Mukes v. Tenet Concepts, LLC
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER denying 7 MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (Signed by Magistrate Judge Stephen Wm Smith) Parties notified.(jmarchand, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
Willie Mukes on behalf of
himself individually and all others
Tenet Concepts, LLC,
October 13, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. 4:17-CV-00692
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Before the Court is defendant’s motion to dismiss. Dkt. 7. After considering the
motion, responses, and law, the motion to dismiss is denied.
This is a FLSA collective action that consists of current and former employees of
defendant (“Plaintiff Class”). Dkt. 1. Plaintiffs’ claim asserts defendant violated the
FLSA by (1) paying Plaintiff Class below minimum wage; (2) failing to compensate
Plaintiff Class for overtime wages; and (3) failing to compensate Plaintiff Class for hours
worked, but not recorded (“off-the-clock-work”). Id. In response, defendant filed a
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss claiming (1) plaintiffs’ allegations in regards to
uncompensated off-the-clock-work are insufficient to state a claim, and (2) plaintiffs
failed to show that defendant had actual or constructive notice that Plaintiff Class was
working uncompensated time. Dkt. 7 at 2.
Standard of Review
In reviewing a pleading under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must accept as true “all
well-pleaded facts contained in the plaintiff’s complaint and view them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff.” Gonzalez v. Kay, 577 f.3d 600, 603 (5th Cir. 2009). However,
only facts are entitled to an assumption of truth; legal conclusions unsupported by factual
allegations do not suffice. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009). To survive a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must plead “enough facts that state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(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.
Defendant’s motion to dismiss fails to address plaintiffs’ contentions that (1) they
were paid below minimum wage and (2) defendant manipulated the hours and dates
recorded by plaintiffs in efforts to avoid paying earned overtime pay. Instead, defendant
only argues this case should be dismissed because plaintiffs’ off-the-clock-work was not
integral and indispensable to the principal activities of defendant, and therefore not
compensable under the FLSA. Id. at 4. This is an argument that requires more facts than
what is required at the pleading stage. Plaintiffs did not have to plead their entire case in
their complaint, but merely enough facts that make it plausible defendant failed to
compensate plaintiffs for off-the-clock-work. Plaintiffs met this burden. Defendant’s
argument is more appropriate in a summary judgment motion; once discovery has closed
and the court has sufficient facts to base its decision.
For these reasons, defendant’s motion to dismiss is denied.
Signed at Houston, Texas, on October 13, 2017.
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