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Galloway v. Chugach Government Services, Inc.

United States District Court, District of Columbia

August 4, 2016

CAROLYN GALLOWAY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CHUGACH GOVERNMENT SERVICES, INC., Defendants.

          CAROLYN GALLOWAY, Plaintiff, represented by Neil Stuart Hyman, LAW OFFICES OF NEIL S. HYMAN, LLC.

          DESIREE MCKEIVER, Plaintiff, represented by Neil Stuart Hyman, LAW OFFICES OF NEIL S. HYMAN, LLC.

          CARLETTE OSOSANYA, Plaintiff, represented by Neil Stuart Hyman, LAW OFFICES OF NEIL S. HYMAN, LLC.

          CHUGACH GOVERNMENT SERVICES, INC., Defendant, represented by Attison L. Barnes, III, WILEY REIN LLP.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          RANDOLPH D. MOSS, District Judge.

         Plaintiffs Carolyn Galloway, Desiree McKeiver, and Carlette Ososanya are current or former employees of Chugach Government Services, Inc. ("Chugach"). Plaintiffs allege that they frequently worked more than 40 hours per week without receiving overtime pay in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the D.C. Minimum Wage Act ("DCMWA"). Chugach seeks to dismiss the complaint, arguing that it lacks the type of detail required to state a claim under the FLSA or the DCMWA. And, Chugach further contends that, even if the core allegations of the complaint were sufficient, it lacks any non-conclusory allegations in support of Plaintiffs contention that the alleged violations were willful.[1] For the reasons explained below, the Court will deny Chugach's motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         For purposes of Chugach's motion to dismiss, the following allegations from the Plaintiffs' second amended complaint are taken as true. See, e.g., Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984).[2]

         Galloway was employed by Chugach as a Resident Advisor from 2003 through December 2014. Compl. ¶ 5. Ososanya held the same position from 2009 through April 2015, and McKeiver has worked as a Resident Advisor since 2010 and remains a Chugach employee. Id. ¶¶ 6-7. Plaintiffs estimate that about 20 more people work in the same or similar positions. Id. ¶ 8. Resident Advisors "oversee[] and assist[] the residents in the Potomac Job Corps dormitories." Id. ¶ 9. Both Plaintiffs and the similarly situated employees were scheduled to work five eight-hour shifts per week; each shift was scheduled to last a total of nine hours, but included a one-hour meal break. Id. ¶¶ 10-11.

         Despite this standard, 40-hour per week schedule, Plaintiffs allege that they often worked extra hours for which they did not receive compensation. They allege that they were often (three to five times a week) required to work during their meal breaks but that Chugach deducted one hour per shift regardless of whether they actually received a break. Id. ¶¶ 11-16. They allege that they were often (as many as four to five days a week) required to work for 20-30 minutes beyond their scheduled shifts while they waited for their "relief" to arrive but did not receive compensation for this extra work. Id. ¶¶ 17-21. And finally, they allege that they were "regularly" required to work more than five shifts per week but were not paid overtime wages for work performed in excess of 40 hours per week. Id. ¶¶ 22-29.

         Overall, Plaintiffs allege that they (and other similarly situated employees) "were regularly denied approval for overtime" even though they "worked at least 250 hours of overtime per year during the [three] years immediately preceding the filing of [the] complaint." Compl. ¶¶ 32, 34. Invoking both the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., and the DCMWA, D.C. Code § 32-1001, et seq., they seek their unpaid, overtime wages and benefits; an additional, equal amount as liquidated damages; prejudgment interest; and attorneys' fees and costs.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Arguing that the standards applicable under the FLSA and the DCMWA are "virtually identical, " Dkt. 8-1 at 7 n.2, Chugach devotes its attention to attacking the adequacy of Plaintiffs' FLSA claim. If that claim fails on the pleadings, according to Chugach, so must Plaintiffs' DCMWA claim. At least for present purposes, the Court agrees that the sufficiency of both counts of the complaint rise or fall together. See Calles v. BPA E. US, Inc., Civ. No. 91-2298, 1991 WL 274268, at *1 (D.D.C. Dec. 6, 1991) ("[The DCMWA] contains many of the same provisions that appear in [the] FLSA, and there is legislative history evidence that it is to be construed ...


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