United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
TOBELLE K. SCHUPACK, Plaintiff,
MARKETVISION RESEARCH, INC., Defendant,
MEMORANDUM RE: MOTION TO DISMISS
case, Plaintiff Tobelle Schupack (“Plaintiff”)
alleges that Defendant Marketvision Research, Inc.
(“MVR”) failed to pay her for market research
services she performed while employed by MVR in 2013 and
2014. Plaintiff seeks unpaid wages under three theories:
(1) breach of contract;
(2) violation of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection
Law (“WPCL”); and
(3) unjust enrichment.
before the Court is MVR's Motion to Dismiss Counts II and
III of the Complaint, alleging violations of WPCL and unjust
enrichment, respectively. For the reasons discussed below,
MVR's motion is denied.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Plaintiff's allegations as true, the factual background
is as follows. Plaintiff was hired by MVR in June 2012 to
perform market research services. (ECF No. 1, Compl. ¶
7.) Plaintiff was to report to various senior account
managers, complete the projects they assigned, present her
findings, and modify her research based on the direction she
received. Id. ¶ 16. In exchange for the
services she provided, Plaintiff invoiced her hours to MVR
every two weeks and was compensated at an hourly rate of
$50/hour. Id. ¶ 19. MVR provided Plaintiff with
a desk, office, computer, and company email address, though
Plaintiff primarily worked from home during the relevant time
period. Id. ¶¶ 9, 20. The services that
Plaintiff performed for MVR's pharmaceutical and health
care clients were central to MVR's business mission.
(Id., Ex. 3.) Throughout the duration of MVR's
relationship with Plaintiff, MVR retained the right to
terminate her employment at any time. (ECF No. 6, Pl.'s
Opp'n at 5.)
October 2014, when Plaintiff stopped working for MVR, she was
owed roughly $85, 000 for 1, 691 hours worked from January
2013 to October 2014. (Compl. ¶ 24.) In January 2016,
Plaintiff contacted MVR's Executive Vice President, to
whom she had previously reported, requesting payment for the
uncompensated hours, and was referred to the company's
Human Resources Director, Emily Redder. (Id. ¶
26.) On March 3, 2016, Plaintiff submitted an invoice listing
her hours spent on each project she worked on and the amount
owed. (Id. ¶ 27.) Four days later, Redder
requested additional detail so the hours could be certified.
(Id. ¶ 28.) On March 10, 2016, Plaintiff
provided the information requested, specifying in greater
detail the tasks completed and listing the start and end
dates for each project. (Id. ¶ 29.) On April
20, 2016, Redder informed Plaintiff that because Plaintiff
had delayed in requesting payment, and because several of the
listed projects had required additional work after Plaintiff
had completed them, MVR would not pay her the requested $85,
000 but was prepared to make a one-time payment of $15, 000.
(Id. ¶ 30.) On May 6, 2016, Plaintiff responded
by stating that she could provide documentation of all of the
work for which she was seeking payment. (Id. ¶
31.) On May 9, 2016, Redder acknowledged Plaintiff's
rejection of the one-time payment offer, and advised
Plaintiff that MVR considered the matter closed.
(Id. ¶ 32.)
filed suit against MVR on November 29, 2016 seeking unpaid
wages and compensation, liquidated damages, interest, costs,
and attorney's fees (ECF No. 1). On February 3, 2017, MVR
moved to dismiss Counts II and III of Plaintiff's
complaint (ECF No. 5). Plaintiff filed a Response to
MVR's Motion on February 17, 2017 (ECF No. 6).
considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6),
“we accept all factual allegations as true [and]
construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff.” Warren Gen. Hosp. v. Amgen, Inc.,
643 F.3d 77, 84 (3d Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks and
citations omitted). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim for 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)).
Court in Iqbal explained that, although a court must
accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in a
complaint, that requirement does not apply to legal
conclusions; therefore, pleadings must include factual
allegations to support the legal claims asserted.
Id. at 678, 684. “Threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Id. at 678
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Accordingly, to
survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead
“factual content that allows the court ...