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Quintero v. Anjudiromi Construction Corp.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 21, 2018

LUIS FERNANDO QUINTERO, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
ANJUDIROMI CONSTRUCTION CORP. (d/b/a ANJUDIROMI CONSTRUCTION CORP.), 1221-122 REALTY LLC (d/b/a 2000 LLC), DIEGO RAMIREZ, JOHN DOE 1, and JOHN DOE 2, Defendants.

          Attorneys for Plaintiff MICHAEL FAILLACE & ASSOCIATES, P.C. Joshua S. Androphy, Esq.

          Attorneys for Defendants Diego Ramirez and Anjudiromi Construction Corp. PAULOSE & ASSOCIATES PLLC, Jasmine E. Guadalupe, Esq.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. SWEET, U.S.D.J.

         Defendants Diego Ramirez ("Ramirez") and Anjudiromi Construction Corporation ("Anjudiromi Construction") (collectively, the "Defendants") have moved pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 for summary judgment against Plaintiff Luis Fernando Quintero ("Quintero" or the "Plaintiff"), who has alleged Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and New York Labor Law ("NYLL") minimum wage, overtime, and liquidated damages claims. Based on the facts and conclusions set forth below, Defendants' motion for summary judgment is denied.

         I. Prior Proceedings

         Plaintiff filed the complaint (the "Complaint") on November 11, 2016 against the Defendants. (See Dkt. No. 1.) In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges violations of the FLSA and NYLL minimum wage provisions (Counts One & Three), the FLSA and NYLL overtime provisions (Counts Two & Four), the NYLL spread of hours wage order (Count Five), the NYLL notice and recordkeeping requirements (Count Six), the NYLL wage statement provisions (Count Seven), and the recovery of equipment costs in violation of the FLSA and NYLL (Count Eight).[1] (See Compl. ¶¶ 77-113.)

         On November 30, 2017, Defendants Ramirez and Anjudiromi Construction moved for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 38.) The instant motion was heard and marked fully submitted on January 3, 2018.[2]

         II. The Facts

         The facts have been set forth in the Defendants' Statements of Material Facts, (Dkt. No. 40), and the Plaintiff's Rule 56.1 Counter-Statement, (Dkt. No. 50). The facts are not in dispute except as noted below.

         Defendant Ramirez is the sole owner and operator of Anjudiromi Construction, and the Plaintiff is a former employee of the business. (Ramirez Dep. 11:2-5.[3]) Anjudiromi Construction is a building maintenance company responsible for maintaining and cleaning the residential building located at 2000 Prospect Avenue, Bronx, New York, 10458 (the "Building"). (See Ex. B, Notice to Admit ¶ 1; Ramirez Dep. 11:11-16; Quintero Dep. 10:18-25.) Defendant Ramirez hired Plaintiff to provide maintenance services at the Building from approximately June, July, or August 2014 through May 25, 2016. (See Ramirez Dep. at 11:11-16 and 16:9-13; Quintero Dep. 10:18-25, 9:9 and 27:2-3; Quintero Decl. ¶ 2.) The maintenance services the Plaintiff provided to the Building included "sweep[ing], pick[ing] up the garbage, repair[ing] things in all the apartments." (See Quintero Dep. 10:18-25.) There are approximately 64 apartments in the Building. (See Quintero Decl. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff was paid at least $4 50 per week for the entire duration of his employment. (See Ramirez Dep. 36:14-23; Ramirez Dec. ¶ 9.)

         Ill. The Applicable Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate only where "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). A dispute is "genuine" if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The relevant inquiry on application for summary judgment is "whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law." Id. at 251-52. A court is not charged with weighing the evidence and determining its truth, but with determining whether there is a genuine issue for trial. Nestinghouse Elec. Corp. v. N.Y.C. Transit Auth., 735 F.Supp. 1205, 1212 (S.D.N.Y. 1990) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249). "The moving party is 'entitled to a judgment as a matter of law' because the nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of her case with respect to which she has the burden of proof." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48 (emphasis in original).

         IV. The Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is Denied

          a. The FLSA Claims (Counts One & Two)

         Plaintiff alleges that the FLSA applies to Defendants, and that they violated the statute's minimum wage and overtime provisions. Defendants argue that they should be granted summary judgment on all of Plaintiff's FLSA claims because the statute's provisions do not apply to them. Specifically, the Defendants argue that they did not engage in, or direct the Plaintiff to engage in, interstate commerce as defined by the FLSA.

         To establish liability under the FLSA, Plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that Defendants were employers pursuant to the statute, and that they were engaged in interstate commerce. See 29 U.S.C. §§ 203, 206, 207; see also Herman v. RSR Sec. Servs. Ltd., 172 F.3d 132, 139 (2d Cir. 1999) (citing 29 U.S.C. § 203(d) (1994)) ("To be held liable under the FLSA, a person must be an 'employer, ' which [29 U.S.C. § 203(d)] of the statute defines broadly as 'any person acting directly or indirectly ...


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