United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
R. Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor
Quality Granite and Cabinetry, LLC and Christopher Bouchard
M. Fojo, Esq.
A. DiClerico, Jr. United States District Judge
Secretary of Labor filed this Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”) lawsuit against Quality Granite and
Cabinetry, LLC, and its owner, Christopher Bouchard, alleging
violations of the FLSA's minimum wage, overtime, and
record keeping provisions. Quality Granite and Bouchard now
move to dismiss the Secretary's allegations of minimum
wage and overtime violations because they lack sufficient
specificity to state a plausible claim for relief. The
Secretary opposes dismissal.
considering a motion to dismiss, the court accepts all
well-pleaded facts as true and resolves all reasonable
inferences in the plaintiff's favor. See
Ocasio-Hernández v. Fortuño-Burset, 640
F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). The court disregards conclusory
allegations that simply parrot the applicable legal standard.
Manning v. Boston Med. Ctr. Corp., 725 F.3d 34, 43
(1st Cir. 2013). To determine whether a complaint survives a
motion to dismiss, the court should use its “judicial
experience and common sense, ” but should also avoid
disregarding a factual allegation merely because actual proof
of the alleged facts is improbable. Id. (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556
ultimate question before the court is whether the facts
alleged in the complaint render the plaintiff's
entitlement to relief plausible. Id. Rule 8 does not
require a plaintiff to plead specific or detailed allegations
beyond what is required to state a plausible claim. Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570.
Granite is a granite fabricator and installation contractor
located in Concord, New Hampshire. The Secretary asserts that
Quality Granite and Bouchard, Quality Granite's owner,
violated the FLSA's minimum wage and overtime provisions,
29 U.S.C. §§ 206 (minimum wage), and 207 (overtime
compensation). In addition, the Secretary brings a claim for
failure to make and keep records adequately showing Quality
Granite's employees' wages and hours, in violation of
29 U.S.C.§ 211(c).
to the Secretary, Quality Granite and Bouchard failed to pay
two unnamed employees the minimum wage “[d]uring two
specific workweeks after February 1, 2016 . . . .”
(Doc. 12 at 3). Without adequate records from Quality Granite
showing the employees' hours for those specific weeks,
the Secretary calculated the average No. of hours worked by
the two employees during the workweeks from February 1, 2016,
to August 4, 2017.
employee, an “installer, ” “worked an
average of 51.25 hours during the workweek ending February 3,
2017, and several other weeks.” (Doc. 12 at 3). Quality
Granite paid the installer $350.00 for his work during the
workweek ending February 3, 2017. The installer's rate of
pay for that workweek when measured against the average No.
of hours he worked per week between February 1, 2016, and
August 4, 2017, was $6.83 per hour, which is below the
applicable minimum wage set by 29 U.S.C. § 206(a)(1)(C).
the Secretary found that another employee, a
“fabricator, ” “worked an average of 46.5
hours” per week, but during the week ending March 25,
2016, had not been paid at all.
Secretary further alleges that Quality Granite and Bouchard
violated the FLSA by failing to pay twenty-three employees
premium pay for overtime work between February 1, 2016, and
August 4, 2017. For his overtime violation claim, the
Secretary calculated the average hours worked by employees in
certain job categories (e.g., installer, fabricator,
polisher, and office worker) and measured those weekly
averages against the actual amount paid to each identified
employee per week. In his complaint, the Secretary asserts
that “in many weeks” Quality Granite failed to
compensate its employees for overtime, but also identifies