Second Circuit Says that Overtime Claims Lacking Specificity Fail

On August 5, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its third opinion since May of this year in Dejesus v. HF management Services, LLC, affirming the dismissal of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims that lacked specific allegations of 40 hours of work in a given workweek, in addition to some uncompensated time in excess of 40 hours. The plaintiff in Dejesus sought unpaid overtime compensation by generally alleging that she “worked more than forty hours per week during ‘some or all weeks’ of her violation of the FLSA,...[and] was not paid at a rate of at least 1.5 times her regular wage for each hour in excess of forty hours.” The plaintiff also alleged that her employer “‘failed to include the commission payments in the calculation of [her] overtime pay.” Finding that the plaintiff failed to adequately plead she was an employee entitled to overtime and she actually worked overtime without compensation, the district court granted the employer’s motion to dismiss.

On appeal, the Second Circuit affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the FLSA claims. The court reasoned that merely restating the language of the statute–alleging a plaintiff “worked more than forty hours per week during ‘some or all weeks’ of her employment...[and] was not paid at a rate of at least 1.5 times her regular wage...” –without more factual context was insufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. Although the court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims, it seemed to suggest that there is not a bright line rule to pleading FLSA claims. Instead, “[d]etermining whether a plausible claim has been pled is a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” The court recognized that plaintiffs are not required “to keep careful records and plead their hours with mathematical precision.” Yet, the court stated that plaintiffs must provide “some factual context that will ‘nudge’ their claim ‘from conceivable’ to plausible.”

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.