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Ridenour v. B&H New & Used Auto Parts, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

December 8, 2017

JACKEY RIDENOUR, Plaintiff,
v.
B&H NEW & USED AUTO PARTS, INC. et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          Ellen Lipton Hollander United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Jackey Ridenour, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, filed suit against his former employer, B&H New & Used Auto Parts, Inc. (“B&H”) and B&H's two owner-operators, Charmie and Richard Polansky. ECF 1 (Complaint). He alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. (Count I); the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (“MWHL”), as amended, Md. Code (2016 Repl. Vol.), §§ 3-401 et seq. of the Labor and Employment Article (“L.E.”) (Count II); and the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (“MWPCL”), as amended, L.E. §§ 3-501 et seq. (Count III).

         Plaintiff alleges that he worked for defendants from 2000 until his termination in July 2016. ECF 1, ¶¶ 21, 26. According to plaintiff, during his employment, he performed a number of jobs, including cataloguing parts, performing general maintenance, and assisting with sales. Id. ¶¶ 23-32. According to plaintiff, he typically worked between 45 and 63 hours a week. Id. ¶ 46. In particular, he claims that he worked from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, and every other weekend on both Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Id. ¶ 27.

         Further, plaintiff states that he was paid $1, 000 per week from the time he began his employment until July 2014, and that he was paid $1, 350 per week from July 2014 until he was fired. Id. ¶¶ 21-22. Of import here, plaintiff maintains that he was not paid overtime for the hours he worked beyond 40 hours a week. Id. ¶ 33. Moreover, plaintiff alleges that defendants were aware that plaintiff performed overtime work and were also aware that he did not receive overtime wages. Id. ¶¶ 54, 56.

         Plaintiff also contends that there are other current and former employees of defendants who are similarly situated and were not paid overtime. Id. ¶¶ 61-66. However, no other plaintiffs have yet joined the suit, and plaintiff has not moved for conditional certification. See Docket.

         Now pending is defendants' motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim. ECF 9. The motion to dismiss is supported by a memorandum of law (ECF 9-1) (collectively, the “Motion”). Defendants also request a hearing. ECF 9, ¶ 6. Plaintiff opposes the Motion. ECF 10. Defendants replied. ECF 11.

         No hearing is necessary to resolve the Motion. See Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, I shall deny the Motion.

         I. The Wage Laws

         Plaintiff claims that defendants violated the provisions of the FLSA and the MWHL by failing to pay him overtime compensation when he worked in excess of forty hours per week. ECF 1, ¶¶ 79, 84; see 29 U.S.C. § 207; L.E. § 3-414. And, plaintiff claims that defendants violated the MWPCL by failing to pay him all wages due for work performed before plaintiffs termination. ECF 1, ¶ 89; see L.E. § 3-505(a).

         The FLSA provides that, for any hours worked in excess of forty hours per week, an employee shall “receive[] compensation for his employment . . . at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is employed.” 29 U.S.C. § 207. Similarly, L.E. § 3- 415(a) provides that “each employer shall pay an overtime wage of at least 1.5 times the usual hourly wage, ” and L.E. § 3-420(a) provides that overtime wages shall be computed “on the basis of each hour over 40 hours that an employee works during 1 workweek.”

         Further, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) states:

Any employer who violates the provisions of . . . section 207 of this title shall be liable to the employee . . . affected in the amount of . . . their unpaid overtime compensation, . . . and in an additional equal amount as liquidated damages.... The court in such action shall, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff or plaintiffs, allow a reasonable attorney's fee to be paid by the defendant, and costs of the action.

         Maryland law is to the same effect. It states that “[i]f an employer pays an employee less than the wage required under this subtitle, the employee may bring an action against the employer to recover the difference between the wage paid to the employee and the wage required under this subtitle, ” as well as for costs and attorney's fees. L.E. §§ 3-427(a), (d).

         With regard to the payment of regular wages, the MWPCL provides, inter alia, that an employer “shall pay the employee all wages due upon termination.” L.E. § 3-505(a). Moreover, L.E. § 3-507.1(a) ...


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