Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 71 (2d Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). Although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). As pro se litigants "are entitled to a liberal construction of their pleadings, [their complaints] should be read to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest." Green v. United States,260 F.3d 78, 83 (2d Cir. 2001) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
A. Plaintiff's Wage Claim
The FLSA provides that "[e]very employer shall pay to each of his employees" a statutorily prescribed minimum wage. 29 U.S.C. §§ 206(a), 216(b). To state a claim under the FLSA, a plaintiff must allege, at a minimum, the approximate number of unpaid hours worked. See Nichols v. Mahoney, 608 F. Supp. 2d 526, 547 (S.D.N.Y. 2009).
Magistrate Judge Katz found that Williams alleged that he was not paid
any wages for his four hours of work for Secure Resources, and that
this allegation was sufficient to plea a claim under the FLSA.
Although Secure Resources offered evidence to show that the company
paid Williams for his four hours of work, Magistrate Judge Katz found
that absent a "cancelled check, or pay receipt signed by Plaintiff . .
. the evidence [did] not establish that Plaintiff actually received
his wages." (R&R 4.) ...