United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
KATHLEEN BICKINGS, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated Plaintiffs,
NHS HUMAN SERVICES and NHS-ALLEGHENY VALLEY SCHOOL, LLC, Defendants.
NITZA I. QUIÑONES ALEJANDRO, District Judge.
Kathleen Bickings (Plaintiff) filed an amended complaint against NHS-Allegheny Valley School, LLC ("NHS-Allegheny"/Defendant) under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. ("FLSA"), for failure to pay overtime compensation to its registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, and under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law, 43 P.S. § 1421 et seq. ("Whistleblower Law"), for wrongful termination of employment in retaliation for knowing and reporting an unlawful scheme undertaken by Defendant's management.
On August 14, 2013, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (Rule) 12(b)(6), arguing that Plaintiff failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted. [ECF 15]. Plaintiff filed a response in opposition. [ECF 17]. This matter is ripe for the Court's determination.
For the reasons set forth herein, Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted, in part.
When considering Defendant's motion to dismiss and the response in opposition, this Court accepts as true all pertinent facts alleged in the amended complaint, to wit: 
In 1998, Plaintiff began her employment with Defendant as a registered nurse paid at an hourly wage. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 2, 35, 40.
NHS Human Services is a community-based nonprofit service provider that owns and operates numerous subsidiaries, including Defendant NHS-Allegheny. These entities receive funding from Medicare and/or Medicaid in payment for patient care rendered. Id. ¶¶ 9, 14.
As a registered nurse, Plaintiff was required to work eight-hour shifts and "on occasion" worked "in excess of 40 hours per week". Id. ¶¶ 41, 42. This overtime unpaid work was performed either before and/or after scheduled shifts and included, but was not limited to, patient care related duties which were an integral and indispensable part of her employment as a registered nurse. Id. ¶ 44.
Plaintiff alleges that she was supposed to receive a 30-minute unpaid meal break, and that her compensation was automatically deducted to reflect the meal break. Plaintiff claims that she did not receive the uninterrupted 30-minute meal break during every shift worked and routinely "performed patient care related job duties during these unpaid meal breaks." Id. ¶ 45.
The collective class consists of an undetermined number of individuals, "easily ascertain[able] by Defendant[s]", consisting of present and/or former registered or licensed practical nurses, who also worked in excess of 40 hours per week without compensation and did not receive uninterrupted 30-minute meal breaks. Id. ¶¶ 18, 19.
In mid-January 2013, during a scheduled shift, Plaintiff claims she entered the office of Maureen Greene, Health Services Supervisor at Defendant NHS-Allegheny and spotted paperwork in which Ms. Greene, with the authorization of Jennifer Szapo, Administrator at NHS-Allegheny, was requesting compensation from Medicare and/or Medicaid for performance of nursing duties in certain departments that were not actually performed. Id. ¶¶ 48-53. Ms. Szapo and Ms. Greene subsequently determined that Plaintiff discovered their "unlawful scheme" and thereafter "began to treat Plaintiff differently." Id. ¶¶ 56, 57.
On January 29, 2013, approximately two weeks after the discovery of the paperwork in Ms. Greene's office, Plaintiff was notified that she was being placed on administrative leave pending an investigation for falsifying a document. Id. ¶ 59.
On January 30, 2013, Plaintiff reported the conduct of Ms. Green and Ms. Szapo to the Department of Public Works. Id. ¶ 63. By letter dated January 31, 2013, Plaintiff notified John Ciavardone, Defendant's Vice President ...