Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

McFadden v. Town of Lane

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division

April 28, 2017

CHARLES MCFADDEN, Plaintiff,
v.
THE TOWN OF LANE, Defendant.

          ORDER

          R. Bryan Harwell, United States District Judge

         Currently pending before the court is Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [ECF #8] and Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint [ECF #1');">1');">1');">15]. Both parties have had the opportunity to extensively brief the issues raised in the motions, and this Court has thoroughly considered all pleadings filed in this case.[1');">1');">1');">1" name= "FN1');">1');">1');">1" id="FN1');">1');">1');">1">1');">1');">1');">1]

         Factual Background and Procedural History

         On January 1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">1, 201');">1');">1');">17, Plaintiff Charles McFadden filed this civil action against Defendant Town of Lane in the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas alleging breach of employment contract for failure to pay overtime wages, and further seeking treble damages and a declaratory judgment that Plaintiff is an hourly, non-exempt employee of Defendant. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1-1');">1');">1');">1]. On February 1');">1');">1');">16, 201');">1');">1');">17, Defendant filed a Notice of Removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1');">1');">1');">1331');">1');">1');">1 and 1');">1');">1');">1441');">1');">1');">1(a) because it appeared on the face of the Complaint that the claimed violations, based on the failure to pay overtime wages, arise under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201');">1');">1');">1 et seq. (the “FLSA”), thereby providing original and removal jurisdiction. Thereafter, on February 28, 201');">1');">1');">17, Defendant filed a Motion pursuant to Rule 1');">1');">1');">12(c) requesting judgment on the pleadings. Defendant argues that the FLSA preempts Plaintiff's action for breach of contract and the claims under the South Carolina Wage Payment Act. [ECF #8-1');">1');">1');">1, p. 2]. Defendant further argues that the FLSA does not apply in this case because as an employee working for a public agency employing less than five employees, Plaintiff is not covered by the FLSA pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 21');">1');">1');">13(b)(20). [ECF #8-1');">1');">1');">1, p. 5]. Plaintiff filed his reply to the motion on March 29, 201');">1');">1');">17. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">14]. Within his reply, Plaintiff concedes that the FLSA is, in fact, the exclusive remedy for overtime pay claims, and further that the FLSA exempts Plaintiff in his position as the Chief of Police for Defendant. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">14, p. 1');">1');">1');">1]. Thus, he agrees that Defendant is entitled to the requested relief. Instead, Plaintiff requests in his reply, and filed contemporaneously with his reply, that this Court grant a Motion to Amend Complaint to seek relief under the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act, § 41');">1');">1');">1-1');">1');">1');">10-1');">1');">1');">10 et seq. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">15]. Within Plaintiff's Motion to Amend his Complaint, he specifically notes that he does not seek remand to state court. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">15, p. 1');">1');">1');">1].

         Standard of Review

         Rule 1');">1');">1');">12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that, “[a]fter the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.” Fed R. Civ. P. 1');">1');">1');">12(c). The standard for Rule 1');">1');">1');">12(b)(6) motions applies to motions for judgment on the pleadings, as well. Massey v. Ojaniit, 759 F.3d 343, 353 (4th Cir. 201');">1');">1');">14). A Rule 1');">1');">1');">12(c) motion tests the sufficiency of the complaint; it does not resolve the merits of the claim or questions of fact. Id. (quoting Drager v. PLIVA USA, Inc., 1');">1');">1');">1 F.3d 470');">741');">1');">1');">1 F.3d 470, 474 (4th Cir. 201');">1');">1');">14)).

         Rule 1');">1');">1');">15 governs motions to amend a complaint. Under this Rule, at this stage in the litigation, a party may only amend its pleadings with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave. Fed R. Civ. P. 1');">1');">1');">15(a)(2). The court should freely give leave when justice so requires. Fed R. Civ. P. 1');">1');">1');">15(a)(2). However, a district court may deny a motion to amend a complaint when the amendment would be: (1');">1');">1');">1) prejudicial to the opposing party; (2) the moving party has acted in bad faith; or (3) the amendment would be futile. Equal Rights Center v. Niles Bolton Assocs., 602 F.3d 597, 603 (4th Cir. 201');">1');">1');">10). Defendant in this case does not consent to Plaintiff's motion to amend his Complaint.

