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Ellis v. Robert Taylor Companies

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

August 22, 2017

Bobbi Ellis, Plaintiff,
v.
Robert Taylor Companies, et al., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER

          PATRICIA A. GAUGHAN Judge.

         Introduction

         This matter is before the Court upon defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 9). This case arises out of the termination of plaintiff's employment with defendants. For the following reasons, the motion is DENIED.

         Facts

         Plaintiff Bobbi Ellis filed this Complaint against defendants Robert Taylor Companies (RTC), Robert Taylor, and Elizabeth Taylor-Newsome. The Complaint alleges the following. Taylor is the owner of RTC and plaintiff's supervisor. Taylor-Newsome is an employee of RTC and also supervises plaintiff. Plaintiff was hired by RTC in March 2011. In January 2016, plaintiff was told by Taylor and Taylor-Newsome that she needed to flirt with and “appear available” to customers in order to sell more product. Plaintiff was also told that she needed to “charm” customers. She was told throughout her employment to compliment her customers' eyes. Male employees were not told the same. Plaintiff reported to Taylor-Newsome that she was uncomfortable with these requests and she continued to complain about being asked to do so. RTC did not address plaintiff's complaints. Plaintiff was terminated in August 2016. Plaintiff was also not paid overtime for hours worked over 40 per week.

         The Complaint sets forth three claims. Count One alleges a failure to pay overtime compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Ohio Revised Code. Count Two alleges gender discrimination in violation of Ohio law. Count Three alleges retaliation in violation of Ohio law.

         This matter is now before the Court upon defendants' Motion to Dismiss .

         Standard of Review

         “Dismissal is appropriate when a plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). We assume the factual allegations in the complaint are true and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Comtide Holdings, LLC v. Booth Creek Management Corp., 2009 WL 1884445 (6th Cir. July 2, 2009) (citing Bassett v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir.2008)). In construing the complaint in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, “the court does not accept the bare assertion of legal conclusions as enough, nor does it accept as true unwarranted factual inferences.” Gritton v. Disponett, 2009 WL 1505256 (6th Cir. May 27, 2009) (citing In re Sofamor Danek Group, Inc., 123 F.3d 394, 400 (6th Cir.1997). As outlined by the Sixth Circuit:

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” “Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only 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) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). However, “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level” and to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570. A plaintiff must “plead[ ] factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

Keys v. Humana, Inc., 684 F.3d 605, 608 (6th Cir.2012). Thus, Twombly and Iqbal require that the complaint contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face based on factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570; Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The complaint must contain “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         Discussion

         (1) FLSA

         Defendants argue that the Complaint fails to plead sufficient facts to establish a violation of the FLSA in that it fails to state with particularity a claim for failure to pay overtime compensation. The Complaint alleges that plaintiff worked over 40 hours per week, but was not ...


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