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Luna-Reyes v. RFI Constr., LLC

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

November 3, 2014

JOAQUIN LUNA-REYES, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
RFI CONSTRUCTION, LLC, RUPERT BURROWS, and WILLIAM WARRICK, Defendants

Page 496

For JOAQUIN LUNA-REYES, Plaintiff: JIMMY DEREK BRAZIEL, LEE & BRAZIEL, LLP, DALLAS, TX.; GILDA A. HERNANDEZ, LAW OFFICES OF GILDA A. HERNANDEZ, PLLC, APEX, NC.

For RFI CONSTRUCTION, LLC, Defendants: THEODORE C. EDWARDS, II, LEAD ATTORNEY, KILPATRICK TOWNSEND & STOCKTON LLP, RALEIGH, NC; KIP NELSON, SMITH MOORE LEATHERWOOD LLP, GREENSBORO, NC.

For RUPERT BURROWS, KIP NELSON, SMITH MOORE LEATHERWOOD LLP, GREENSBORO, NC.

Page 497

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Thomas D. Schroeder, United States District Judge.

This is an action by Plaintiff Joaquin Luna-Reyes under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, 29 U.S.C. § § 201 et seq., and the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act (NCWHA), N.C. Gen. Stat. § § 95-25.1 et seq. Before the court are two motions: Defendants RFI Construction, LLC (" RFI Construction" ) and Rupert Burrows (collectively the " RFI Defendants" ) move to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and, alternatively, failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), respectively (Doc. 14); and Luna-Reyes moves for leave to file a surreply pursuant to Local Rule 7.6 (Doc. 24). For the reasons set forth below, the RFI Defendants' Rule 12(b)(1) motion will be denied and their Rule 12(b)(6) motion will be treated as a motion for more definite statement under Rule 12(e) and will be granted. Luna-Reyes' motion for leave to file a surreply will be denied.

Page 498

I. BACKGROUND

The facts, viewed in the light most favorable to Luna-Reyes, are as follows:

Defendant RFI Construction is a North Carolina limited liability company. (Doc. 13 (" Compl." ) ¶ 7.) Defendant Burrows is its owner and CEO and handles its day-to-day business, including approving employees' pay.[1](Id. ¶ 34.) RFI Construction and Burrows " hired" Defendant William Warrick[2]" to perform subcontracted work for those two Defendants for projects on which RFI was working." (Id. ¶ 35.) At some time before October 2013, Warrick contacted Luna-Reyes to work for " Defendants" and " controlled Plaintiff's work activities and compensation." (Id.)

For approximately the entire month of October 2013, Luna-Reyes worked as an hourly-paid (non-salaried) carpenter at a construction site in Durham. (Id. ¶ ¶ 5, 21-22.) He could not hire someone else to perform his job or serve as his replacement. (Id. ¶ 25.) His job neither required a high degree of skill nor was the job for any specific project or time. (Id. ¶ ¶ 26, 29.) Rather, when hired, Luna-Reyes expected to work " for the company" for an indefinite period of time. (Id. ¶ 29.)

The complaint makes repeated references to " Defendants" without specifying which allegedly took what action. According to Luna-Reyes, " Defendants controlled all aspects" of his work, which was conducted under " Defendants'" employees' supervision. (Id. ¶ ¶ 23, 26, 28.) Warrick, however, " controlled [his] work activities and compensation." (Id. ¶ 35.) " Defendants" also set his hourly pay and maintained his payroll records. (Id. ¶ ¶ 24, 33.) Finally, " Defendants" provided him with the specialized equipment required for his work. (Id. ¶ 27.)

Luna-Reyes alleges that he was paid the same hourly rate for all hours he worked, even when they exceeded forty per week. (Id. ¶ 30.) He further alleges that he was not paid at all for at least one week. (Id.) He finally alleges that other hourly-paid laborers and installers of " Defendants" faced the same issues with their pay. (Id.)

Luna-Reyes filed his original complaint on March 20, 2014, naming only RFI Construction as Defendant and asserting two causes of action. (Doc. 1.) RFI Construction answered on April 22, 2014. (Doc. 9.) Luna-Reyes then filed an amended complaint on May 16, 2014, adding Burrows and Warrick as Defendants. (Doc. 13.) Warrick has yet to be served.

RFI Defendants now move to dismiss Luna-Reyes' claims for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim. (Docs. 14.) Plaintiff has responded (Doc. 20), and RFI Defendants have replied (Doc. 22). Plaintiff also moves for leave to file a surreply. (Doc. 24.) RFI Defendants have responded to the motion for leave to file a surreply ...


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