United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States District Judge.
Ella Feldman, employee of defendant Bhrags Home Care, Inc.
("Bhrags"), commenced this action on October 9,
2015, alleging that Bhrags violated the Fair Labor Standards
Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 207(a) (2012), the
New York State Labor Law ("NYLL"), N.Y. Lab. Law
§ 652, and the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act
("WTPA"), N.Y. Lab. Law § 195.1. (Compl. (Doc.
No. 1).) Bhrags's alleged violations include the
following: (1) failing to pay Feldman overtime wages under
the FLSA for work performed in excess of 40 hours in a work
week; (2) failing to pay Feldman overtime wages under the
NYLL; and (3) failing to provide Feldman with required
notices under the WTPA. (See id) On January 28,
2016, Bhrags filed an answer to the complaint. (See
Answer (Doc. No. 14).) Subsequently. Bhrags moved for
judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure ("Rule") 12(c). (See generally Mot.
to Dismiss (Doc. No. 16-1).) For the reasons stated below,
Bhrags's motion is granted, and the case is dismissed.
following facts are taken from Feldman's complaint and
considered to be true for purposes of this motion for
judgment on the pleadings. Bhrags, a not-for-profit
corporation operating in the state of New York, provides home
health care aid services to the elderly and disabled.
(See Compl. at ¶ 4.) Feldman was employed as a
Home Health Aide ("HHA") by Bhrags from in or
around 2006 "until January 2015." (Id at
alleges that, during the course of her employment as an HHA,
her daily tasks consisted of "providing] home health
care aide services - other than companion services - to her
assigned patient including, without limitation, doing
laundry, shopping, cleaning the apartment, cooking, feeding
and bathing the patient." (Id. at ¶ 15.)
According to Feldman, the foregoing services took up more
than twenty percent (20%) of the time she spent with her
assigned patient. (Id) Feldman was compensated for
her work at a base rate of $10.00 per hour. (Id
alleges that she typically worked approximately fifty-six
(56) hours per week, (id. at ¶ 14), and that
she was wrongfully denied overtime compensation at one and
one-half times her base rate of pay for hours worked in
excess of forty (40) per week. (\d. at
3-5.)Feldman further alleges that Bhrags failed
to provide her with required notices of pay rates and other
pay-related details at the time of her hire, upon changes to
her wages, and every year prior to February 1. (See
Id. at 4). Based upon the foregoing, Feldman claims
damages of not less than $31,000. (Id at ¶ 32.)
to Rule 12(c), "[a]fter the pleadings are closed ... a
party may move for judgment on the pleadings." Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(c), Judgment on the pleadings is appropriate only
where all material facts are undisputed and "a judgment
on the merits is possible merely by considering the contents
of the pleadings."" Mennella v. Office of Court
Admin., 938 F. Supp. 128, 131 (E.D.N.Y. 1996),
affel, 164 F.3d 618 (2d Cir. 1998) (citing
Sellers v. M.C Floor Crofters, Inc., 842 F.2d 639,
642 (2d Cir. 1988)). In all other respects, a motion brought
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) is analyzed
under the same standard applicable to a motion under Rule
12(b)(6). See Patel v. Contemporary Classics of Beverly
Hills, 259 F.3d 123, 126 (2d Cir. 2001); Burmtte v.
Carothers, 192 F.3d 52, 56 (2d Cir. 1999). Thus, the
Court's review is limited to the facts alleged or
incorporated by reference in the complaint, documents
attached to the complaint, and matters of which the Court may
take judicial notice. See Chambers v. Time Warner,
Inc., 282 F.3d 147, 153 (2d Cir. 2002); Diamond v.
Local 807 Labor-Mgmt. Pension Fund, No. 12-CV-5559 (RRM)
(VVP), 2014 WL 527898, at *1 n.l (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 2014).
Court assumes the truth of the facts alleged, and draws all
reasonable inferences in the nonmovant's favor. See
Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 71 (2d Cir. 2009). In
order to withstand 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) (citing Bell Atlantic Carp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); Hayden v.
Paterson, 594 F.3d 150, 161 (2d Cir. 2010). Although the
complaint need not contain "'detailed factual
allegations,"" simple "[t]hreadbare recitals
of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere
conclusory statements, do not suffice." Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555);
Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66. 72 (2d Cir. 2009).
Companionship Services Under the FLSA
1938, Congress enacted the FLSA to eliminate "labor
conditions detrimental to the maintenance of the minimum
standard of living necessary for health, efficiency, and
general well-being of workers . . . ." 29 U.S.C. §
202(a); see Reiseck v. Universal Commc 'm of Miami,
Inc., 591 F.3d 101, 104 (2d Cir. 2010). Although the
FLSA imposes certain "wage and hour" requirements -
including overtime pay requirements - on employers, it also
contains numerous exemptions. See Reiseck 591 F.3d
at 104-05. During Feldman's employment with Bhrags and at
all times relevant to Feldman's complaint, the FLSA
contained a companionship services exemption, which exempted
from its minimum wage and maximum hours requirements any
employee who is "employed in domestic service employment
to provide companionship services for individuals who
(because of age or infirmity) are unable to care for
themselves .. . ." 29 U.S.C.
Department of Labor ("DOL") regulation in cited
during Feldman's employment defined the term
"companionship services" as "those services
which provide fellowship, care, and protection for a person
who, because of advanced age or physical or mental infirmity,
cannot care for his or her own needs.'" 29 C.F.R.
§ 552.6 (2014); see 29 U.S.C. § 213
(a)(15) (leaving the term "companionship
services'" to be "defined and delimited by
regulations of the Secretary [of Labor]"); Long
Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke, 551 U.S. 158, 162
(2007) (finding the DOL's regulation valid and binding).
The regulation specifies that companionship services
"may include household work related to the care of the
aged or infirm person such as meal preparation, bed making,
washing of clothes, and other similar services." 29
C.F.R. § 552.6. In an opinion letter, the DOL provided
additional clarification concerning what types of "other
similar services" would be included in the exemption:
[I]t is our opinion that such activities as cleaning the
patient's bedroom, bathroom or kitchen, picking up
groceries, medicine, and dry cleaning would be related to
personal care of the patient and would be they type of
household work that would ...