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Perez v. Oak Grove Cinemas, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

May 5, 2014

THOMAS E. PEREZ, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor, Plaintiff,
v.
OAK GROVE CINEMAS, INC., an Oregon domestic business corporation; BARRINGTON MANAGEMENT, LLC, an Oregon domestic limited liability company; BARRINGTON VENTURE, LLC, an Oregon domestic limited liability company; and DAVID EMAMI, an individual and in his official capacity, Defendants.

Janet M. Herold, Bruce L. Brown, Susan Brinkerhoff, Office of the Solicitor U.S. Department of Labor, Seattle, WA, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

Richard C. Hunt, Edwin A. Harnden, Banu K. Ramachandran, Barran Liebman LLP, Portland, OR, Attorneys for Defendants.

OPINION & ORDER

MARCO A. HERNANDEZ, District Judge.

Plaintiff Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor for the United States Department of Labor, brings this action against Defendants Oak Grove Cinemas, Inc., Barrington Management, LLC, Barrington Venture, LLC, and David Emami alleging violations of minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-19 ("FLSA"). Plaintiff brings an additional FLSA retaliation claim against Emami. Defendants move for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). Defendants also move for a jury trial pursuant to Rule 39(b). For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motions [51, 62] are DENIED.

BACKGROUND

The following facts alleged in the Complaint are assumed true for the purpose of this Opinion:

Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of thirty-five of Defendants' employees employed "in or about [Defendants'] places of business... who handled, sold, or otherwise worked on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for commerce." First Am. Compl., ¶¶ 2, 9; see id. Ex. A. Defendant Oak Grove Cinemas, Inc., is an Oregon corporation engaged in the movie theater business operating from its principal place of business in West Linn, Oregon. Id., ¶ 6. Defendants Barrington Management, LLC and Barrington Venture, LLC, are Oregon limited liability companies engaged in the business of providing management, construction, and landscape services to commercial businesses operating from their principal places of business in West Linn, Oregon. Id., ¶¶ 7, 8. Defendant Emami is the "owner and/or director" of Oak Grove Cinemas, Inc., Barrington Management, LLC, and Barrington Venture, LLC. Id., ¶ 5. Defendant Emami "runs the Defendant Companies, hires and fires employees, determines their salaries, and is responsible for maintaining their salaries." Id., ¶ 11. Defendant Emami is an "employer within the meaning of [the] FLSA" because he acted "directly or indirectly in the interest of Defendants (employers) in relation to their employees..., and had economic and operational control over Defendants and their businesses." Id.

Defendants have "willfully and repeatedly" violated the FLSA by employing employees for "workweeks longer than forty (40) hours without compensat[ion]." Id., ¶ 12. Defendant Emami, "acting on behalf of and as agent of Defendant Companies[, ]" violated the FLSA by "retaliating against employees based on his belief that employees communicated with the Department of Labor investigators and/or filed FLSA action and/or testified... in such proceedings." Id., ¶ 13. Additionally, Defendants violated the FLSA by "failing to maintain, keep, make available..., and preserve records" relating to employee "wages, hours, and other conditions and practices of employment." Id., ¶ 14.

DISCUSSION

I. Judgment on the Pleadings

A. Standard

A motion for judgment on the pleadings may be brought after the pleadings are closed but within such time as not to delay the trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). Rule 12(c) is "functionally identical" to Rule 12(b)(6) and "the same standard of review" applies to motions brought under either rule. Cafasso v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys. , 637 F.3d 1047, 1054 n.4 (9th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). If matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion is to be treated as one for summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d).

Judgment on the pleadings is proper when there are no issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Bagley v. CMC Real Estate Corp. , 923 F.2d 758, 760 (9th Cir. 1991) (citation omitted). All allegations of fact by the non-moving party are accepted as true and are construed in the light most favorable to that party. Id . To survive a Rule 12(c) motion, "the complaint's factual allegations, together with all reasonable inferences, [must] state a plausible claim for relief." Cafasso , 637 F.3d at 1053 (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)). The complaint ...


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