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Richardson v. Granite City Hotel and Resorts, L.L.C.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 29, 2015

REBECCA RICHARDSON and ERIC STADLER, Plaintiffs,
v.
GRANITE CITY HOTEL AND RESORTS, L.L.C., SASAK CORPORATION, and ANKIT PATEL, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Complaint (Doc. 19) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Plaintiffs filed a Response in Opposition (Doc. 24).

I. Dismissal Standard

When reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all allegations in the complaint. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To avoid dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, a complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This requirement is satisfied if the complaint (1) describes the claim in sufficient detail to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests and (2) plausibly suggests that the plaintiff has a right to relief above a speculative level. Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555; see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); EEOC v. Concentra Health Servs., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 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 (citing Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 556).

In Bell Atlantic, the Supreme Court rejected the more expansive interpretation of Rule 8(a)(2) that "a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief, " Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 561-63; Concentra Health Servs., 496 F.3d at 777. Now "it is not enough for a complaint to avoid foreclosing possible bases for relief; it must actually suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief... by providing allegations that raise a right to relief above the speculative level.'" Concentra Health Servs., 496 F.3d at 777 (quoting Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555).

While Bell Atlantic, and Iqbal modified federal pleading requirements, they did not do away with the liberal federal notice pleading standard. Airborne Beepers & Video, Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, 499 F.3d 663, 667 (7th Cir. 2007). A complaint still need not contain detailed factual allegations, Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 555, and it remains true that "[a]ny district judge (for that matter, any defendant) tempted to write this complaint is deficient because it does not contain...' should stop and think: What rule of law requires a complaint to contain that allegation?" Doe v. Smith, 429 F.3d 706, 708 (7th Cir. 2005) (emphasis in original).

II. Factual Allegations

Plaintiffs filed an eight count complaint on October 21, 2014, alleging defendants violated The Fair Labor Standards Act (hereafter "FLSA") and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (hereafter "IMWL") by failing to pay overtime and failing to pay minimum wage.

Specifically, the allegations state that Plaintiffs Richardson and Stadler worked for the Defendants from approximately August of 2013 until June of 2014, as "Property Managers" of an Econo Lodge in Granite City, Illinois. The Complaint states that the Defendants did not pay Plaintiff Richardson on a salary basis, "as defined by relevant state and federal law" and did not pay Plaintiff Stadler on salary basis "at a rate of not less than $455 per week." However, there is no indication within the Complaint of the Plaintiffs' duties and/or responsibilities; the amount of hours worked within any specific week; whether they were paid on an hourly basis; or whether they were paid or received any other form of compensation.

The Complaint further alleges that the Plaintiffs "regularly worked in excess of 40 hours per week" and that the Defendants failed to pay them one and one half times their regular rate of pay for all time worked in excess of 40 hours and that Defendants regularly paid Plaintiffs less than the applicable minimum wage under Illinois and Federal law.

III. Analysis

The FLSA and the IMWL require employers to pay employees one and one-half times his regular hourly wage for hours worked beyond forty hours in one week. 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1); 820 ILCS § 105/4a(1). The IMWL also provides that, for the time period relevant to this case, employers must pay employees at least an average wage of $8.25 per hour on or after July 1, 2010, 820 ILCS § 105/4(a)(1) and the FLSA required a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour 29 U.S.C.A. § 206(a)(1).

Defendants argue that the Plaintiffs' claims should be dismissed because they failed to provide any factual information regarding hours worked, wages earned, or what positions they held (other than such position met no overtime or minimum wage exemption.)

In support of this argument with regard to overtime, Defendants cite two Northern District cases: Cho v. GCR Corp., Case No. 12-cv-4562, District Judge Dow, Jr., 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 2992 (N.D. Ill. 2013) "which dismissed a FLSA overtime claim where plaintiffs did not allege any support facts - such as when they worked for Defendants, what they did for Defendants, how many hours they worked, and what, if anything, they were paid;" and Wilson v. Pioneer Concepts, Inc., Case No. 11-cv-2353, District Judge Darrah, 2011 U.S. Dist. Lexis ...


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