United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
RICHARD CAPUTO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before me is the Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint
(Doc. 8) filed by Defendants Major Motors of Pennsylvania,
Inc. d/b/a Major Hyundai of Stroudsburg (“Major
Motors”) and Nadder Nejad (“Nejad”)
(collectively, “Defendants”). Plaintiff Scott
Pleickhardt (“Plaintiff” or
“Pleickhardt”) alleges that his former employer,
Major Motors, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29
U.S.C. § 209 et seq. (“FLSA”), the
Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, 43 P.S. § 333.101 et
seq. (“MWA”), and the Pennsylvania Wage
Payment and Collection Law, 43 P.S. § 260.1 et
seq. (“WPCL”) and wrongfully terminated his
employment in violation of public policy. (See Doc.
1, generally). Defendants now move to dismiss
Plaintiff's minimum wage claims under the FLSA and MWA,
his WPCL claim, and his wrongful termination claim pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (See
Docs. 8-9). Because Plaintiff fails to allege facts
sufficient to satisfy the public policy exception to
Pennsylvania's general rule of employment at-will,
Plaintiff's wrongful termination claim will be dismissed
with prejudice. However, because Plaintiff adequately pleads
his FLSA and MWA failure to pay minimum wage claims and his
WPCL failure to pay agreed upon salary claim, Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss those claims will be denied.
facts as alleged in Plaintiff's Complaint are as follows:
was hired by Major Motors as a service advisor in or around
February 2014. (See Doc. 1, ¶ 10). At the time,
Plaintiff was classified as an exempt employee pursuant to
the FLSA and MWA. (See id. at ¶ 11). The
parties agreed that Plaintiff would be paid a weekly salary
of $525.00 plus commissions based on labor sales. (See
id. at ¶ 12). Plaintiff's total monthly labor
sales regularly doubled those of the other service advisors
in the same department. (See id. at ¶ 13).
mid-October 2016, Defendants enacted the “Service
Department Time off and Absence Policy” (the
“Policy”). (Id. at ¶ 14 and Ex. A).
The Policy provided, inter alia: “[a]ll
employees receive one personal and two sick days a
year”; “[t]hree lateness count as one
absence”; and “[a]ll salary and commission based
employees that require time off that they do not have
available will have the time missed deducted from their pay
at the end of the month based on their base pay and
commission averaged out as an hourly rate.”
he received a copy of the Policy, Plaintiff complained about
its legality to Brian Healy (“Healy”), the
service department manager, and Nejad, owner of Major Motors.
(See id. at ¶¶ 4, 15). Nejad responded
that the Policy was legal and would be enforced as written.
(See id. at ¶ 15). The next day, Plaintiff
reiterated to Healy his view that the Policy was illegal.
(See id. at ¶ 16).
November 3, 2016, slightly more than two weeks after
Plaintiff complained about the Policy, Healy issued Plaintiff
a write-up that was based on false allegations regarding
purported mistakes made by Plaintiff on a customer bill.
(See id. at ¶¶ 18-19 and Ex. B). Healy, as
instructed by Nedad, informed Plaintiff that he would be
terminated unless he repaid Defendants $535.35, the cost
which was allegedly incurred as a result of Plaintiff's
purported billing errors. (See id. at ¶ 20 and
Ex. B). Plaintiff refused to reimburse Defendants and he was
immediately terminated. (See id. at ¶ 21).
received his final paycheck in mid-November 2016 for the
October 26, 2016-November 8, 2016 pay period. (See
id. at ¶ 22 and Ex. C). Plaintiff worked
approximately forty-eight (48) hours between October 26, 2016
and his last full day, November 2, 2016, and was paid a gross
salary of $525.00. (See id. at ¶ 41). The
earnings statement accompanying the paycheck indicated a
“miscellaneous” deduction by Defendants in the
amount of $414.71. (See id. at ¶ 22 and Ex. C).
Plaintiff's pre-tax pay for his final pay period was
$107.29, and his net pay for that period was $11.60. (See
on the foregoing, Plaintiff commenced this action by filing a
seven-Count Complaint against Defendants on February 28, 2017
containing the following claims: (1) Count I - FLSA
retaliatory termination; (2) Count II - FLSA failure to pay
minimum wage; (3) Count III - FLSA failure to maintain
records; (4) Count IV- wrongful termination; (5) Count V -
WPCL failure to pay salary as agreed; (6) Count VI - MWA
failure to pay minimum wage; and (7) Count VII - failure to
maintain records. (See Doc. 1, generally).
By Stipulation of the parties, Counts III and VII of the
Complaint were dismissed with prejudice. (See Doc.
7, generally; Doc. 10, generally). On April
24, 2017, Defendants filed the instant Motion to Dismiss and
supporting brief seeking dismissal of Counts II, IV, V, and
VI of the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). (See Docs. 8-9,
generally). Plaintiff filed his brief in opposition to
Defendant's Motion on May 8, 2017, (see Doc. 11,
generally), and Defendants' reply brief was
submitted on May 22, 2017. (See Doc. 13,
generally). Oral argument was held on
Defendants' Motion on September 18, 2017 at the request
of Plaintiff. (See Docs. 13-14, generally).
The Motion to Dismiss is now ripe for disposition.
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 her 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. 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).
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 (2007) (per
curiam) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Detailed factual allegations are not
required. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. 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 ...