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Carmona v. The Professionals, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

April 14, 2017

ELKIN CARMONA, YESI AVILES, FREDY HERAS, OSCAR MARTINEZ, and JOSE CHUYA, individually and on behalf of other employees similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE PROFESSIONALS, INC. and JACOB TWIG, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOAN B. GOTTSCHALL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Defendants once again move to dismiss plaintiffs' claims for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. For the reasons set forth below, the court grants in part and denies in part defendants' motion [49] to dismiss. Specifically, the court denies defendants' motion to dismiss as to Counts I and II. The court grants defendants' motion to dismiss Count III and hereby dismisses Count III with prejudice. Defendants are granted until May 12, 2017 to answer. This case is set for a status hearing on May 17, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

         A. Background

         The court previously dismissed plaintiff's complaint on the grounds that plaintiff Elkin Carmona (“Carmona”) had not sufficiently alleged plausible claims. Plainitiff has since filed a second-amended complaint in which, among other things, he adds four additional named plaintiffs. Plaintiffs have also included additional allegations that flesh out their claims. For purposes of this motion to dismiss, the court accepts as true the facts alleged in plaintiffs' second-amended complaint. See Cincinnati Life Ins. Co. v. Beyrer, 722 F.3d 939, 946 (7th Cir. 2013).

         Plaintiffs Carmona, Yesi Aviles (“Aviles”), Fredy Heras (“Heras”), Oscar Martinez (“Martinez”) and Jose Chuya (“Chuya”) allege that defendant The Professionals, Inc. (the “Professionals” or the “employer”) hired them to work for it in connection with its moving business. Defendant Jacob Twig (“Twig”) owns the Professionals.

         Plaintiffs Martinez and Chuya allege that they worked as foremen for defendants. Their regular rate of pay was $15.00 per hour. Plaintiffs Carmona and Aviles worked for defendants as movers, and their regular rate of pay was $14.00 per hour. Carmona also worked as a driver, as did Heras, whose regular rate was also $14.00 per hour.

         Plaintiffs allege that they regularly worked more than 40 hours per week. Carmona regularly worked up to 75 hours per week, while Aviles, Martinez, Chuya and Heras regularly worked up to 70 hours per week. Plaintiffs' work during the hours that exceeded 40 per week included their regular duties plus travel time between job sites and travel time from the last job site of the day back to the warehouse.

         Plaintiffs allege that defendants paid them “their regular hourly rate for all hours worked, including hours worked more than forty (40) hours per week.” (Second Am. Complt. ¶ 38). Defendants did so by paying plaintiffs “in cash, at their regular hourly rate” for the hours in excess of 40 per week. (Second Am. Complt. ¶ 40). Defendants did not, however, pay plaintiff the extra one-half time (for a total of time-and-a-half) for their overtime hours.

         Plaintiffs assert that defendants' actions constitute violations the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. (“FLSA”) (Count I), the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, § 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 105/1, et seq. (“IMWL”) (Count II) and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 115/1, et seq. (“IWPCA”) (Count III).

         Defendants move to dismiss plaintiffs' claims for failure to state a claim.

         B. Legal Standard

         To survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim satisfies this standard when its factual allegations “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-56. A complaint need not provide detailed factual allegations, but mere conclusions and a “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” will not suffice. Twombley, 550 U.S. at 555.

         C. Analysis

         1. Plaintiffs' ...


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