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Calderon v. Baker Concrete Constr., Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

November 14, 2014

ARLE CALDERON, MANNY FERNANDEZ, ADALBERTO GALO, LUIS MOLINA, ANDY W. DEL TORO, SERGIO D. HERNANDEZ, PEDRO JOSE MARTINEZ, WILLIAMS ARIELLO GALANTINO, JOSE DE LA CRUZ CARDENAS, on their own behalf and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
BAKER CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION, INC., a Florida profit corporation, et al., Defendants, FORM WORKS/BAKER JV, LLC., a foreign profit corporation, Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. D.C. Docket No. 1:13-cv-21438-CMA.

For Arle Calderon, Manny Fernandez, Adalberto Galo, Luis Molina, Andy W. Del Toro, Sergio Hernandez, Pedro Jose Martinez, Williams Ariello Galantino, Plaintiffs - Appellants: Alan Lance Lani, Rubenstein Law, PA, Miami, FL.

For JOSE DE LA CRUZ CARDENAS, on their own behalf and others similarly situated, Plaintiff - Appellant: Alan Lance Lani, Rubenstein Law, PA, Miami, FL; Kelly A. McCallum, Rubenstein Law, PA, Plantation, FL.

For FORM WORKS/BAKER JV, LLC., a foreighn profit corporation, Defendant - Appellee: Michael Scott McIntyre, Baker & Hostetler, LLP, Cincinnati, OH; Tiffany Lynn Cummins, Kevin W. Shaughnessy, Baker & Hostetler, LLP, Orlando, FL.

Before ED CARNES, Chief Judge, and RESTANI,[*] Judge, and ROBRENO,[**] District Judge.

OPINION

Page 808

ED CARNES, Chief Judge

After a ghostly voice told him " If you build it, he will come," Ray Kinsella turned his corn field into a ballpark to lure " Shoeless" Joe Jackson out of his eternal retirement.[1] Apparently without hearing any voice but their own, the Miami Marlins built a state of the art 37,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof hoping to lure their fans out of retirement, or at least out of the apathy induced by South Florida's sultry summers and the Marlins' unremarkable record.[2] The problem that gave rise to

Page 809

this case is, if the allegations in the complaint are taken as true, one of the contractors disregarded a non-baseball axiom: when you hire workers to " build it," you had better pay them the wages they are due under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The plaintiffs, some of the workers who helped build the new Marlins ballpark, claim that the contractor who employed them failed to pay them the wages, including overtime, that they were entitled to receive under the Fair Labor Standards Act. After requiring the plaintiffs to file a supplementary " statement of claim," which is not mentioned in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the district court dismissed their complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. This is their appeal. We reverse because the complaint set out a basis for federal jurisdiction, even if the statement of claim did not reiterate it.

I.

The only defendant remaining in the case is Form Works, a Florida construction contractor. The plaintiffs are former Form Works employees who helped build Marlins Park. In April 2013, they filed a four-count complaint against Form Works in federal district court. Count I alleged that Form Works violated the plaintiffs' rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act in two ways. The first way is that it " failed to compensate Plaintiffs at the rate of one and a half times Plaintiffs' regular rates of pay for all hours worked in excess of forty within a single workweek." The allegations are that Form Works instead paid the plaintiffs " straight time" (their regular hourly rate) for some overtime hours and nothing at all for other overtime hours.

The second way in which Count I alleged that Form Works violated the plaintiffs' rights under the FLSA is by misclassifying them under a county ordinance that, as a matter of state law, governs wages for county contract workers. The plaintiffs concede that they were paid at least $14.00 per hour, well in excess of the federal minimum wage of $7.25. See 29 U.S.C. ยง 206(a)(1)(C). They contend, however, that as a result of being misclassified under the county ordinance their hourly wages were less than they should have been. That, in turn, means that their overtime pay was lower ...


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