         Discussion

         A. Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

         Here, Defendant requests this Court grant its Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The Plaintiff concedes that given the arguments made by Defendant, Defendant is entitled to the requested relief. Plaintiff further seeks a dismissal without prejudice, should this Court decide to grant the motion. This Court's review of the pleadings, including Plaintiff's asserted claims and arguments made by counsel reveal that it would be appropriate to grant this Motion. See Anderson v. Sara Lee Corp., 1');">1');">1');">181');">1');">1');">1');">508 F.3d 1');">1');">1');">181');">1');">1');">1, 1');">1');">1');">193 (4th Cir. 2007) (discussing the elaborate enforcement scheme established by the FLSA and preemption of state laws); see generally Nimmons v. RBC Ins. Holdings (U.S.A.) Inc., No. 6:07-CV-2637, 2007 WL 4571');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">179 (D.S.C. Dec. 27, 2007); Rodall v. City of Columbia, No. 3:1');">1');">1');">13-207, 201');">1');">1');">15 WL 1');">1');">1');">1781');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">12 (D.S.C. Jan. 1');">1');">1');">14, 201');">1');">1');">15). This Court thus grants Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, in light of the further reasoning regarding Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint below.

         B. Motion to Amend Complaint

         Plaintiff has requested this Court allow him to amend his Complaint to seek relief pursuant to the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act, § 41');">1');">1');">1-1');">1');">1');">10-1');">1');">1');">10 et seq. While Plaintiff acknowledges that his overtime wage claims are preempted by the FLSA, he argues that he can still seek compensation for “additional pay for hours he worked, over and above his regular eight hour shifts” pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 41');">1');">1');">1-1');">1');">1');">10-40, 41');">1');">1');">1-1');">1');">1');">10-50 and 41');">1');">1');">1-1');">1');">1');">10-80. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">15, p. 1');">1');">1');">1]. Defendant responds that despite the altered nomenclature, Plaintiff still seeks to recover for the alleged failure to pay him overtime, and further, that other than requesting the relief under South Carolina law, the remainder of his causes of action remain the same. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">16, p. 1');">1');">1');">1]. Additionally, Defendant argues that Plaintiff fails to make a valid claim for additional compensation because he does not assert a violation of any legal authority. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">16, pp. 1');">1');">1');">1-2].

         A review of the proposed amended complaint reveals that Plaintiff replaced the term “overtime” with “extra hours worked” over the prescribed eight hours. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">15-1');">1');">1');">1, p. 1');">1');">1');">1]. Also, he does not appear to seek “overtime” as compared to page 5, paragraph 1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">1 of his original Complaint seeking pay at “one and one-half times” his regular pay rate, and as further alleged at page 5, paragraph 1');">1');">1');">15. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1-1');">1');">1');">1].

         In any event, this Court finds a more fundamental problem with Plaintiff's Complaint given his concession that a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings should be granted as to the asserted claims in his original Complaint, which appear to be premised under the overtime pay requirement provisions of the FLSA. Plaintiff now seeks to amend the Complaint to bring all claims under the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act, which if permitted, would require this Court to exercise supplemental jurisdiction purely over a state law claim with no federal claims. This case was removed by Defendant on the basis that this Court has original jurisdiction over this case pursuant to the fact “it appears upon the fact of the Complaint that this action arises under . . . the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201');">1');">1');">1et seq.” By virtue of the fact that, with Plaintiff's concession in his reply to Defendant's motion [ECF #1');">1');">1');">14], this Court is granting the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings as to any claims brought by Plaintiff under the FLSA because it is inapplicable under these facts, and in any event would preempt state law, this Court no longer has original jurisdiction over this lawsuit based on a federal question presented to the Court and declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.