United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER CONCLUDING THE PLAINTIFF
HAS STANDING, THE COURT HAS PERSONAL JURISDICTION AND VENUE,
AND SETTING A SECOND SCHEDULING CONFERENCE
M. KEELEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
January 25, 2019, the plaintiff, Ann Hunt
(“Hunt”), filed a complaint alleging that the
defendants, Interactive Medical Specialists, Inc. and Jaleh
Ebrahimi (collectively, “the Defendants”),
violated the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
(“FLSA”) by failing to pay her, and others
similarly situated, not less than the federal minimum wage
for work performed during the most recent federal government
shutdown, which began on December 22, 2018, and ended 35 days
later on January 25, 2019 (Dkt. No. 1). She later amended her
complaint on March 13, 2019 (Dkt. No. 4). The Defendants
answered the amended complaint on May 15, 2019 (Dkt. No. 10).
The Court has subject matter jurisdiction.
the Court has federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331, Hunt has the burden of establishing Article III
standing. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S.
555, 561 (1992) (noting that “[t]he party invoking
federal jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing”
Article III standing).
III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federal
courts to ‘Cases' and
‘Controversies.'” Wikimedia Found. v.
Nat'l Sec. Agency, 857 F.3d 193, 207 (4th Cir. 2017)
(quoting U.S. Const. art. III, § 2). “The doctrine
of standing gives meaning to these constitutional limits by
‘identifying those disputes which are appropriately
resolved through the judicial process.'” Susan
B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, 573 U.S. 149, 157 (2014)
(cleaned up) (quoting Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560).
establish standing, a plaintiff must show: (1) an injury in
fact; (2) a sufficient causal connection between the injury
and the conduct complained of; and (3) a likelihood that the
injury will be redressed by a favorable decision.”
Wikimedia Found., 857 F.3d at 207 (citation
omitted). “To establish injury in fact, a plaintiff
must show that he or she suffered ‘an invasion of a
legally protected interest' that is ‘concrete and
particularized' and ‘actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical.'” Spokeo, Inc. v.
Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1548 (2016) (quoting
Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560). “For an injury to be
particularized, it must affect the plaintiff in a personal
and individual way.” Id. (cleaned up).
Hunt has satisfied her burden of establishing each element.
First, the parties do not dispute that Hunt sufficiently
alleged an injury in fact by alleging that the Defendants
willfully paid her, and others similarly situated, less than
the minimum wage for work performed during three pay periods
amidst the recent Government shutdown (Dkt. Nos. 20, 21, 23).
Although the Defendants eventually paid these wages, other
courts have held that employers violate the FLSA by failing
to pay minimum wages on time during a budget
impasse. See, e.g., Biggs v.
Wilson, 1 F.3d 1537 (9th Cir. 1993) (holding that
California violated the FLSA by not timely paying state
highway maintenance workers their minimum wages during the
1990 budget impasse), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1081
(1994); Caldman v. California, 852 F.Supp. 898, 900
(E.D. Ca. 1994) (holding that California violated the FLSA by
not timely paying plaintiffs their minimum wages during the
1992 budget impasse).
it is undisputed that Hunt's injury is fairly traceable
to the challenged actions of the Defendants (Dkt. Nos. 20,
21, 23). The Defendants employed Hunt and caused her injury
by failing to timely pay her, and others similarly situated,
not less than the minimum wage due for work performed during
three pay periods. Third, it is undisputed that Hunt's
injury will be redressed by a favorable decision (Dkt. Nos.
20, 21, 23). If she succeeds on the merits, she would be
entitled to damages under 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), which
includes, among others, liquidated damages for violations of
29 U.S.C. § 207 (minimum wage provision). See also
Brooklyn Sav. Bank v. O'Neil, 324 U.S. 697, 707
(1945) (noting that the liquidated damages provision of the
FLSA recognizes that the “failure to pay the statutory
minimum on time may be so detrimental to maintenance of the
minimum standard of living ‘necessary for health,
efficiency, and general well-being of workers' and to the
free flow of commerce, that double payment must be made in
the event of delay in order to insure restoration of the
worker to that minimum standard of well-being”).
The Court has personal jurisdiction.
The Defendants waived their defense of lack of personal
not addressed by the parties' briefs (Dkt. No. 20, 21,
23), the Court concludes that the Defendants waived their
defense of lack of personal jurisdiction under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(h)(1) by failing to raise it by motion
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) or by
asserting it in their Answer to the Amended Complaint.
may raise a defense of lack of personal jurisdiction by
filing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(2). Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(2). However, “[a] party waives any defense listed
in Rule 12(b)(2)-(5) by: (A) omitting it from a motion in the
circumstances described in Rule 12(g)(2); or (B) failing to
either: (i) make it by motion under this rule; or (ii)
include it in a responsive ...