United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pending and ready for resolution in this employment case are
(1) the motion to dismiss amended complaint (ECF No. 16)
filed by Defendants N&TS Group Corporation
(“N&TS”), Claudio Novebaci, Stefania
Federici, and Valerio Masenzani (“Defendants”),
(2) the motion for leave to file second amended complaint
(ECF No. 19) filed by Plaintiff Fabia Scali-Warner
(“Plaintiff”), and (3) the motion to dismiss
second amended complaint (ECF No. 20) filed by Defendants.
The issues have been fully briefed, and the court now rules,
no hearing being deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the
following reasons, the motion for leave to file second
amended complaint will be denied, the motion to dismiss
second amended complaint will be denied as moot, and the
motion to dismiss amended complaint will be granted.
Plaintiff will be granted 21 days within which to file a
proposed third amended complaint, properly delineating her
claims and articulating sufficient facts to establish
liability for the individual defendants.
is a company that provides electronic payment processing
services technology to corporations.” (ECF. No. 19-1,
at 1). Plaintiff was employed as a “Client Liaison and
represented N&TS throughout the United States.”
(Id.). Pursuant to a “written contract,
” Plaintiff was paid $250.00 per-day “for eight
hours' work for market developing[.]”
(Id., at 3). In addition, Plaintiff translated
documents for N&TS at the rate of $0.11 per-word,
“a standard rate in the industry.”
(Id.). “Plaintiff left her work with N&TS
in December 2017.” (Id., at 2). “On or
around December 15, 2017, Plaintiff sent an invoice for
translation to Defendant N&TS in the amount of $10,
885.71.” (Id., at 4). Plaintiff alleges that
N&TS “failed to respond” and did not
“pay for the translating work.” (Id., at
3-4). Plaintiff contends that Defendants did not pay her
minimum wage or overtime.
commenced this action in the Circuit Court for Baltimore
County on April 10, 2018. Defendants filed a notice of
removal in this court on June 28, 2018. (ECF No. 1). All four
Defendants filed individual motions to dismiss on July 6,
2018. (ECF Nos. 3-7). On July 20, 2018, Plaintiff filed an
opposition in response to the motions to dismiss and an
amended complaint. (ECF Nos. 11 & 12). On August 13,
2018, a paperless order was issued denying Defendants'
individual motions to dismiss as moot. (ECF No. 17).
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint on
August 10, 2018. (ECF No. 16). Plaintiff responded on August
24, 2018 (ECF No. 17) and also filed a motion for leave to
file second amended complaint (ECF No. 19). Defendants filed
a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's second amended complaint
on September 7, 2018. (ECF No. 20). Plaintiff responded on
September 21, 2018. (ECF No. 21).
asserts the following claims against all Defendants: (1)
violation of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law
(“MWPCL”) (count I); (2) failure to pay minimum
wage and overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards
Act (“FLSA”) (count II); and (3) failure to pay
overtime in violation of the Maryland Wage and Hour Law
(“MWHL”) (count IV). (Id., at 5-8).
Plaintiff also asserts a breach of contract claim against
Defendant N&TS (count III). (Id., at 6).
reasons that follow, leave to file the second amended
complaint will be denied, thus mooting the motion to dismiss
the second amended complaint. The first amended complaint,
which is even less detailed, also fails to state a claim and
will be dismissed. Plaintiff will be granted one final
opportunity to file a third amended complaint.
Second Amended Complaint
the right to amend as a matter of course expires, “a
party may amend its pleading only with the opposing
party's written consent or the court's leave.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Rule 15(a)(2) provides that courts
should “freely give leave [to amend] when justice so
requires, ” and commits the matter to the discretion of
the district court. See Simmons v. United Mortg. &
Loan Inv., LLC, 634 F.3d 754, 769 (4th Cir.
2011). Refusal of such leave, without a justifying reason, is
not only an abuse of discretion, but is “inconsistent
with the spirit of the Federal Rules.” Foman v.
Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). Denial of leave to
amend should occur only “when the amendment would be
prejudicial to the opposing party, there has been bad faith
on the part of the moving party, or the amendment would be
futile.” Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178
F.3d 231, 242 (4th Cir. 1999) (emphasis omitted)
(quoting Johnson v. Oroweat Foods Co., 785 F.2d 503,
509 (4th Cir. 1986)). Determinations of futility
under Rule 15(a) are governed by the standard for motions to
dismiss. Classen Immunotherapies, Inc. v. King Pharms.,
Inc., 403 F.Supp.2d 451, 459 (D.Md. 2005).
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency
of the complaint. Presley v. City of
Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir.
2006). In evaluating the complaint, unsupported legal
allegations need not be accepted. Revene v. Charles Cnty.
Comm'rs, 882 F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir.
1989). Legal conclusions couched as factual allegations are
insufficient, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009), as are conclusory factual allegations devoid of any
reference to actual events. United Black Firefighters v.
Hirst, 604 F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir. 1979);
see also Francis v. Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 193
(4th Cir. 2009). “[W]here the well-pleaded
facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere
possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged, but it
has not ‘show[n] . . . that the pleader is entitled to
relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). Thus, “[d]etermining whether a
complaint states a plausible claim for relief will . . . be a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Defendants have not been prejudiced given the early stage at
which Plaintiff sought leave to amend her complaint to
include claims of unpaid overtime, leave to amend will be
denied because both the proposed second ...