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Hughes v. United Parcel Service, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

March 6, 2015



R. BARCLAY SURRICK, District Judge.

Presently before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint filed by Defendant, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 623 (the "Teamsters") (ECF No. 11) and the Defendant, United Parcel Service, Inc.'s (UPS) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint (ECF No. 16). For the following reasons, Defendants' Motions will be granted.


This is a labor dispute where Plaintiffs, James Hughes and John K. Hughes, seek to recover wages allegedly earned but not paid. Plaintiffs assert various state law causes of action, including breach of contract/breach of the duty of fair representation, violation of the Pennsylvania Wage and Payment Collection Law (WPCL), 43 P.S. § 260 et seq., unjust enrichment, and loss of consortium. Plaintiffs also assert a federal cause of action for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. (Pls.' First Am. Compl., ECF No. 9.) Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint, asserting that all of Plaintiffs' claims are preempted under "Section 301" of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), 29 U.S.C. § 185, and because Plaintiffs have failed to exhaust their administrative remedies, as required under § 301.

A. Factual Background

Plaintiffs James and Melissa Hughes are husband and wife, and Plaintiffs John K. Hughes and Beverly Hughes are husband and wife. (Pls.' First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 3-4.) In 2002, James and John Hughes (hereinafter "Plaintiffs") became employed with UPS and joined the Teamsters union. ( Id. at ¶¶ 8-11.) They both held part-time positions as "air drivers, " and were not able to secure full-time positions due to their seniority level within the Teamsters. ( Id. at ¶¶ 10-12.) As of January 2012, they remained in the same part-time positions earning wages at an hourly rate of $23.70. ( Id. at ¶¶ 13-14.) At all times material, the employment of Plaintiffs with UPS was governed by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). ( Id. at ¶ 26.)

In January 2012, Plaintiffs became aware of full-time position openings. ( Id. at ¶ 13.) They inquired of certain leadership members of the Teamsters as to whether the full-time positions would lead to a change in their rate of pay, and were told their hourly rate of $23.70 would not change. ( Id. at ¶¶ 15-16.) "Based upon these representations, the collective bargaining agreement, and the job descriptions for the full-time positions, Plaintiffs applied for and were hired by [UPS] for full-time employment as air drivers." ( Id. at ¶ 17.)

Shortly after beginning their new full-time roles, Plaintiffs discovered that their hourly rate of pay decreased to $13.50 and their seniority was eliminated. ( Id. at ¶¶ 18-19, 22.) They contacted a representative of UPS and the National Labor Relations Board for assistance. This was not successful. ( Id. at ¶ 20.) In addition, Plaintiffs allege that they filed grievances with the Teamsters concerning this wage decrease. ( Id. at ¶ 21.) Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint contains no factual allegations that Plaintiffs proceeded with or exhausted the administrative remedies available under the CBA.

B. Procedural Background

Plaintiffs began this action by filing a Complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania on June 4, 2014. (Notice of Removal ¶ 1, ECF No. 1.) The Teamsters removed the action to this Court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction on June 19, 2014. ( Id. ) On July 31, 2014, following a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Teamsters (ECF No. 7), Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint. The Teamsters filed a Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint on July 31, 2014. UPS filed a similar Motion on August 19, 2014. Plaintiffs filed an Omnibus Response on September 3, 2014. (ECF No. 19.) UPS filed a Reply on October 9, 2014 (ECF No. 22), and Plaintiffs filed a Surreply on November 5, 2014 (ECF No. 25).


Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a complaint may be dismissed for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." "To 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 complaint that merely alleges entitlement to relief, without alleging facts that show entitlement, must be dismissed. See Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 211 (3d Cir. 2009). This "does not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage, ' but instead simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of' the necessary element." Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Nevertheless, the Court need not accept as true "unsupported conclusions and unwarranted inferences, " Doug Grant, Inc. v. Greate Bay Casino Corp., 232 F.3d 173, 183-84 (3d Cir. 2000), or the plaintiff's "bald assertions" or "legal conclusions, " Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d. 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). "In deciding a motion to dismiss, all well-pleaded allegations of the complaint must be taken as true and interpreted in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs, and all inferences must be drawn in favor of them." McTernan v. City of York, 577 F.3d 521, 526 (3d Cir. 2009).


As noted above, Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint on the basis that Plaintiffs' claims are preempted by § 301 of the LMRA. In addition, Defendants contend that Plaintiffs failed to exhaust their ...

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