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Butt v. HF Management Services, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 13, 2020

AMIR BUTT, Plaintiff,
v.
HF MANAGEMENT SERVICES, LLC, AND HEALTHFIRST PHSP, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          ANN M. DONNELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On January 23, 2019, the plaintiff filed this action on behalf of himself and other Medicare sales marketing representatives employed by HF Management Services, LLC, alleging that their employer failed to pay them overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. and the New York Labor Law §§ 650 et seq., failed to furnish accurate wage statements in violation of New York Labor Law § 195, and failed to pay them commissions in violation of New York Labor Law § 193. (ECF No. 8.) On April 3, 2019, the defendants moved to dismiss the claims against them. (ECF Nos. 13, 14.) For the reasons that follow, I grant the defendants' motion to dismiss.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         The defendants operate a provider-sponsored health insurance company that offers Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Child Health Plus, and Managed Long Term Care health insurance plans. (ECF No. 8 ¶¶ 31-32.) The named plaintiff worked as a marketing representative for the defendants from February of 2017 to April 27, 2018. (Id. ¶ 9.) The defendants tasked marketing representatives to sell Medicare health insurance plans to prospective clients in specific geographical zones. (Id. ¶¶ 33-34.)

         The named plaintiff was assigned to work in the defendants' "Brooklyn South" zone. (Id. ¶ 36.) The defendants maintained three offices in Brooklyn, and directed the plaintiff to report to their Brooklyn South office on 86th Street. (Id. ¶¶ 35-36.) From there, the defendants assigned the plaintiff to spend three days a week or more at set locations within Coney Island Hospital and the Ida G Israel Community Health Center, and one day a week or more at set locations within CVS pharmacies. (Id. ¶¶ 38-39.) The defendants occasionally assigned the plaintiff to work at specific doctors' offices. (Id. ¶ 40.)

         At these locations, the plaintiff set up marketing stations-using tables and signs provided by the defendants-and attempted to sell the defendants' insurance products. (Id. ¶ 42.) The plaintiffs primary work duties include selling the defendants' products, providing customer service, and filling out forms and paperwork. (Id. ¶ 44.) The plaintiff believes that the defendants have contracts with these locations that allow them to market and sell Medicare health insurance plans on site. (Id. ¶ 37.)

         The defendants scheduled the plaintiff to work an eight-and-a-half-hour shift-from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.-including an unpaid half-hour lunch break, for five days a week. (Id. ¶ 48.) The plaintiff alleges that he regularly started work at 8:00 a.m., worked through his lunch break, and spent thirty to sixty minutes after his shift finishing sales, answering customer questions, and delivering completed paperwork to the defendants' Brooklyn South office. (Id. ¶¶ 50-52.) The plaintiff also alleges that management required him to provide his cell phone number to customers, which resulted in the plaintiff working hours outside his shift to answer questions from customers and prospective customers. (Id. ¶ 53.) Finally, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants scheduled him to work a sixth day during busy times, such as the open enrollment period. (Id. ¶47.)

         The plaintiff claims that he was not compensated for his post-shift work and estimates that he worked between one to two hours per day overtime that was not compensated. (Id. ¶¶ 54-55.)

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is facially plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The alleged facts must "raise a right to relief above the speculative level..." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. "[A] formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. at 555. Pleadings must be construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Hayden v. Paterson, 594 F.3d 150, 160 (2d Cir. 2010).

         DISCUSSION

         The defendants argue that the plaintiff has failed to state a claim for unpaid overtime because his allegations do not support a reasonable inference that he worked more than forty hours in a given week or that his employer knew that he was working overtime. The defendants argue that even if the plaintiff had made a viable overtime claim, the plaintiff is an "outside salesperson" exempt from the FLSA's and NYLL's overtime pay requirements. The plaintiff responds that he has alleged enough facts to state a claim for unpaid overtime, and that the defendants' remaining arguments are better suited for a motion for summary judgment.

         I. The Plaintiffs Overtime Claim

         Under both federal and New York law, employees who work more than forty hours a week must be compensated for any additional hours at a rate of at least one and a half times their regular hourly wage. See 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1); 29 C.F.R. § 778.110(a); 12 N.Y.C.R.R. § 146-1.4; see also Nakahata v. New York-Presbyterian Healthcare Sys., Inc.,723 F.3d 192, 200 (2d Cir. 2013) (noting that the NYLL adopts the FLSA definition of overtime); Valdez v. H&SRest. Operations, Inc., No. 14-CV-4701, 2016 WL 3079028, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 29, 2016), report and recommendation adopted, 2016 WL 3087053 (E.D.N.Y. May 27, 2016) ("New York's Labor Law is the state analogue to the federal FLSA. Although the Labor Law does not require a plaintiff to show either a nexus with ...


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