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McGowan v. Genesis Health Clubs Management, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Kansas

January 26, 2018

RONNIE MCGOWAN, on behalf of himself and all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
GENESIS HEALTH CLUBS MANAGEMENT, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Daniel D. Crabtree United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Ronnie McGowan worked as a Fitness Advisor for defendant Genesis Health Clubs Management, Inc. He brings this action against defendant, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, asserting that defendant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Kansas Wage Payment Act (“KWPA”) by failing to pay its employees overtime compensation.

         Defendant has filed a Motion to Dismiss. Doc. 10. The motion asks the court to dismiss Count II of plaintiff's Complaint-the KWPA claim-under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Defendant asserts that plaintiff's KWPA claim fails to state a plausible claim for relief because Kansas law precludes plaintiff from asserting state law overtime wage claims against an employer covered by the FLSA. Plaintiff has filed an Opposition to defendant's Motion to Dismiss. Doc. 14. And defendant has filed a Reply. Doc. 15.

         After considering the parties' arguments, the court grants defendant's Motion to Dismiss. The court explains why below.

         I. Factual Background

         The following facts are taken from plaintiff's Complaint. The court accepts the facts asserted in the Complaint as true and views them in the light most favorable to plaintiff. Burnett v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 706 F.3d 1231, 1235 (10th Cir. 2013) (citing Smith v. United States, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098 (10th Cir. 2009)).

         Defendant is a health and fitness club who operates about 40 locations in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. From February 2017 until April 2017, defendant employed plaintiff as a Fitness Advisor at one of its health clubs in Overland Park, Kansas. Defendant paid plaintiff on a salary plus commission basis.

         During plaintiff's employment, defendant had a policy and practice of failing and refusing to pay overtime compensation to its Fitness Advisors for all hours worked exceeding 40 hours per week. Defendant subjected plaintiff and other employees to this policy and practice during their employment. According to plaintiff, defendant requires its Fitness Advisors to work about 50 hours per week. Thus, plaintiff asserts, defendant failed to pay him and other similarly situated employees overtime compensation for all hours worked.

         Plaintiff asserts that defendant's pay practices violate the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), and the KWPA, Kan. Stat. Ann. § 44-313, et seq. He seeks to bring his FLSA claim as a collective action under 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) and his KWPA claim as a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Plaintiff asks to represent a putative class that includes current and former employees of defendant who worked as Fitness Advisors in Kansas, and throughout the nation, and who never received overtime compensation for all hours worked.

         II. Legal Standard

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) provides that a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Although this Rule “does not require ‘detailed factual allegations, '” it demands more than “[a] pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action'” which, as the Supreme Court explained, “will not do.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

         For a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the pleading “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “The plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556); see also Christy Sports, LLC v. Deer Valley Resort Co., Ltd., 555 F.3d 1188, 1192 (10th Cir. 2009) (“The question is whether, if the allegations are true, it is plausible and not merely possible that the plaintiff is entitled to relief under the relevant law.” (citation omitted)).

         When considering whether a plaintiff has stated a plausible claim, the court must assume that the factual allegations in the complaint are true. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). But, the court is “‘not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “‘Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice'” to state a claim for relief. Bixler v. Foster, 596 F.3d 751, 756 (10th Cir. 2010) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S.at 678). Also, the complaint's “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations omitted).

         III. ...


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