The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul A. Engelmayer, District Judge:
Plaintiff Darnell Greathouse brings this action against defendants JHS Security, Inc. ("JHS") and Melvin Wilcox to recover unpaid wages and other damages arising out of the defendants' violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201--219, and the New York Labor Law ("NYLL"), §§ 190--199, 650--665. For the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts the Report and Recommendation of Judge Gorenstein in its entirety, with the exception of his findings as to the amount of liquidated damages, and the total number of workweeks for which Greathouse was not paid.
On November 2, 2011, plaintiff filed the Complaint in this case. Dkt. 1. On November 28, 2011, plaintiff served defendant JHS, and on January 9, 2012, plaintiff served defendant Wilcox. Dkt. 2, 8. Neither defendant made an appearance or filed an answer. Accordingly, on March 15, 2012, the Court entered a default judgment in favor of plaintiff, and referred the case to the Magistrate Judge, Hon. Gabriel W. Gorenstein, to conduct an inquest for damages. Dkt. 12--13. On September 7, 2012, Judge Gorenstein issued a Report and Recommendation (the "Report"). Dkt. 26. On October 9, 2012, plaintiff filed objections to the Report ("Pl. Obj."). Dkt. 28.
Greathouse was employed by JHS, a security company, as a security guard from September 2006 to October 14, 2011. Wilcox is the president and an owner of JHS. Greathouse claims to have received inadequate compensation for work performed, and to have been discharged in retaliation for complaints to Wilcox that he had not received his paycheck. The Court adopts all relevant facts as stated in the Report.
C.Judge Gorenstein's Report
Judge Gorenstein's Report addressed, in turn, each of the claims upon which default judgment had been entered in favor of plaintiff.
1.Status of Defendants as Greathouse's "Employers"
Judge Gorenstein first addressed the threshold question of whether each of the defendants qualified as Greathouse's "employer." Judge Gorenstein found that both JHS and Wilcox exercised sufficient control over Greathouse to qualify as his employer under both the FLSA and NYLL.
2.Overtime Wages Next, Judge Gorenstein found that defendants violated both the FLSA and NYLL by failing to pay Greathouse overtime wages equal to at least 150% of his regular rate of pay for those hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek.
Judge Gorenstein then calculated the damages owed to Greathouse on account of these violations. Judge Gorenstein accepted plaintiff's counsel's estimate that Greathouse worked an average of 50 hours per week for an hourly rate of $7.50. Using these figures, Judge Gorenstein calculated that Greathouse received $375 per week-$37.50 per week less than the $412.50 he was owed.
Greathouse claimed that he worked 267 total weeks between September 2006 and October 14, 2011. However, because Greathouse presented no evidence as to the specific date in September 2006 on which he began working for JHS, Judge Gorenstein assumed that date to be September 30, 2006, and therefore reduced the number of total workweeks to 263. Accordingly, ...