Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Elwadi v. Yassir Alam, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

March 22, 2018

ISAM ELWADI, Plaintiff,
v.
YASSIR ALAM, LLC and YASSIR HASSAN, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER [1]

          SHERIPOLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint With Prejudice for Failure to State a Claim and for Witness Tampering (Doc. 27) filed on February 21, 2018. Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition (Doc. 33) and Notice of Corrected Declaration of Isam Elwadi (Doc. 35), and Defendants filed a Reply (Doc. 41) on March 15, 2018. Defendant's Motion is now ripe for review.

         Background

         This case involves claims for unpaid wages and overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA, Counts 1 & 2) and Florida Minimum Wage Act (FMWA, Count 3). Plaintiff Isam Elwadi claims that on or about June 15, 2016, he began working for Defendants as a cashier at a mini mart and adjacent restaurant, operated by Yassir Hassan. (Doc. 25, ¶ 18). Elwadi earned a weekly salary of $350.00 and continued to work for Defendants until on or about September 3, 2017, sometimes in excess of 40 hours per week. (Id.at ¶¶ 19-20). The Court previously granted in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the initial Complaint (Doc. 1), finding that Plaintiff had failed to allege that Defendants employed more than two individuals engaged in interstate commerce during the relevant time period in support of enterprise coverage. (Doc. 24). Plaintiff then filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. 25) which Defendants again move to dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is still deficient. Defendants also argue the Court should dismiss the case with prejudice because Plaintiff has bribed witnesses and committed other discovery violations.

         Standard

         Under Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 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 obligation “requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citation omitted). In addition, to survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the factual allegations must be “plausible” and “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. at 555; see also Edwards v. Prime Inc., 602 F.3d 1276, 1291 (11th Cir. 2010). Like its counterpart above, Rule 12(b)(6) requires more than “unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me” accusations. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citations omitted).

         In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court must accept all factual allegations in a complaint as true and take them in the light most favorable to plaintiff. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). But, “[l]egal conclusions without adequate factual support are entitled to no assumption of truth.” Mamani v. Berzain, 654 F.3d 1148, 1153 (11th Cir. 2011) (citations omitted). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “Factual allegations that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability [also] fall short of being facially plausible.” Chaparro v. Carnival Corp., 693 F.3d 1333, 1337 (11th Cir. 2012) (internal citations omitted). The Court engages in a two-step approach: “When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.

         Discussion

         To establish jurisdiction under the FLSA, the plaintiff-employee must establish some connection to interstate commerce. To do this, plaintiff must demonstrate that either the “enterprise” or the “individual” engaged in interstate commerce. 29 U.S.C. §§ 206(a), 207(a)(1); see also Martinez v. Palace, 414 Fed.Appx. 243, 245 (11th Cir. 2011); Thorne v. All Restoration Serv., Inc., 448 F.3d 1264, 1265-66 (11th Cir. 2006). “[T]he requirements to state a claim of a FLSA violation are quite straightforward.” Sec'y of Labor v. Labbe, 319 F. App'x 761, 763 (11th Cir. 2008). To state a claim under the FLSA for unpaid wages, an employee must allege: (1) an employment relationship; (2) that the employer or employee engaged in interstate commerce; and (3) that the employer failed to pay overtime compensation and/or minimum wages. See Morgan v. Family Dollar Stores, 551 F.3d 1233, 1277 n.68 (11th Cir. 2008). Only the second element is at issue here.

         FLSA enterprise coverage requires that an enterprise have “employees engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, ” or have “employees handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for commerce.” 29 U.S.C. § 203(s)(1)(A). Based upon the definition, an employer is only considered an “enterprise engaged in commerce” if it has two or more employees who are engaged in commerce. Amorim v. GMR Int'l Cuisine, Inc., No. 6:17-cv-578-Orl-37TBS, 2017 WL 3835860, *3 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 9, 2017). For an employee to be “engaged in commerce”, the employee “must be directly participating in the actual movement of persons or things in interstate commerce by: (i) working for an instrumentality of interstate commerce, e.g., transportation or communication industry employees, or (ii) by regularly using the instrumentalities of interstate commerce in [her] work, e.g., regular and recurrent use of interstate telephone, telegraph, mails, or travel.” Thorne, 448 F.3d at 1266.

         Here, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants are employers as defined by the FLSA and that Defendants operate a “business engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce as defined by §3(r) and 3(s) of the FLSA.” (Doc. 25, ¶ 2). Plaintiff further alleges:

3. During all times during Plaintiff's employment with the Defendants, the Defendants employed at least four (4) employees engaged in interstate commerce.
4. Defendants, YASSIR ALAM, LLC and HASSAN operated a mini mart and adjacent restaurant. Plaintiff's work involved handling on a regular and recurrent basis “goods” or “materials, ” as defined by the FLSA, which were used commercially in Defendants' business, and moved in interstate commerce. Specifically, the Plaintiff handled food, drinks and other materials which were originally manufactured outside the State of Florida.

(Id. at ΒΆΒΆ 3-4). Defendants argue that Plaintiff has still not plausibly alleged that more than one employee was involved ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.