United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER
PAUL OETKEN, District Judge
Jose Hernandez Pineda, Moises Luna Rodriguez, and Natalio
Pastor Cristobal allege that Defendants failed to pay their
minimum and overtime wages, violating both the Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law (NYLL).
Plaintiffs have served all Defendants; Defendants have not
answered the complaint or otherwise appeared in this action
and certificates of default have been filed as to each
Defendant. (Dkt. Nos. 14-16, 21, 31-34.) Plaintiffs now move
for default judgment in the amount of $131, 826.28. (Dkt. No.
42.) For the reasons that follow, the motion is granted.
operate a full-service restaurant doing business as Little
Rascal and located at 163 Elizabeth Street, New York, New
York. (Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 16.) Defendants Atilgan, Feyzioglu,
and Gundogdu owned and controlled Little Rascal and had the
power to set the wages and hours of its employees.
(Id. ¶¶ 17-25.) Plaintiffs allege that
they were employed by Little Rascal to work as cooks,
dishwashers, cleaners, and deliverymen in 2014 and 2015.
(Id. ¶¶ 27-28, 32-33, 37-38.) They allege
that they each worked over eighty hours per week, and a
spread of hours greater than ten approximately six days per
week. (Dkt. No. 43 at 7.)
claim that Little Rascal never paid them overtime for the
hours they worked over forty hours per week, and never paid
spread-of-hours compensation. (Dkt. No. 1 ¶¶
42-43.) They also claim that Little Rascal did not pay
Plaintiff Pastor Cristobal for the one hour per week when he
purchased groceries for the restaurant. (Id. ¶
44.) And Little Rascal never provided Plaintiffs with a
notice and acknowledgment at the time of hiring or statements
of their payment of wages at the time of payment.
(Id. ¶¶ 45-46.)
provide calculations of the amount owed. For Plaintiff
Hernandez Pineda, this amounts to $11, 665.36 in overtime and
$1, 671.43 in spread-of-hours pay. (Dkt. No. 43 at 9.) For
Plaintiff Luna Rodriguez, this amounts to $9, 200.00 in
overtime and $2415.00 in spread-of-hours pay. (Id.)
And for Plaintiff Pastor Cristobal, this amounts to $11,
665.36 in overtime, $2, 737.71 in spread-of-hours pay, and
$524.29 in unpaid wages (for the grocery shopping).
(Id. at 10.) The overtime figures are calculated by
multiplying an average number of overtime hours per week by
the number of weeks work by the overtime pay-rate; the
spread-of-hours figures are calculated by multiplying the
days per week with spread greater than ten hours by the
applicable minimum wage by the number of weeks. (Id.
Standard of Review
Defendants have failed to answer the complaint, they have
conceded Plaintiffs' well-pleaded allegations of
liability. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(b)(6); S.E.C. v.
Razmilovic, 738 F.3d 14, 19 (2d Cir. 2013). But because
a party in default does not admit conclusions of law, the
Court must determine whether those allegations establish a
sound legal basis for liability. Jemine v. Dennis,
901 F.Supp.2d 365, 373 (E.D.N.Y. 2012) (citing Au Bon
Pain Corp. v. Artect, Inc., 653 F.2d 61, 65 (2d Cir.
1981)). Moreover, to secure a default judgment for damages,
the plaintiff must produce evidence sufficient to establish
damages with “reasonable certainty.” Cement
& Concrete Workers Dist. Council Welfare Fund v. Metro
Found. Contractors, Inc., 699 F.3d 230, 235 (2d Cir.
2012) (quoting Credit Lyonnais Sec. (USA), Inc. v.
Alcantara, 183 F.3d 151, 155 (2d Cir. 1999) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). District courts have “much
discretion” to determine whether to hold an inquest on
damages; an inquest is not mandatory, and a plaintiff's
damages may be established by “detailed affidavits and
documentary evidence.” Id. at 234 (quoting
Tamarin v. Adam Caterers, Inc., 13 F.3d 51, 54 (2d
Allegations in Support of Liability
state a FLSA minimum wage claim, a plaintiff must allege that
she was the defendant's employee, that her work involved
intestate activity, and that she worked hours for which she
did not receive minimum and/or overtime wages. Zhong v.
August August Corp., 498 F.Supp.2d 625, 628 (S.D.N.Y.
2007); see also Lundy v. Catholic Health Sys. of Long
Island, Inc., 711 F.3d 106, 114 (2d Cir. 2013)
(“[T]o survive a motion to dismiss [a FLSA overtime
claim], Plaintiffs must allege sufficient factual matter to
state a plausible claim that they worked compensable overtime
in a workweek longer than 40 hours.”).
the Court finds that Plaintiffs are employees for FLSA
purposes. See Irizarry v. Catsimatidis, 722 F.3d 99,
104-05 (2d Cir. 2013) (explaining that courts look to the
“economic reality” of a working relationship to
determine employee status for FLSA purposes); Brock v.
Superior Care, Inc., 840 F.2d 1054, 1058-59 (2d Cir.
1988) (listing factors relevant to the analysis). Their work
in Defendants' restaurant was fully controlled by
Defendants; Plaintiffs were not working independently. (Dkt.
No. 1 ¶¶ 26-38.) Moreover, all Defendants were
employers of Plaintiffs, as they had supervision and control
over their work and their payment, and had the power to hire
and fire them. See Irizarry, 722 F.3d at 103-04
(defining employers for FLSA purposes).
an employee is covered by FLSA if she is “employed in
an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of
goods for commerce.” 29 U.S.C. §§ 206,
207(a)(1). “Commerce” is defined as
“commerce . . . between any State and any place outside
thereof.” 29 U.S.C. § 203(b). Plaintiffs here have
alleged that Little Rascal is an enterprise engaged in
commerce, therefore their work is covered by the FLSA. (Dkt.
No. 1 ¶ 51.)
Plaintiffs must allege that they did not receive minimum and
overtime wages. To state a FLSA minimum wage claim, it is
sufficient for a plaintiff to allege facts about her salary
and working hours, such that a simple arithmetical
calculation can be used to determine the amount owed per pay
period. Zhong, 498 F.Supp.2d at 629. Likewise, to
state a FLSA overtime claim, a plaintiff must allege only
that she worked compensable overtime in a workweek longer
than forty hours, and that she was not properly compensated
for that overtime. Nakahata v. N.Y.-Presbyterian
Healthcare Sys., Inc., 723 F.3d 192, 201 (2d Cir. 2013)
(“To plead a plausible FLSA overtime claim, Plaintiffs
must provide sufficient detail about the length and frequency
of their unpaid work to support a reasonable inference that
they worked more than forty hours in a given week.”).
Plaintiffs allege that they worked a regular schedule of over
eighty hours per week-84.5 hours for Hernandez Pineda, 80
hours for Luna Rodriguez, and 84.5 hours for Pastor