United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER 
POLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion for a
More Definite Statement (Doc. 22) filed on October 11, 2017.
Plaintiffs filed a Response in Opposition (Doc. 27) on
October 25, 2017. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion
Basilio Pedro-Mejia and Antonio Pedro-Mejia (collectively
“Plaintiffs”) initiated this action by filing a
one-count Complaint (Doc. 1) against their former employers,
Franco Plastering, Inc. and Martin Franco (collectively
“Defendants”), alleging failure to pay overtime
wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Defendants employed Plaintiffs as non-exempt
carpenters/woodworkers from August 1, 2016 to January 16,
2017. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 16-19). Throughout their
employment, Defendants failed to compensate Plaintiffs at a
rate of one and one-half times their normal rate of pay for
the hours worked in excess of forty hours in violation of the
initially failed to timely respond to the Complaint, and
Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Entry of Clerk's Default.
(Doc. 12). The following day, Martin Franco filed a pro se
Motion to Dismiss on behalf of himself and the corporate
entity, Franco Plastering, Inc. (Doc. 13); accordingly, the
request for the entry of clerk's default was moot. The
Motion to Dismiss was ultimately withdrawn (Doc. 15), and
Martin Franco filed a pro se Answer and Affirmative Defenses
on his own behalf and on behalf of the corporate
entity.(Doc. 16). Thereafter, Defendants retained
counsel, and Plaintiffs consented to an extension of time for
Defendants to file a response to the Complaint in compliance
with Local Rule 2.03(e). (Doc. 20). Defendants, via counsel,
elected to file a Motion for a More Definite Statement rather
than an Answer. (Doc. 22). Plaintiffs oppose the Motion,
arguing the filing of an Answer and Affirmative Defenses
belies Defendants' assertion that the Complaint is so
vague and ambiguous that answering it is a near
impossibility. Plaintiffs further argue the Complaint
satisfies the pleading requirements for an FLSA overtime
case. The Court agrees.
move for a more definite statement pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(e). In support, Defendants attach a Declaration of Martin
Franco, and pay stubs they argue show that Plaintiffs did not
work more than forty hours in a work week. (Doc. 22-1).
Specifically, Defendants state: “Plaintiffs' claim
of having worked overtime without the proper pay during the
time frame of six months without any identified week, day, or
hours claimed is so vague that the defendants cannot
reasonably prepare a good faith response to the complaint,
especially in light of the Plaintiffs' time
records for this entire period, which document
that no overtime was worked.” (Doc. 22, p. 2).
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e), a party may move for a more definite
statement of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is
allowed but which is so vague or ambiguous that the party
cannot reasonably prepare a response. In Sec'y of Labor
v. Labbe, the Eleventh Circuit noted that “[u]nlike the
complex antitrust scheme at issue in Twombly that required
allegations of an agreement suggesting conspiracy, the
requirements to state a claim of a FLSA violation are quite
straightforward.” 319 Fed.Appx. 761, 763 (11th Cir.
2008). Instead of a complex scheme, “[t]he elements
that must be shown are simply a failure to pay overtime
compensation . . . in accordance with the Act.”
Id. (citing 29 U.S.C. §§ 206, 207, and
215(a)(2) and (5)). To state a claim for failure to pay
overtime wages, a plaintiff must show that: (1) defendant
employed him; (2) he or the defendant engaged in interstate
commerce; and (3) defendant failed to pay him overtime wages.
See Freeman v. Key Largo Volunteer Fire & Rescue
Dep't, Inc., 494 F. App'x 940, 942 (11th Cir.
2012) (citing Morgan v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc.,
551 F.3d 1233, 1277 n.68 (11th Cir. 2008)). Therefore, where
a “complaint alleges that since [a certain date], [the
defendant] repeatedly violated stated provisions of the FLSA
by failing . . . to compensate employees who worked in excess
of forty hours a week at the appropriate rates” the
requisite pleading standard is satisfied. “While these
allegations are not overly detailed, [the Eleventh Circuit]
find[s] that a claim for relief for failure . . . to provide
overtime compensation . . . under FLSA does not require
more.” Labbe, 319 F. App'x at 763.
review of Plaintiffs' Complaint clearly indicates they
have met the requisite factual specificity required under the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In the Complaint,
Plaintiffs allege they were employees of Defendants;
Defendants are a covered enterprise; Plaintiffs worked in
excess of forty hours per week for Defendants; Defendants
failed to pay Plaintiffs at one and one half their regular
hourly rates for all hours worked in excess of forty hours in
a work week in violation of the FLSA, and Plaintiffs were
engaged in commerce. (Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 8, 11-12, 18-20,
22-23, 26-30). The Eleventh Circuit precedent of Labbe
indicates that these allegations are sufficient. 319 F.
App'x at 763; see also Ramos v. Aventura Limousine
& Transp. Serv., Inc., Case No. 12-21693-CIV, 2012
WL 3834962 at *2 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 4, 2012) (“There is
no requirement that the Plaintiff explicitly state the amount
of damage, but only that the Plaintiff worked in excess of
forty hours a week and was not paid overtime wages.”).
Indeed, Defendants were already able to formulate a response
to the Complaint (Doc. 16) and produce documents in defense
of Plaintiffs' claims (Doc. 22-1). The Court therefore
finds Plaintiffs' allegations are not so vague and
ambiguous that Defendants would be unable to respond.
it is now
Defendants' Motion for a More Definite Statement (Doc.
22) is DENIED.
Defendants shall file an Answer on or before November
Defendants' Answer and Affirmative Defenses (Doc. 16) is
STRICKEN. The Clerk of Court is directed to
make a ...