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Duby v. Shirley Mays Place, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

March 16, 2017

JASON DUBY, Plaintiff,

          Elizabeth A. Stafford United States Magistrate Judge.


          Paul D. Borman United States District Judge.

         In this action, Plaintiff Jason Duby alleges that Defendants Shirley May's Place, LLC and Denise A. Walsh willfully failed and refused to pay Plaintiff minimum wages as required by the Federal Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 206, and Michigan's Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (“MWOWA”), Mich. Comp. Laws § 408.413. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants knowingly and willfully failed to compensate Plaintiff at a rate not less than one and one-half times Plaintiff's regular rate for work weeks longer than forty hours, as required by FLSA and MWOWA. See 29 U.S.C. § 207; Mich. Comp. Laws § 408.414a.

         Now before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, filed on May 23, 2016. (ECF No. 8, Defs.' Mot.) Plaintiff filed a timely Response on June 13, 2016 (ECF No. 10, Pl.'s Resp.), and Defendants did not file a reply. This Court held a hearing on the Motion on September 16, 2016. For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Defendants' motion to dismiss.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges that he is Defendants' former employee, and that he worked as a clerk at Defendants' party store, Shirley May's Place (“SMP”). (Am. Compl. at ¶¶ 3, 4, 12-13.) Defendant Denise Walsh was the sole owner and resident agent of Defendant Shirley May's Place, LLC and had control over its day-to-day operations. (Id. at ¶¶ 17-18.)

         Plaintiff was employed by Defendants from approximately May 21, 2014 to approximately March 26, 2016. (Id. at ¶ 13.) Plaintiff typically worked from 5:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. (Id. at ¶ 14.) Plaintiff also received occasional days off for vacation and holidays. (Id.)

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants never paid him wages (standard or overtime) for the hours he worked. (Am. Compl. at ¶ 15.) Defendants also did not provide Plaintiff with a statement of the hours he worked, the wages he was paid, or any deductions taken. (Id. at ¶ 16.) Plaintiff alleges on information and belief that Defendants also never provided this information to state or federal agencies. (Id.)


         Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) permits dismissal of an action where the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. In reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court must “construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its allegations as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” DirectTV, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007). To state a claim, a complaint must provide a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “[T]he complaint ‘does not need detailed factual allegations' but should identify ‘more than labels and conclusions.'” Casias v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 695 F.3d 428, 435 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). The court “need not accept as true legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences.” Treesh, 487 F.3d at 476 (quoting Gregory v. Shelby County, 220 F.3d 433, 446 (6th Cir. 2000)). “[L]egal conclusions masquerading as factual allegations will not suffice.” Eidson v. State of Term. Dep't of Children's Servs., 510 F.3d 631, 634 (6th Cir. 2007).

         A plaintiff must provide more than “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action . . . Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level. . . .” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal citations omitted). The Sixth Circuit has recently reiterated that “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a litigant must allege enough facts to make it plausible that the defendant bears legal liability. The facts cannot make it merely possible that the defendant is liable; they must make it plausible.” Agema v. City of Allegan, 826 F.3d 326, 331 (6th Cir. 2016) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).

         Defendants alternatively style their Motion as a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. To this end, Defendants attached an exhibit to the Motion that includes a sworn declaration of Defendant Denise Walsh as well as Defendant Shirley May's Place, LLC's financial statements. (Def.'s Mot., Ex. A.) These constitute matters outside the pleadings because they are not mentioned in or central to Plaintiff's complaint, and are also not a matter of public record. See Bassett v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008); Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007). Accordingly, if the Court were to rely upon Defendants' exhibit, the present Motion would be converted to a motion for summary judgment and evaluated under Rule 56. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d). In his Response, Plaintiff did not rely upon Defendants' exhibit and treated Defendants' Motion only as a motion to dismiss. Given the procedural posture of this case, and the fact that Defendants have attached a declaration that merely serves to dispute factual allegations in the complaint, the Court does not rely upon Defendants' exhibit, and instead evaluates Defendants' Motion solely under Rule 12(b)(6).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Fair Labor ...

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