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Silfee v. Automated Data Processing, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 12, 2015

JOSHUA SILFEE, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,


A. RICHARD CAPUTO, District Judge.

Presently before me is Defendant Automated Data Processing, Inc.'s ("ADP") Motion to Dismiss, or, in the Alternative, Compel Individual Arbitration and Stay Proceedings. (Doc. 8.) For the reasons that follow, the motion to dismiss will be granted.

I. Background

The facts alleged in the Class Action Complaint are as follows:

Plaintiff Joshua Silfee ("Silfee") is a citizen of Pennsylvania and resident of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. ( Compl., ¶ 3.) Defendant ADP is "a provider of business processing and cloud-based solutions, including payroll, talent management, human resource management, benefits administration, and time and attendance, to employers and automotive dealerships around the world." ( Id. at ¶ 4.) As part of its payroll products and services offered to clients, ADP provides employers the option of paying their employees through a paycard system, known as TotalPay or ALINE. ( Id. at ¶ 6.) This paycard system is issued and administered by ADP, and each employee is provided with a VISA brand paycard that is loaded each pay period with the employee's net earnings. ( Id. )

Until approximately July 2013, Silfee was employed by ERG Staffing Service, LLC ("ERG"). ( Id. at ¶ 7.) During this time, ERG contracted with ADP for the provision of various payroll services, including the use of the TotalPay paycard system. ( Id. at ¶ 8.)

Through the use of the TotalPay paycard system, ADP paid wages to ERG employees, including Silfee. ( Id. at ¶ 9.) Each pay period, ADP processed payroll for all ERG employees and automatically loaded the employees' wages onto the TotalPay paycard. ( Id. at ¶ 10.) Employees who are paid wages through the paycard are charged an enrollment fee, account maintenance fees, ATM withdrawal fees, balance inquiry fees, point of sale purchase fees, and an account closure fee. ( Id. at ¶ 11.) These fees were deducted by ADP from the balance of funds loaded onto employees' TotalPay paycards. ( Id. at ¶ 12.)

ADP was actively involved in the policy and decision making on matters of pay and compensation for ERG. ( Id. at ¶¶ 15, 39.) ADP directly made the decision and implemented the policy regarding the wage deductions and fees associated with the TotalPay paycard system. ( Id. at ¶ 16.) Additionally, "Plaintiff and members of the proposed class have entered into an unwritten agreement with ADP to which Plaintiff and members of the proposed class are to receive the full amount of wages owed to them in compensation of their work." ( Id. at ¶ 41.)

In view of the foregoing, Silfee, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, commenced this action against ADP in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on August 22, 2014. The action was subsequently transferred to this Court by agreement of the parties. (Doc. 14.) In his one-count Complaint, Silfee alleges that ADP violated the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law ("WPCL"), 43 P.S. § 260.1 et seq., as a result of the fees associated with the use of the TotalPay paycard system. ( Compl. )

On November 21, 2014, ADP filed the instant motion to dismiss or to compel arbitration. (Doc. 8.) Silfee filed his brief in opposition to ADP's motion on December 19, 2014, (Doc. 12), and ADP filed a reply brief in further support of its motion on January 16, 2015. (Doc. 20.) ADP's motion to dismiss or compel arbitration is thus fully briefed and ripe for disposition.

II. Discussion

A. Legal Standard

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint, in whole or in part, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court's role is limited to determining if a plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence in support of their claims. See Semerenko v. Cendant Corp., 223 F.3d 165, 173 (3d Cir. 2000). The Court does not consider whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail. See id. A defendant bears the burden of establishing that a plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim. See Gould Elecs. v. United States, 220 F.3d 169, 178 (3d Cir. 2000).

"A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain... a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The statement required by Rule 8(a)(2) must "give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007) (per curiam) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). Detailed factual allegations are not required. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955. However, mere conclusory statements will not do; "a complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief." Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). Instead, a complaint must "show" this entitlement by alleging sufficient facts. Id. "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be ...

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