United States District Court, D. Columbia.
WILLIE LEE ELLIS, Plaintiff: Jason D. Friedman, Gregg Cohen
Greenberg, ZIPIN, AMSTER & GREENBERG, LLC, Silver Spring, MD.
HENRY WOOD, THOMAS MOORE, JAMES YOUNG, MURPHY MCNEIL,
Plaintiffs: Gregg Cohen Greenberg, ZIPIN, AMSTER & GREENBERG,
LLC, Silver Spring, MD.
HOLY COMFORTER SAINT CYPRIAN COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP,
Defendant: Patrick C. Horrell, LEAD ATTORNEY, ROSENAU &
ROSENAU, Washington, DC.
G. Sullivan, United States District judge.
Willie Lee Ellis, Henry Wood, Thomas Moore, James Young, and
Murphy McNeil (" Plaintiffs" ) bring this action
against Holy Comforter Saint Cyprian Community Action Group
(" Community Action Group" or " CAG" )
alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29
U.S.C. § 207 et seq., the D.C. Living Wage Act,
D.C. Code § 2-220.01 et seq., the D.C. Minimum
Wage Revision Act, D.C. Code § 32-1001 et seq.,
and the D.C. Wage Payment and Collection Act, D.C. Code
§ 32-1301 et seq. Defendant moves to dismiss
for lack of standing. Upon consideration of the motion, the
response and reply thereto, the applicable law, the entire
record, and for the reasons stated below, Defendant's
motion is DENIED.
are former employees of Community Action Group, a
rehabilitation facility in the District of Columbia. Compl.,
Docket No. 1 at 3. Plaintiffs allege that, while employed as
rehabilitation monitors at CAG, they were not paid the proper
hourly rate nor properly compensated for work in excess of
forty hours per week. Id. at 3-4. CAG moves to
dismiss Plaintiffs' claims for lack of standing. See
generally Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss (" Def.'s
February 24, 2015, CAG signed a contract entitled "
Agreement Regarding the Mediated Settlement Under the Living
Wage Act of 2006" (" the Agreement" ) with the
D.C. Department of Employment Services Office of Wage-Hour
Compliance (" D.C. Office of Wage-Hour" ).
See Def.'s Ex. 1. The Agreement acknowledges
CAG's commitment to pay $170,000 to resolve certain wage
and hour claims and indicates that the D.C. Office of
Wage-Hour will not commence any lawsuit against CAG "
with respect to unresolved claims asserted by the D.C. Office
of Wage-Hour for unpaid wages on behalf of employees found to
be due back wages as a result of a Living Wage audit
completed on February 10, 2015." . Id. The
Agreement covers " payments to all former and current
employees for calendar years 2013 and 2014."
Id. CAG argues that Plaintiffs' injuries have
already been redressed through the Agreement and that
allowing Plaintiffs' lawsuit to proceed would result in
their double recovery. Id. at 4-5.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion to dismiss for lack of standing is properly considered
a challenge to the Court's subject matter jurisdiction
and should be reviewed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1). Little v. Fenty, 689 F.Supp.2d 163, 166 n.
3 (D.D.C. 2012); see also Haase v.
Sessions, 835 F.2d 902, 906, 266 U.S.App.D.C. 325 (D.C.
Cir. 1987)(" [T]he defect of standing is a defect in
subject matter jurisdiction." ). To survive a Rule
12(b)(1) motion to dismiss, " the plaintiff bears the
burden of establishing jurisdiction by a preponderance of the
evidence." Moran v. U.S. Capitol Police Bd.,
820 F.Supp.2d 48, 53 (D.D.C. 2011) (citing Lujan v.
Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561, 112 S.Ct.
2130, 119 L.Ed.2d 351 (1992)). Because Rule 12(b)(1) concerns
a court's ability to hear a particular claim, the court
" must scrutinize the plaintiff's allegations more
closely when considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule
12(b)(1) than it would under a motion to dismiss pursuant to
Federal Rule 12(b)(6)." Schmidt v. U.S. Capitol
Police Bd., 826 F.Supp.2d 59, 65 (D.D.C. 2011). In so
doing, the court must accept as true all of the factual
allegations in the complaint and draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff, but the court need not
" accept inferences unsupported by the facts or legal
conclusions that are cast as factual allegations."
Rann v. Chao, 154 F.Supp.2d 61, 63 (D.D.C. 2001).
Finally, in reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule
12(b)(1), the court " may consider materials outside the
pleadings as it deems appropriate to resolve the question
whether it has jurisdiction in the case." Scolaro v.
D.C. Bd. of Elections & Ethics, 104 F.Supp.2d 18, 22
(D.D.C. 2000); see also Jerome Stevens Pharms.,
Inc. v. FDA, 402 F.3d 1249, 1253, 365 U.S.App.D.C. 270
(D.C. Cir. 2005).
establish Article III standing, Plaintiffs must demonstrate
that (1) they have personally suffered an " injury in
fact" ; (2) the injury complained of is fairly traceable
to the challenged action of the Defendant; and (3) it is
likely that the injury will be redressed by a favorable
decision by the Court. Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560-61
(internal citations omitted). CAG argues that Plaintiffs have
failed to demonstrate than an action in this Court will
redress their alleged injuries because, according to CAG,
Plaintiffs' injuries were already redressed through the
Agreement between CAG and the D.C. Office of Wage-Hour.
Def.'s Mot. at 3-5. Plaintiffs argue that the majority of
Plaintiffs have not received any payment from CAG as a result
of the Agreement, and that those who did receive payment did
not receive the full amount owed to them under the
law. Pls.' Opp. at 4.
Agreement fails to demonstrate that Plaintiffs' alleged
injuries will not be redressed by a favorable decision by the
Court. First, the Agreement is between CAG and the D.C.
Office of Wage-Hour and is clearly limited to resolution of
claims under the D.C. Living Wage Act for calendar years 2013
and 2014. See Def.'s Ex. 1. Plaintiffs'
complaint alleges injuries under the Fair Labor Standards
Act, the D.C. Minimum Age Revision Act, and the D.C. Wage
Payment and Collection Act, in addition to the D.C. Living
Wage Act. See generally Compl. Moreover,
Plaintiffs' complaint alleges unpaid wages beginning as
early as 2008, when Plaintiff Young began his employment at
CAG. Id. at 3. Accordingly, while some of
plaintiffs' injuries may have been partially redressed as
a result of the Agreement, the complaint alleges additional
injuries for which CAG has provided no evidence of redress.
Plaintiffs may proceed to seek redress of their entire
injury. See Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S.
497, 525-26, 127 S.Ct. 1438, 167 L.Ed.2d 248 (2007)
(litigation success need only partially redress a
plaintiff's injuries to meet the redressability
requirement); see also Dove v. Coupe,
81-cv-3022, 1982 WL 2190 at *1 (D.D.C. May 19,
1982)(plaintiff who received partial redress of his injuries
could proceed to seek further redress of his whole injury).
even though the D.C. Office of Wage-Hour entered into an
Agreement with CAG on behalf of certain CAG employees, there
is no evidence in the record that Plaintiffs agreed to forego
their private right of action against CAG. CAG argues that
even though Plaintiffs are not parties to the Agreement,
Plaintiffs are barred from filing ...