United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
C. BUCKLEW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for
Leave to Amend. (Doc. No. 62). Defendant Lori Jacobus opposes
the motion. (Doc. No. 65). As explained below, the motion is
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) provides that leave to amend
should be freely given when justice so requires. Because of
the liberal policy allowing amendments embodied in Rule
15(a), “a court should deny leave to amend a pleading
only when: (1) the amendment would be prejudicial to the
opposing party; (2) there has been bad faith or undue delay
on the part of the moving party; or (3) the amendment would
be futile.” Taylor v. Florida State Fair
Authority, 875 F.Supp. 812, 814 (M.D. Fla. 1995)(citing
Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962)).
this motion was filed the day after the deadline to move to
amend, the motion would normally be analyzed under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b)(4)'s good cause standard.
However, the delay was caused by Plaintiffs'
counsel's serious illness, so the Court will review the
motion under Rule 15(a)'s standard.
filed this case on May 16, 2018. Plaintiff Paul Quinn is the
sole owner of Plaintiff PDQ Group, Inc. (“PDQ”).
Defendant Dermatech Research, LLC (“Dermatech”)
is a beauty-focused technology company.
their complaint (Doc. No. 1), Plaintiffs allege that Quinn
and/or his company, PDQ, was hired by Dermatech. Quinn began
working at Dermatech in August of 2013, where he held the
position of Vice President of Sales with a starting salary of
$70, 000. Quinn reported to Dermatech executives, Defendants
Lori Jacobus and Dennis Young. Quinn's salary was
structured to increase to $100, 000 after three months, to
$120, 000 after six months, and to $125, 000 after nine
months of employment.
contend that Defendants stopped paying them wages/amounts due
under their contract with Dermatech, and after Quinn
complained, Dermatech fired him in August of 2016. As a
result, Plaintiffs assert seven claims in their complaint:
(1) violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”); (2) retaliation in violation of the
FLSA; (3) violation of the Florida Minimum Wage Act
(“FMWA”); (4) violation of the California Labor
Code; (5) breach of contract; (6) unjust
enrichment; and (7) breach of fiduciary duties. This Court
has federal question subject matter jurisdiction due to the
FLSA claims; the Court does not have diversity subject matter
jurisdiction over this case. (Doc. No. 7).
served Defendants, and Dermatech and Young have not responded
to the complaint. As a result, the Clerk entered default
against them. (Doc. No. 34, 38). Default was initially
entered against Jacobus, but she moved to vacate the default
and has moved to dismiss the claims against her. (Doc. No.
18, 50, 52). In response to Jacobus' motion to dismiss,
Plaintiffs filed the instant motion to amend.
Motion to Amend
move to amend the complaint in order to assert additional
allegations for existing claims, to add three new defendants
for which Plaintiffs recently learned of facts to support
Plaintiffs' claims against them, and to add two
additional claims. Specifically, the proposed amended
complaint contains the following nine claims against all six
defendants (Dermatech, Young, Jacobus, Hall Simeroth, Kim
Wellin, and Scott Davis): (1) violations of the FLSA's
minimum wage and overtime provisions; (2) FLSA retaliation;
(3) violation of the FMWA; (4) violation of the California
Labor Code; (5) breach of contract; (6) unjust enrichment;
(7) breach of fiduciary duties; (8) violation of
Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act; and
(9) violation of California's unfair competition law.
makes many arguments regarding why leave to amend should be
denied, all of which this Court rejects. Only the following
four arguments require elaboration from the Court.
Jacobus argues that Quinn is an independent contractor, and
therefore, his FLSA, FMWA, and California Labor Code claims
fail. Whether Quinn was an employee or independent contractor
is a disputed issue of fact, and therefore, ...