United States District Court, S.D. Florida
DANNY M. TARANTINO, Plaintiff,
JEFFERY RIDDELL, et al. Defendants.
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS SECOND AMENDED
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court upon the Motion to Dismiss
Amended Complaint filed by Defendants Jeffery Riddell and
Sandra Munoz (together, “Defendants”) on January
2, 2018, ECF No.  (“Motion”). The Court has
carefully reviewed the Motion, all opposing and supporting
materials, the record in this case and the applicable law,
and is otherwise fully advised.
initially filed his Complaint, ECF No. , pursuant to
Section 501(b) of the Labor Management Reporting and
Disclosure Act, 29 U.S.C. § 501, et seq.
(“LMRDA”) on July 24, 2017. On November 20, 2017,
the Court granted Defendants Jeffery Riddell and Sandra Munoz
and then-Defendant Gail Thompson's motion to dismiss with
the following instructions:
In light of the Eleventh Circuit's policy of construing
pro se complaints liberally and permitting
amendments to facilitate adjudication of claims on the
merits, Toenniges v. Warden, 672 Fed.Appx. 889, 891
(11th Cir. 2016), the Court will afford Plaintiff an
opportunity to amend his Complaint. Plaintiff is instructed
to allege facts that will allow the Court to understand his
claims and to, in particular, explain what provisions of the
Union protocols or rules were violated and describe the
conduct that caused those alleged violations. Plaintiff is
reminded that all facts he wishes the Court to consider must
be pled in his amended complaint or attached as exhibits to
the amended complaint. Facts asserted for the first time in
any other document-such as an opposition to a motion to
dismiss-will not be considered by the Court in analyzing the
sufficiency of the pleadings.
ECF No.  at 16. Heeding to the Court's admonitions,
Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint, ECF No. 
(“Amended Complaint”) on December 5, 2017,
substantially revising factual allegations, defendants, and
causes of action. The Amended Complaint alleges two causes of
action, one against Defendant Jeffery Riddell and one against
Defendant Sandra Munoz,  for violations of Section 501(a) of the
LMRDA. ECF No.  ¶ 1.
is an employee of the United States Postal Service
(“USPS”) and a member of the Broward County Area
Local-1201 of the American Postal Workers Union (“Local
Union”). Id. ¶ 4. Defendants Riddell and
Munoz serve as the General President and Vice President,
respectively, of the Local Union. Id. ¶ 5-6.
The Local Union pays their full time, annual salary.
Id.; see also ECF No. [56-2] Article X,
Section 1. In addition to their full time work as General
President and Vice President, Defendants also occasionally
perform hourly work for the national union, which Plaintiff
refers to as “International, ” for which they are
paid an hourly rate. ECF No.  ¶¶ 17-18, 28-29.
Plaintiff alleges that International and Local Union policy
requires Defendants to be on a leave status, such as leave
without pay (“LWOP”) or annual leave, while
performing this hourly work for International. Id.
¶¶ 20-23; 31-34; see also ECF No. [48-1]
and [56-3] § 7.02). In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff
states that Defendants “double dipped” in
violation of Section 501(a) when they received hourly pay
from International for work as a designated representative
(“Advocate”) and/or for other national
assignments, while simultaneously receiving compensation as
full time, salaried officers of the Local Union. Id.
¶¶ 14-15, 18-19; 25-26, 29.
support of these allegations, Plaintiff attaches several
documents to his Amended Complaint: (1) the Local Union's
Profit and Loss Statements which reflect Defendants'
salaries from February 2015 to September 2016, ECF No. [48-1]
at 2-21; (2) International's Travel and Expense
Reimbursement Policy for Designated Representatives and
Committee Members dated October 29, 2015, id. at
22-34; (3) an email from John Gearhard forwarding
an email from Val Singleton, entitled “APWU Advocate
Forms Needed for Reimbursement” dated September 29,
2016, id. at 35; (4) a portion of what appears to be
the Local Union's Constitution, dated January 2016,
id. at 36-39; and an affidavit of Plaintiff,
id. at 40-42.
these documents, the Reimbursement Policy is central to the
allegations in the Amended Complaint. Article I, Section 1.02
of the Reimbursement Policy entitled “Arbitration
Advocates Payment Policy” specifies several policies
for reimbursement for Advocates. The first line of Section
1.02 states “Refer to President Mark Dimondstein's
letter dated January 2, 2014 (attached).” ECF Nos.
[48-1] and [56-3] § 1.02. This letter, attached to
Defendants' version of the Reimbursement Policy,
cf. ECF Nos. [48-1] and [56-3], states: “All
reimbursements for advocate services performed will be
reimbursed eight hours for preparation time and eight hours
for the hearing. Advocate requests for reimbursement for
preparation or hearing will not require proof of leave (Form
3971) for payment, but will require the notation of case
number, arbitration and date of hearing and certification
that a full hearing was conducted for payment of eight hours
for the hearing.” ECF No. [56-3] at 14.
VII - Compensation of the Reimbursement Policy contains
Section 7.02 Hours (Salary) - For Fulltime Local/State
Officers. See ECF No. [48-1] at 34; [56-3] at 13.
Section 7.02 states:
To be paid by the national union, a fulltime local or state
officer on a national APWU assignment (field or headquarters)
must submit a letter from their local or state
secretary/treasurer that they are or were in a LWOP or annual
leave status from their local or state position, while on
such assignment. No. fulltime local or state officer
will be paid for work on behalf of the national union without
submission of said letter or while on sick leave.
See ECF No. [48-1] at 34; [56-3] at 13. Based on
these facts, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated
Section 501(a) when they were paid by International for time
while not on leave in violation of the Reimbursement Policy.
move to dismiss on two grounds. ECF No. . First,
Defendants argue that the Local Union policy allows them to
collect a full time salary while simultaneously receiving
hourly pay from International since “the[Reimbursement
Policy] does not require that they take leave without pay
from their positions with the [Local Union] in order to
receive compensation.” Id. at 5-7. Thus,
Defendants argue, because their conduct is sanctioned by the
Local Union, there can be no Section 501(a) violation.
Id. Second, Defendants argue that the exception
which allows for Court review of a union official's
conduct-even when consistent with union policies-does not