United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina
RYAN LANG, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
DUPLIN COUNTY, Defendant.
TERRENCE W. BOYLE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on defendant39;s motion for
partial judgment on the pleadings. [DE 35]. The motion has
been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition. For the
reasons that follow, defendant39;s motion for partial
judgment on the pleadings [DE 35] is GRANTED.
2018, plaintiff filed this action on his own behalf and on
behalf of all others similarly situated. [DE 1]. Plaintiff
alleges that defendant intentionally misclassified an array
of hourly workers, including paramedics, emergency medical
personnel, and related county employees, as exempt from
overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29
U.S.C. § 201, et seq. Plaintiff brings two
causes of action: (1) an FLSA collective action on behalf of
himself and any affected employees within the last three
years for their overtime wages and liquidated damages and (2)
a putative class action for behalf of himself and any
affected employees who will be employed in the next two years
under North Carolina39;s Wage & Hour Act, N.C. Gen.
Stat. § 95-25.1, et seq., for promised overtime
wages and liquidated damages.
January 2019, defendant moved under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(c) for partial judgment on the pleadings as to
plaintiffs second cause of action, arguing that the N.C. Wage
& Hour Act does not apply to governmental units and the
claim should be dismissed. [DE 35]. Plaintiff responded,
conceding that he has no objection to dismissal of the N.C.
Wage & Hour Act claim but protesting the timing of the
filing. [DE 39].
12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings raising the
defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted is assessed under the Rule 12(b)(6) standard.
Edwards v. Cityof Goldsboro, 178F.3d231, 243 (4th
Cir. 1999). When considering a motion to dismiss under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), "the court
should accept as true all well-pleaded allegations and should
view the complaint in a light most favorable to the
plaintiff." Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7
F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993). A complaint must state a
claim for relief that is facially plausible. Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
Facial plausibility means that the court can "draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged," as merely reciting the elements of
a cause of action with the support of conclusory statements
does not suffice. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). The court need not accept the plaintiffs legal
conclusions drawn from the facts, nor need it accept
unwarranted inferences, unreasonable conclusions, or
arguments. Philips v. Pitt County Mem. Hosp., 572
F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir. 2009).
has conceded that dismissal is appropriate on the N.C. Wage
& Hour Act claim. The N.C. Wage & Hour Act exempts
from its provisions, including the overtime provisions most
relevant to this action, the State of North Carolina and
"any city, town, county, or municipality, or any State
or local agency or instrumentality of government." N.C.
Gen. Stat. § 95-25.14(d); see also Johnson v. N.C.
Dep39;t of Transp., 418 S.E.2d 700, 704 ( N.C. 1992)
(finding that the N.C. Wage & Hour Act "expressly
exempts any State or local agency from its overtime
compensation provisions); Newber v. City of
Wilmington, 350 S.E.2d 125, 127 ( N.C. 1986) (applying
the exemption to municipalities). Plaintiff alleged in his
amended complaint that defendant is a "local
governmental entity." [DE 30, ¶ 15]. Plaintiff
further concedes that he has no objection to defendant39;s
motion. [DE 39, p. 2]. Thus, judgment on the pleadings is
appropriate, and under Rules 12(b)(6) and 12(c), plaintiffs
N.C. Wage & Hour Act claim must be dismissed.
the reasons discussed above, defendant's motion for
partial judgment on the pleadings [DE 35] is GRANTED and