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Kent v. Gulf Coast Security Enterprises, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama

December 10, 2018

MICHAEL I. KENT, Plaintiff,
v.
GULF COAST SECURITY ENTERPRISES, LLC, SHOWTIME BODY GUARDS & ETC, LLC and TOMMIE LANDRUM, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          WILLIAM E. CASSADY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the court on the Plaintiff's Request for Default Judgment. An entry of default has already been made against defendants Gulf Coast Security Enterprises, LLC, Showtime Body Guards & Etc, LLC and Tommie Landrum. (Doc. No. 14)

         Under S.D. Ala. Gen LR 73(c) and 28 U.S.C. §636(c), this case was randomly assigned to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for all purposes, including entry of a final judgment, as set out in the Notice of Assignment to United States Magistrate Judge for Trial entered March 8, 2018. (Doc. 2) The plaintiff has expressly consented to the undersigned conducting all proceedings in this case. However, as the defendants have not appeared and therefore have not consented, this civil action has been re-assigned to Senior United States District Judge Callie V.S. Granade.

         Plaintiff's claims against Defendants arise under the Fair Labor Standards Act. (the “FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, et seq. The FLSA's “provisions are not subject to negotiation or bargaining between employers and employees.” See, e.g., Lynn's Food Stores, Inc. v. United States, 679 F.2d 1350, 1352-53 (11th Cir. 1982); Hogan v. Allstate Beverage Co., 821 F.Supp.2d 1274, 1281 (M.D. Ala. 2011)

         The complaint has been reviewed and the undersigned is satisfied that it sets forth viable causes of action against each defendant under the FLSA. The plaintiff has also satisfied the court that he was a non-exempt employee of the defendants pursuant to the FLSA; that the defendants knowingly failed to pay him in conformity with the requirements of the FLSA by failing to pay him the statutory minimum wage for “straight time” hours and for failing to pay him at 1.5 times his regular rate for overtime hours worked. All of the factual allegations in the complaint are deemed admitted by virtue of the defendants' default, and because they are sufficient to state claims under the FLSA the Court finds that each defendant is liable to plaintiff.

         Even after the entry of default, it remains the plaintiff's burden to prove the amount of damages to which he is entitled. “While well-pleaded facts in the complaint are deemed admitted, plaintiffs' allegations relating to the amount of damages are not admitted by virtue of default; rather, the court must determine both the amount and character of damages.” Virgin Records America, Inc. v. Lacey, 510 F.Supp.2d 588, 593 n .5 (S. D. Ala.2007);

         Here, the sum plaintiff seeks is accompanied by evidentiary support in the form of affidavits setting out the amount claimed, together with an explanation for how he arrived at that amount.

         December, 2015 - April, 2016.

         Plaintiff alleges that from December, 2016 until the end of April, 2016 he was paid $7.75 an hour by Defendants but was not paid a higher rate for hours in excess of 40 hours a week.

         “[T]he FLSA obligates employers to compensate employees for hours in excess of 40 per week at a rate of 1 ½ times the employees' regular wages.” Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 132 S.Ct. 2156, 2162 (2012) (citation omitted). Section 207 is captioned “Maximum Hours” and paragraph (a)(1) states as follows:

Except as otherwise provided in this section, no employer shall employ any of his employees who in any workweek is engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or is employed in an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, for a workweek longer than forty hours unless such employee receives compensation for his employment in excess of the hours above specified at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is employed.

29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1).

Buchanan v. Bahama Bob's Beachside Cafe, Inc., 2017 WL 1251015, at *3 (S.D. Ala. Apr. 4, 2017) The evidence presented establishes that during this period he worked 113.5 overtime hours (more than 40 in a workweek) for which he was paid $7.25 an hour rather than $10.87 an hour as required by the FLSA. The underpayment totals $448.33, but plaintiff states he was paid $200.00 cash on one occasion. The residual underpayment is $248.33

         B. May, 2016 ...


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