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News | May 30, 2021

In the Third Circuit, It Does Not Take Much To Plead An FLSA Claim

We recently had to respond to a motion to dismiss in which the company alleged that the plaintiff did not adequately plead overtime work hours Under the FLSA.  I thought the motion was entirely unwarranted and wrote a quick brief pulling together some of the best cases.  In case it helps you, here is my write-up of the pertinent caselaw:

In Davis v. Abington Memorial Hospital, 765 F.3d 236 (3d. Cir. 2014), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals explained that pleading an overtime rights claim is not onerous.  The employee is merely required to “‘sufficiently allege [forty] hours of work in a given workweek as well as some uncompensated time in excess of the [forty] hours.’”  Id. at 242 (quoting Lundy v. Catholic Health System of Long Island Inc., 711 F.3d 106, 114 (2d Cir. 2013).  Under this standard, the employee is not required to “identify the exact dates and times that she worked overtime.”  Id. at 243.  “For instance, a plaintiff’s claim that she ‘typically’ worked forty hours per week, worked extra hours during such a forty-hour week, and was not compensated for extra hours during one or more of these forty-hour weeks would suffice.”  Id.

Applying Davis, district courts within the Third Circuit hold that employees plead an overtime rights claim by simply asserting that they generally over 40 hours without receiving overtime pay.  Here are some examples:

In Acosta v. SX Management, LLC, 2018 WL 1598618, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43558 (W.D. Pa. Mar. 15, 2018) (Kelly, C.M.J.), the federal Department of Labor merely alleged that the employees “‘often worked hours ranging from 49 to 65 hours in a workweek.’”  Id. at *6 (emphasis supplied).  This allegation satisfied the Davis standard.  Id. at *7.

In Dirbin v. Philly Marketing Group Inc., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53393 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 27, 2020) (Jones, J.), the plaintiff “pleaded that in a typical week, ‘she would work five to ten hours per week beyond forty hours and would not be paid an overtime rate for that time.’”  Id. at *6 (emphasis supplied).  This allegation satisfied the Davis standard.  Id.

In Jordan v. Meridian Bank, 2018 WL 6079314, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198173 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 20, 2018) (Padova, J.), the plaintiff alleged that he and other loan officers “‘routinely worked more than 40 hours per week.’”  Id. at *6 (emphasis supplied).   This allegation satisfied the Davis standard.  Id. at *7.

In Field v. DIRECTV LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193177 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 21, 2015) (Diamond, J.), the plaintiffs “allege[d] that they worked more than 40 hours a week in ‘virtually every workweek,’ and specify the hours each Plaintiff worked in a typical week.”  Id. at *7 (emphasis supplied).  This allegation satisfied the Davis standard.  Id. at *7.

In Buchspies v. Pfizer, Inc., 2019 WL 176209, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176209 (D.N.J. Oct. 10, 2019) (Vazquez, J.), the plaintiff alleged that he “‘often worked longer hours than the forty (40) hour workweek.’”  Id. at *6.  This allegation satisfied the Davis standard.  Id. at *6-7.

I hope the above decisions are helpful the next time an employer files a motion to dismiss against your client’s FLSA claim.  — PW

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