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Wilson v. PNK (River City) LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

June 25, 2015

LAWRENCE M. WILSON, et al.,
v.
PNK (River City) LLC d/b/a RIVER CITY CASINO AND HOTEL, Defendant. Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

AUDREY G. FLEISSIG, District Judge.

This action for unpaid overtime was filed as a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., and as a class action under the Missouri Minimum Wage Law ("MMWL"), Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.500, et seq., and Missouri common law of unjust enrichment. The matter is now before the Court on Defendant's motion for dismissal of the state claims. For the reasons set forth below, the motion shall be denied in large part.

BACKGROUND

The three named Plaintiffs allege that they and other Floor Supervisors employed by Defendant are not "exempt" employees under the FLSA and the MMWL and are therefore entitled to unpaid overtime from Defendant. Count I is brought as a collective action under the FLSA, Count II is brought as a class action under the MMWL, and Count III is brought as a class action for unjust enrichment under Missouri common law.

Defendant argues that Plaintiffs' MMWL claim should be dismissed with prejudice as pre-empted by the FLSA, or as inherently incompatible with the FLSA claims. Defendant argues that the claim of unjust enrichment should be dismissed for failure to state a claim because the allegations in the complaint are conclusory. Defendant further asserts that if the unjust enrichment claim is allowed to go forward, the Court should limit the time period for recovery thereunder to two years prior to the filing of the complaint, pursuant to the two year statute of limitations of Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.140.[1]

In response, Plaintiffs rely on case law holding that the FLSA does not preempt state claims such as those raised here. They argue that the complaint adequately pleads a claim of unjust enrichment as receiving labor without compensating for it results in the unjust enrichment of the recipient of the labor. But Plaintiffs concede that the two year statute of limitations applies to this claim.

DISCUSSION

This Court agrees with the district courts within the Eighth Circuit that have concluded that there is no preemption by the FLSA of state claims such as those asserted by Plaintiffs here. See, e.g., Fry v. Accent Mktg. Servs., L.L.C., No. 4:13CV59 CDP, 2013 WL 2403669, at *2 (E.D. Mo. May 31, 2013); Byrd v. BJC Health Sys., 4:11CV1571 HEA, 2013 WL 1581420, *2-3 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 12, 2013); Davenport v. Charter Comms'ms, LLC, 4:12CV7 AGF, 2012 WL 5050580, *2-3 (E.D. Mo. Oct. 12, 2012).

With respect to Plaintiffs' claim asserting Defendant's unjust enrichment, to survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, which, when accepted as true, states "a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, " will not pass muster. Id. Here, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have sufficiently pled facts supporting a claim of unjust enrichment. The Court agrees with the parties that the two year statute of limitations governs this claim. See Davenport, 2012 WL 5050580, at *3.

CONCLUSION

Accordingly,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant's motion for partial dismissal is DENIED, with the exception of claims for unjust enrichment accruing more than two years before the filing of the complaint. (Doc. No. 12.)


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