United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
H. RODRIGUEZ U.S.D.J.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion for
judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c).
Having considered the parties' submissions, the Court
decides this matter without oral argument pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b). For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' motion will be denied.
Timothy Long was employed as a “sweeper driver”
by Defendant Lieze Lot Sweeping Services LLC from 2006 until
his termination in August of 2017. Plaintiff's duties
included picking up debris in parking lots and surrounding
areas, emptying trash cans, and driving a sweeper truck. He
was routinely scheduled to work six days per week, starting
his shift at 8:00 p.m. and ending his shift between 6:00 a.m.
and 9:00 a.m. Plaintiff worked between 60 and 78 hours per
initially paid Plaintiff $140 per day. At some point,
Defendant changed Plaintiff's pay structure to $14 per
hour. During the time of Plaintiff's employment,
Defendants' work week began on Sundays and ended on
Saturdays. Defendant paid Plaintiff what was designated as
his “normal wages” of $14 per hour every Friday.
Defendant allegedly did not compensate Plaintiff at the rate
of time and a half for hours worked in excess of forty.
around November 2016, Defendant changed Plaintiff's pay
structure to $800 net pay per week, $600 (after taxes) of
this was issued via a $750 payroll check and the remaining
$200 as a cash payment. On or about April 10, 2017, Plaintiff
complained to Defendant Timothy M. Lieze, Sr. that he was not
being paid for overtime hours and was considering retaining a
lawyer. Immediately following this complaint, Defendant
terminated Plaintiff via text message. The Amended Complaint
in this matter alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards
Act (“FLSA”) and the New Jersey Wage and Hour
Law, N.J. Stat. Ann. §34:11-56a, (“NJWHL”).
Amended Complaint also alleges that Defendant had employed
approximately five Caucasian employees since on or around
2015 but “systematically reduced this number to
zero” with Plaintiff being the final Caucasian employee
terminated and Defendant thereafter employing only workers of
Hispanic descent. Through the instant motion, Defendants seek
dismissal of Plaintiff's claims for: violations of the
Law Against Discrimination for gender, race, age, color and
national origin discrimination (Count IV); violations of the
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”)
for retaliation (Count V); (6) violations of the NJLAD for
Aiding and Abetting (Count VI); and violations of 42 U.S.C.
§1981 for race discrimination and retaliation (Count
on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides that a party may move
for judgment on the pleadings. The movant under Rule 12(c)
must show clearly that no material issue of fact exists and
that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Rosenau v. Uniford Corp., 539 F.3d 218, 221 (3d Cir.
2008) (citing Jablonski v. Pan Am. World Airways,
Inc., 863 F.2d 289, 29091 (3d Cir. 1988)). A motion
under Rule 12(c) is reviewed under the same standard as a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Turbe v.
Government of the Virgin Islands, 938 F.2d 427, 428 (3d
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a court may
dismiss a complaint “for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.” In order to survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint must allege facts that raise a
right to relief above the speculative level. Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). While a court
must accept as true all allegations in the plaintiff's
complaint and view them in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d
224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008), a court is not required to accept
sweeping legal conclusions cast in the form of factual
allegations, unwarranted inferences, or unsupported
conclusions. Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132
F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). The complaint must state
sufficient facts to show that the legal allegations are not
simply possible, but plausible. Phillips, 515 F.3d
at 234. “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.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
First Amended Complaint alleges the following facts with
respect to discrimination: Plaintiff is Caucasian, other
Caucasians were “systematically terminated since on or
around 2015, ” Plaintiff was the last Caucasian
terminated, and thereafter Defendant employed only workers of
under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 are governed by the
burden-shifting principles set forth by the Supreme Court:
First, the plaintiff has the burden of proving by the
preponderance of the evidence a prima facie case of
discrimination. Second, if the plaintiff succeeds in proving
the prima facie case, the burden shifts to the defendant
“to articulate some legitimate, nondiscriminatory
reason for the employee's rejection.” Third, should
the defendant carry this burden, the plaintiff must then have
an opportunity to prove by a preponderance of the evidence