United States District Court, District of Columbia
EDUARDO DUBON MARTINEZ et al. Plaintiffs,
ASIAN 328, LLC et al. Defendants.
MICHAEL HARVEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary
judgment. The motion asks the Court to rule that, as a matter
of law, Defendant Ling Zheng was Plaintiffs'
“employer” for purposes of their claims under the
Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. 201
et seq., and the District of Columbia Wage Payment
and Collection Law (“DCWPCL”), D.C. Code §
32-1301 et seq. Upon consideration of the
parties' briefs and the entire record herein,
Court will grant the motion in part and deny it in part.
Defendant's Response to Plaintiffs' Motion
every motion for summary judgment, Plaintiffs, the movants
here, submitted a statement of material facts which they
claim support the entry of partial summary judgment against
Defendants. See Pl. Mot., Statement of Material
Facts (“SOF”) [Dkt. 58-1]. In their opposition,
Defendants attached a “Statement of Genuine Issues of a
Material Fact That Are in Dispute.” Opp. at
The one-page document contains three numbered paragraphs
which Defendants claim explain the facts in dispute in this
case that prevent the entry of partial summary judgment at
this time. See Id. Those three disputes of fact are,
in Defendants' view:
(1) Whether the Defendants were involved in interstate
commerce, during the times alleged in the Plaintiffs'
(2) Whether the Defendants had $500, 000.00, in gross annual
business, during the times alleged in the Plaintiffs'
(3) Whether all of the Plaintiffs were employed, with the
Defendants, during the times alleged in their complaint.
Id. None of these paragraphs cite to any evidence
failing to address Plaintiffs' asserted statements of
material fact, and by failing to provide any evidence
whatsoever supporting their own purported disputes of fact,
Defendants have conceded each and every fact asserted by
Plaintiffs. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) (failing to
properly address a fact permits the court to find that the
fact is undisputed for purposes of the summary-judgment
motion); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1) (requiring the party opposing
summary judgment to provide citations to record evidence
supporting their asserted disputes of fact); L. Civ. R. 7(h)
(“In determining a motion for summary judgment, the
Court may assume that facts identified by the moving party in
its statement of material facts are admitted, unless such a
fact is controverted in the statement of genuine issues filed
in opposition to the motion.”); Laningham v. U.S.
Navy, 813 F.2d 1236, 1241 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (the party
opposing summary judgment “may not rest upon mere
allegation or denials of his pleadings but must present
affirmative evidence showing a genuine issue for
the undisputed facts set forth below are drawn from
Plaintiffs' statement of material facts and from the
record evidence Plaintiffs submitted in connection with their
Asian 328, LLC, through its owner, Defendant Zheng, operates
a Washington, D.C. restaurant known as “Asia 54.”
Am. Compl. ¶¶ 6-10. Plaintiffs worked for
Defendants as kitchen laborers, which included duties such as
cleaning, dishwashing, and basic food preparation.
Id. ¶¶ 11, 12, 24, 25, 36, 37. Plaintiffs
filed this action pursuant to the FLSA and DCWPCL, alleging
that although they worked significant overtime hours,
Defendants failed to pay them overtime wages. Id.
¶¶ 19, 20, 28, 29, 40, 41. Plaintiffs claim that
Defendants owe them approximately $39, 000.00 in unpaid
wages. See Id. ¶¶ 22, 34, 43.
facts relevant to the resolution of Plaintiffs' motion
are straightforward. At all relevant times, Defendant Zheng
was the sole owner and member of Defendant Asian 328, LLC.
Pl. Mot., Ex. A ¶ 1; Pl. Mot., Ex. B. 8:9-21. Zheng
averred that her former co-defendant and a co-worker at Asia
54, Cai Chen, is merely an employee, not an officer, of the
company. Pl. Mot., Ex. A ¶ 4. In her capacity as owner
and sole member, Zheng exercised exclusive control over the
operations of Asia 54. See Id. ¶ 2; Pl. Mot.,
Ex. B 9:14-10:4. For instance, Zheng alone had the power to
hire and fire restaurant employees, set their work schedules,
and set their rates of pay. Pl. Mot., Ex. A ¶ 2; Pl.
Mot., Ex. B 9:4-10:4, 31:2-8. Because most or all employees
were paid in cash, she was also the person to physically hand
employees their wages. See Pl. Mot., Ex. B ¶
21:19- 22:20. Indeed, Zheng wielded such ...