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Leon v. The Port Wash. Union Free Sch. Dist.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

September 30, 2014

AMERICA LEON, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
THE PORT WASHINGTON UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant

For Plaintiff: Steven John Moser, Esq., STEVEN J. MOSER, P.C., Gen Cove, NY.

For Defendant: Howard M. Miller, Esq., BOND, SCHOENECK & KING, PLLC, Garden City, NY.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

LEONARD D. WEXLER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Plaintiff America Leon (" Leon" or " Plaintiff') brings this action against Defendant Port Washington Union Free School District (" District" or " Defendant" ) for failure to pay overtime wages under Fair Labor Standards Act (" FLSA" ), 29 U.S.C. § § 201 et seq.[1] Plaintiff also asserts a breach of contract claim, seeking monetary and declaratory relief on behalf of all custodial and maintenance members of the Civil Service Employee's Association, Local 1000 (" Union" ) to enforce two collective

Page 354

bargaining agreements between the District and the Union.[2] Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff's claims pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (" Fed.R.Civ.P." ), Rule 12(b)(6). For the reasons discussed below, Defendant's motion to dismiss is denied without prejudice to renew as a motion for summary judgment following discovery or at the time of trial.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are alleged in Plaintiff's second amended complaint and accepted as true for the purpose of this motion to dismiss. Plaintiff was employed by the District as a cleaner from August 16, 2001 until July 1, 2013. Second Amended Complaint (" SAC" ), ¶ 40. Throughout her employment, it was the custom and practice of the District that Plaintiff and others reported their shift hours, rather than actual hours worked. Plaintiff's regular shift hours constituted 40 hours per week. Plaintiff usually worked approximately 15 minutes to 1/2 hour prior to her scheduled shift, which " pre-shift" work amounted to approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours per week. That extra uncompensated " pre-shift" work constituted overtime that was uncompensated. SAC, ¶ ¶ 41-48. In addition, for the six years prior to filing the complaint, Plaintiff " almost never" took a bona fide meal period, during the school year, and instead would eat lunch in 5-10 minutes between working. SAC, ¶ 49. Nevertheless, the District deducted a 1/2 hour meal period from Plaintiff's pay, which should have been compensated as overtime. SAC, ¶ 50-51. The precise amount of uncompensated work time during meal periods is unknown, but it is estimated that Plaintiff had a bona fide meal period 1 out of every 20 days while school was in session. SAC, ¶ ¶ 52-53.

Regarding the breach of contract claim, Plaintiff alleges that she and others are members of the Union, which entered into collective bargaining agreements (" CBAs" ) with the District from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2010 (Exhibit (" Ex." ) A to the SAC) and again from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2012, attached to the SAC as Ex. B. The CBAs provide that covered employees were entitled to a 1/2 hour meal time and overtime compensation for hours worked over 40 per week. Plaintiff alleges that the grievance section specifically provides that such procedures do not apply to matters involving rates of compensation. SAC, ¶ ¶ 55-60. The District breached its obligations under the CBAs by failing to record and to adequately compensate Plaintiff and other covered employees for all hours worked, SAC, ¶ ¶ 61-68.

Defendant moves to dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff fails to state a claim under the FLSA, that Plaintiff has no standing to bring a breach of contract claim, that the breach of contract claim is untimely, and should be dismissed for failure to file a notice of claim. The Court denies Defendant's motion, without prejudice to renew as a motion for summary judgment after discovery or at the time of trial.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Principles

1. Standards on Motion to Dismiss

In considering a motion to dismiss made pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept the factual allegations in the complaints as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of Plaintiff. Bolt Elec. v. City of New York,53 F.3d 465, 469 (2d Cir. 1995). In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. ...


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