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Morales v. MW Bronx, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

January 26, 2017

LISSA MORALES, et ah, Plaintiffs,
v.
MW BRONX, INC., et al, Defendants.

          OPINION

          THOMAS P. GRIESA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiffs Lissa Morales, Danny Jimenez-Corcione, and Thomas R. Martinez commenced this action on August 11, 2015 against defendants MW Bronx, Inc., et al., alleging, among other things, that defendants were in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. ("FLSA") and the New York Labor Law, NYLL § 650 et seq. ("NYLL"). Specifically, plaintiffs seek to recover unpaid minimum wages, overtime premium wages, liquidated damages, and statutory penalties pursuant to the FLSA and NYLL.

         On March 1, 2016, plaintiffs filed a motion for default judgment because defendants failed to answer or otherwise appear in this case. The Court issued an opinion on August 1, 2016, which ruled, among other things, that: (1) plaintiff Jimenez-Corcione is owed unpaid minimum wages, overtime wages, spread-of-hours pay, liquidated damages, and pre- and post-judgment interest; (2) Jiminez-Corcione is owed attorney's fees and costs; and (3) that all plaintiffs are owed damages for defendants' failure to provide regular wage statements and annual wage notices as required by the NYLL. ECF No. 35 at 32. The Court i however reserved judgment on whether plaintiffs Martinez and Morales were entitled to recover under the FLSA and NYLL until after they filed supplemental affidavits to cure a number of factual defects in their original Motion papers.

         Plaintiffs Martinez and Morales filed supplemental affidavits on August 22, 2016 pursuant to the Court's August 1, 2016 opinion. After reviewing these corrective filings, the Court, for the reasons discussed further below, GRANTS plaintiffs Martinez and Morales request for default judgment.

         BACKGROUND

         The Court assumes familiarity with the basic facts of this case, which were discussed more fully in the Court's August 1, 2016 opinion. The Court focuses here on the relevant facts supplied by Martinez's and Morales' supplemental affidavits.

         Plaintiff Martinez began working at a Master Wok restaurant in the Bronx on December 5, 2014. He alleges that he was promised an hourly wage of $8.50 but was instead paid $8.25 per hour. During his first week of work at Master Wok, Martinez worked 40 regular hours and 16 overtime hours - 56 hours in total. In his second week of work, Martinez again worked 40 regular hours and 16 overtime hours. In his final time at Master Wok, Martinez worked 32 regular hours. In all, Martinez worked eighteen days during the period beginning December 5, 2014 to December 22, 2014 and a total of 144 hours, of which 112 were regular hours and 32 were overtime hours.

         Master Wok paid Martinez for 56.5 hours of work at his regular wage, which amounted to $466.13. Master Wok did not pay Martinez for the remaining 55.5 hours of regular time or the 32 hours of overtime.

         Plaintiff Morales began working at Master Wok on December 11, 2014. Like her co-plaintiff Martinez, Morales alleges that she was promised an hourly wage of $8.50 but was paid at a rate of $8.25 per hour. During Morales' first week of work, she worked a total of 62.5 hours, which amounts to 40 hours of regular time and 22.5 hours of overtime. In her second week, Morales worked 74 hours, or 40 hours of regular time and 34 hours of overtime. In all, Morales worked 14 days during the period beginning December 11, 2014 to December 24, 2014. Morales worked a total of 136.5 hours, of which 80 were regular hours and 56.5 were overtime hours.

         Master Wok compensated Morales for 80 hours of regular wages and 2.75 hours of overtime wages. Master Wok did not pay Morales for the remaining 53.75 hours of overtime wages.

         DISCUSSION

         In light of the Court's August 1, 2016 opinion, the only questions remaining in this case are whether and to what extent plaintiffs Morales and Martinez are entitled to damages and attorney's fees and costs under the FLSA and NYLL.

         I. Liability Under the FLSA

         Plaintiffs have moved for default judgment on two FLSA claims: (1) failure to pay the applicable minimum wage and (2) failure to pay overtime premium wages. An employer is subject to liability under the FLSA if it is an "enterprise engaged in commerce." 29 U.S.C. §§ 206(b), 207(a). The Court already ruled in its August 1, ...


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