United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
P. Mehta United States District Judge
Irene Akinsinde is a nurse who worked in the psychiatric ward
of Defendant Not-For-Profit Hospital Corporation for eleven
years. She brings this lawsuit seeking redress for two
general categories of alleged misconduct. First, Plaintiff
claims that Defendant failed to pay her overtime, as required
by federal and District of Columbia law, during her entire
tenure as Defendant's employee. As to those acts of
non-payment, Plaintiff advances three separate claims under
the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (Count I), the D.C.
Minimum Wage Revision Act (Count II), and the D.C. Wage
Payment and Collection Law (Count III). Second, Plaintiff
alleges that her immediate supervisor-motivated by personal
animosity-falsely accused her of discarding a patient's
medications, which ultimately resulted in Plaintiff's
termination. As to that conduct, Plaintiff raises a single
common law tort claim for negligent supervision (Count
has moved to dismiss all claims. Specifically, it contends
that each of Plaintiff's claims must be dismissed for two
main reasons: (1) Plaintiff failed to serve Defendant with
timely notice of her claims under D.C. Code §
44-951.14(d); and (2) Plaintiff failed to plead sufficient
facts to give rise to a plausible claim for relief as to each
of her claims.
reasons explained below, Defendant's Motion is granted in
part and denied in part.
Irene Akinsinde is a licensed practical nurse. First Am.
Compl., ECF No. 6 [hereinafter Am. Compl.], ¶ 8. Since
2004, she has worked in the psychiatric ward of Defendant
Not-For-Profit Hospital Corporation's hospital, now known
as United Medical Center. Id. When Plaintiff began
her work at the hospital, it was privately owned and
operated. However, in 2011, the District of Columbia
government created Defendant as “an instrumentality of
the District government” for the purpose of acquiring
the hospital's assets and continuing its operations.
See D.C. Code § 44-951.02. Thus, Defendant is
an arm of the District government, albeit one with “a
separate legal existence.” Id. §
to Plaintiff, Defendant's policies allowed hospital staff
members who worked an eight-hour shift to take two unpaid
15-minute breaks and one unpaid 30-minute meal break. Am.
Compl. ¶ 9. Due to chronic understaffing in the
psychiatric ward, however, Plaintiff “routinely worked
the entire day . . . without taking a break” and she
was not paid for these additional hours of work. Id.
¶¶ 14-15. Moreover, Plaintiff avers that she did
not receive an overtime rate of pay for the work she did in
excess of 40 hours. Id. ¶¶ 18, 33.
Plaintiff claims that such nonpayment and underpayment
occurred “during the entire time that she was employed
by [D]efendant.” Id. ¶ 16.
unspecified time, Grea Neverson-Daniels became
Plaintiff's supervisor. Id. ¶ 21. Plaintiff
knew Neverson-Daniels's husband before he married
Neverson-Daniels, causing friction between Plaintiff and her
supervisor. Id. Plaintiff complained to a Human
Resources officer, Jennifer Dupree, about her mistreatment by
Neverson-Daniels, but no one took corrective action.
Id. ¶¶ 22-23. Tensions continued to
escalate between Plaintiff and Neverson-Daniels, culminating
in Neverson-Daniels falsely accusing Plaintiff of discarding
a patient's medications. Id. ¶ 24.
According to Plaintiff, “neither the Director of Human
Resources or any other . . . supervisors took it upon
themselves to investigate and intervene, ” despite
evidence of Plaintiff's innocence-she was not at work on
the day in question. Id. ¶¶ 24-25.
Although “preposterous and false, ”
Neverson-Daniels's accusation caused Plaintiff to be
fired on March 9, 2015. Id. ¶ 25.
originally brought this case in D.C. Superior Court on
February 17, 2016, after which Defendant removed it to this
court. See Notice and Pet. for Removal, ECF No. 1,
at 1. Plaintiff then filed an Amended Complaint. See
Am. Compl. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the Amended
Complaint is now before the court and ripe for consideration.
See Def.'s Second Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 8
[hereinafter Def.'s Mot.].
evaluating a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), the court must accept a plaintiff's
factual allegations as true and “construe the complaint
‘in favor of the plaintiff, who must be granted the
benefit of all inferences that can be derived from the facts
alleged.'” Hettinga v. United States, 677
F.3d 471, 476 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (quoting Schuler v.
United States, 617 F.2d 605, 608 (D.C. Cir.
1979)). The court need not accept as true either “a
legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation, ”
Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986), or
“inferences . . . unsupported by the facts set out in
the complaint, ” Kowal v. MCI Commc'ns
Corp., 16 F.3d 1271, 1276 (D.C. Cir. 1994).
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). A claim is facially plausible when “the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. The factual
allegations in the complaint need not be
“detailed”; however, the Federal Rules demand
more than “an unadorned,
Id. “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice.” Id. If the facts as alleged fail
to establish that a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which
relief can be granted, then a court must grant the
defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) motion. See Am. Chemistry
Council, Inc. v. U.S. Dep't of Health & Human
Servs., 922 F.Supp.2d 56, 61 (D.D.C. 2013).
court first considers Defendant's contention that each of
Plaintiff's claims must be dismissed because she has
failed to provide notice of her claims in advance of filing
suit, as required by D.C. Code § 44-951.14(d). Having
concluded that Plaintiff did provide proper notice, the court
then turns to Defendant's arguments concerning the
sufficiency of Plaintiff's pleading.
Whether Plaintiff Has Satisfied the Notice Requirement of