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Guzman-Reina v. ABCO Maintenance, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

December 29, 2017

SHIRLEY GUZMAN-REINA, on behalf of herself and all others similarly-situated, Plaintiff,
v.
ABCO MAINTENANCE, INC., JAMES VIRGA, THOMAS VIRGA, and PETE GHAZARIAN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          GLASSER, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Shirley Guzman-Reina (“Plaintiff”), a former dispatcher, brings this action on behalf of herself and others similarly-situated against ABCO Maintenance, Inc., ABCO's CEO James Virga, its President Thomas Virga, and Pete Ghazarian, who was Plaintiff's supervisor (collectively, “the Defendants”) seeking payment of unpaid wages and overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §207(a)(1) (“FLSA”), and New York labor law. Plaintiff also seeks other various forms of relief including liquidated damages, civil penalties, interest, costs, and attorneys' fees.

         Currently before the Court is the Defendants' motion to dismiss all claims against them pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons set forth below, the Defendants' motion is hereby DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         The following facts are taken from the Plaintiff's Complaint (“Complt.”) and are accepted as true for purposes of this motion. From September 23, 2013 through May 2, 2016, Plaintiff worked as one of several dispatchers for the Defendants at ABCO Maintenance in Staten Island, New York. Complt. at ¶¶ 2, 9. As a dispatcher, Plaintiff was responsible for communicating and coordinating with ABCO's laborers regarding their daily tasks. Id. at ¶18. Plaintiff typically worked five night-shifts per week, beginning at 10 p.m. and ending the following morning at either 7 or 8 a.m. Id. at ¶ 19.

         Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants routinely required her to work more than forty hours per workweek and that she regularly worked “between forty-five and fifty hours per week” without additional compensation. Id. at ¶ 19, 21. Plaintiff further alleges that the Defendants generally refused to pay wages for more than 40 hours of work, as a deliberate policy, and that they obscured their time keeping records to minimize such payments. Id. at ¶ 21.

         Plaintiff initiated this action on March 7, 2017, asserting FLSA and state law claims. (Dkt. 1). On May 8, 2017, the Defendants filed a joint motion to dismiss the Complaint and a memorandum of law in Support of their motion (“Def.'s MOL”). (Dkt. 16, 16-11). On June 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed her opposition to the Defendants' joint motion to dismiss, (“Pls.' MOL”). (Dkt. 21). On June 28, 2017, the Defendants filed their reply (“Reply”). (Dkt. 23).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a complaint to include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” To survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the plaintiff's pleading 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) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim has facial plausibility “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the Court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         Although detailed factual allegations are not necessary, the pleading must include more than an “unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation;” mere legal conclusions, “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, ” or “naked assertions” by the plaintiff will not suffice. Id. (internal quotations and citations omitted). This plausibility standard “is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is “a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. But where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).

         II. Extrinsic Documents

         “In adjudicating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a district court must confine its consideration to facts stated on the face of the complaint, in documents appended to the complaint or incorporated in the complaint by reference, and to matters of which judicial notice may be taken.” Serdarevic v. Centex Homes, LLC, 760 F.Supp.2d 322, 328 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) (quoting Leonard F. v. Israel Disc. Bank of N.Y., 199 F.3d 99, 107 (2d Cir. 1999)). If the Court considers “matters outside the pleadings, ” then “the motion must be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d); see Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc., 282 F.3d 147, 154 (2d Cir. 2002).

         The Defendants attach numerous exhibits to their motion. Dkt. 16, Exs. A-I. The Court will not consider these extrinsic documents in deciding the Defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) motion. The Defendants' exhibits are internal communications, financial statements, and other documents that are neither appended to nor referenced in the Complaint, and are not the kinds of facts that may be judicially noticed. Fed.R.Evid. 201(b). Moreover, Plaintiff may not have been aware of much of this information. Since “lack of notice” is the primary “harm to the plaintiff when a court considers material extraneous to the complaint, ...


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