United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
Rachel Turner, individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs,
Condustrial, Inc. d/b/a Medustrial Healthcare and Staffing Services, Medustrial Healthcare and Medustrial Healthcare Referral Services; Claude Anthony Durham; Thomas Maynard Sears, Jr.; and Dolores Lissette Collachi f/k/a/ Dolores Lissette Shoemaker, Defendants.
ORDER AND OPINION
Margaret B. Seymour Senior United States District Judge
January 23, 2017, Plaintiff Rachel Turner
(“Plaintiff”), individually and on behalf of all
similarly situated individuals, filed a complaint against
Defendants Condustrial, Inc. d/b/a Medustrial Healthcare and
Staffing Services; Medustrial Healthcare; and Medustrial
Healthcare Referral Services (together
“Condustrial”) in the United States District
Court for the District of South Carolina. On March 30, 2017,
Plaintiff filed an amended complaint in which she added
agents and officers of Condustrial: Defendants Claude Anthony
Durham; Thomas Maynard Sears, Jr.; and Dolores Lissette
Collachi f/k/a Dorlores Lissette Shoemaker (“Individual
Defendants”). On April 21, 2017, Plaintiff filed a
second amended complaint against all Defendants in which she
sets forth her class allegations. Plaintiff asserts a cause
of action against Condustrial only for failing to pay
overtime wages, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act
(FLSA) (First Cause of Action). Plaintiff also asserts a
state law cause of action for violation of the South Carolina
Payment of Wages Act (SCPWA) against all Defendants (Second
Cause of Action), alleging that she was denied wages,
vacation, holiday, and sick leave and other benefits due.
matter is before the court on Condustrial's partial
motion to dismiss Plaintiff's SCPWA cause of action, as
well as the Individual Defendants. See Fed. R. Civ.
P. 12(b)(6). On May 12, 2017, the Individual Defendants
joined Condustrial's motion to dismiss. Plaintiff filed a
response in opposition on May 26, 2017, to which Defendants
jointly filed a reply on June 2, 2017.
is a skilled labor staffing agency. Condustrial contracted
with the South Carolina Department of Corrections
(“SCDC”) on September 15, 2008, to provide
qualified nursing professionals for patients under the
custody and control of SCDC. Plaintiff is a licensed
practical nurse (“LPN”) who was hired by
Condustrial to commence working on February 23, 2013. She was
assigned exclusively to the SCDC until September 5, 2015,
when she was injured on the job.
alleges that Condustrial misclassified her, and other
similarly situated individuals, as independent contractors
instead of employees. Plaintiff claims that because of the
misclassification she was denied compensation for overtime,
as well as other benefits, as set forth above. Plaintiff
seeks (1) an order requiring notice to current and former
employees who are potential class members; (2) a declaratory
judgment that Condustrial willfully and in bad faith violated
the overtime compensation provisions of the FLSA; (3) an
order requiring Condustrial to provide an accounting of all
compensation to which she and other class members are
entitled; (4) an award of monetary damages in the form of
compensation due, with liquidated damages in an equal amount;
(5) injunctive relief ordering Condustrial to amend its wage
and hour policies; (6) an order certifying a class; (7)
treble damages under the SCPWA; and (8) attorneys' fees
and costs, as well as prejudgment interest.
survive a motion to dismiss, a claim must be facially
plausible, i.e., a pleading must include facts from
which a defendant's liability can be reasonably inferred.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Factual
allegations cannot be speculative. They must provide a
reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of
the alleged misconduct. Francis v. Giacomelli, 588
F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 556)). However, the pleading
standard does not require “detailed factual
allegations.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
see Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. “Determining whether a
complaint states a plausible claim for relief . . . requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense.” Id. at 679.
first argue that Plaintiff's SCPWA claims should be
dismissed because the claims are preempted by the FLSA.
Plaintiff asserts, however, that her SCPWA cause of action is
not premised upon a failure to pay overtime. She states that
the second amended complaint does not incorporate any of the
allegations from the FLSA cause of action into her cause of
action under the SCPWA.
requires duplication. Meller v. Wings Over
Spartanburg, C/A No. 2:15-cv-2094-PMD, 2016 WL 1089382,
*3 (D.S.C. March 21, 2016) (concluding that the
plaintiffs' SCPWA claim was not preempted because it did
not duplicate the rights and relief available under the
FLSA). Plaintiff's complaint seeks “all wages due,
as required by sections 41-10-10(2), 41-10-40, and 41-10-50
of the Act.” ECF No. 31, ¶ 75. Under section
“Wages” means all amounts at which labor rendered
is recompensed, whether the amount is fixed or ascertained on
a time, task, piece, or commission basis, or other method of
calculating the amount and includes vacation, holiday, and
sick leave payments which are due to an employee under any
employer policy or employment contract. Funds placed in
pension plans or profit sharing plans are not wages subject
to this chapter.
extent Plaintiff seeks unpaid holiday, vacation, and sick
leave wages, her claims are governed exclusively by the
SCPWA, because the FLSA provides no remedy. See Chaplin
v. SSA Cooper, LL., No.2:15-cv-1076-DCN (D.S.C. Dec. 27,
2007) (holding that because the “allegations are
separate and distinct from those asserted under the FLSA
claim, the . . . SCPWA claim is not preempted by the
FLSA”). Therefore, her second cause of action is not
preempted by the FLSA.
also contend that the Individual Defendants should be
dismissed because they are named only in the SCPWA cause of
action. However, because the court has determined that it is
not dismissing the SCPWA claim, the Individual Defendants
also remain in the case. See Dumas v. InfoSafe
Corp., 463 S.E.2d 641, 645 (S.C. Ct. App. 1995)
(concluding that the definition of “employer” in
S.C. Code Ann. § 41-10-10(1) ...