United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
CORY MCDONALD, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
GORE NITROGEN PUMPING SERVICE, LLC, and GARY GORE, Defendants.
CHARLES B. GOODWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc.
No. 14), filed on December 3, 2018. Plaintiff has responded
in opposition (Doc. No. 16), and Defendants have replied
(Doc. No. 19). Upon consideration of the parties'
submissions, the Court denies Defendants' motion.
of the Pleading
Cory McDonald brings this action on behalf of himself and
others similarly situated pursuant to the Fair Labor
Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. (the
“FLSA”). Defendants provide a range of
specialized oilfield services to clients in Oklahoma, Kansas,
Texas, Arkansas, and Eastern Colorado. See Am.
Compl. (Doc. No. 13) at 1. Plaintiff worked for Defendants as a
“Fracturing Specialist” and “Frac
Hand” from approximately January 2018 to July 2018.
Id. at 2, 5. Plaintiff's job involved
“Oilfield Work, including transporting, loading,
unloading, rigging up, rigging down, and operating oilfield
equipment at well sites for Defendant's customers.”
Id. at 5. According to Plaintiff, Defendants
consistently worked Plaintiff more than 40 hours a week and
did not pay him any overtime pay. Id. at 6.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants made a policy of this
practice-i.e., that they consistently overworked many other
similarly situated employees without providing overtime pay.
Id. Thus, rather than bring this action purely on
his own behalf, Plaintiff also brings this action on behalf
of a group of employees:
The similarly situated “FLSA Class Members”
consist of Defendants' current and former non-supervisory
Field Employees (1) who received pay on a salary basis; (2)
whose job duties included Oilfield Work or similar job
duties; and (3) who worked over 40 hours in at least one
workweek over the past three years without receiving overtime
pay. The FLSA Class Members include, without limitation,
individuals that worked under the job titles of “Frac
Hand, ” “Pump Hand, ” “Fracturing
Specialist, ” “Nitrogen Pumping Specialist,
” “Fluid Pump Operator, ” “Nitrogen
Operator, ” “Equipment Operator, ”
“Treatment Analyst, ” and other non-supervisory
job titles performing similar work that include the term
“Specialist, ” “Hand” or
“Operator” in the job title that Defendants
subjected to their OT Misclassification Policy.
Id. at 2-3 (footnotes omitted). Plaintiff alleges
that, similarly to himself, these employees “performed
the manual and technical labor to provide the very services
that Defendant offers as the primary output to their
customers-the delivery and operation of oilfield equipment to
customers at well sites.” Id. at 5, 6.
move to dismiss both Plaintiff's individual FLSA claim
and his collective action allegations. Regarding his
individual claim, Defendants contend that they have not been
provided with fair notice regarding whether Plaintiff is an
appropriate representative. Defs.' Mot. at 20-21. And
regarding the collective action allegations, Defendants
maintain that the plaintiff group is vaguely and
overinclusively defined. See Id. at 9-20.
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss challenges whether a complaint
sets out a “statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009) (internal quotation
marks omitted) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)); see also
Issa v. Comp USA, 354 F.3d 1174, 1178 (10th Cir. 2003).
To survive dismissal a “complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotation marks
omitted); see also Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is facially plausible when
the well-pled factual allegations, accepted as true and
viewed in the plaintiff's favor, “allow the court
to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged” under the governing law.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 679; See Hunt v. Cent.
Consol. Sch. Dist., 951 F.Supp.2d 1136, 1173 (D.N.M.
2013) (“[A] court must accept as true all well-pleaded
factual allegations in the complaint, view those allegations
in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and draw
all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's
the FLSA, overtime pay of one and a half times the
employee's hourly rate is required for any hour worked
over 40 hours in a week. See 29 U.S.C. §
207(a)(1). To state a claim for violation of the FLSA's
overtime pay requirements, Plaintiff must allege: (1) that
Defendants are “employers” under the Act; (2)
that Plaintiff is an “employee” under the Act;
(3) that Defendants employed Plaintiff's services; (4)
that Plaintiff was required to work more than 40 hours in a
single work week; and (5) that Plaintiff did not receive
compensation at a rate of 1.5 times his normal hourly rate
for the hours he worked over 40 in that week. See
id.; Cooper v. Coil Chem., LLC, No.
CIV-16-473-D, 2016 WL 7168235, at *2 (W.D. Okla. Dec. 8,
Plaintiff's Individual Claim
contend that dismissal of Plaintiff's individual claim is
warranted because Plaintiff's job definition is
impermissibly overbroad, thereby precluding Defendants from
determining what work Plaintiff performed and from properly
evaluating whether Plaintiff is a suitable representative
plaintiff for an FLSA collective action. See
Defs.' Mot. at 20-21. In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff
identified his position as a “non-supervisory Field
Employee, ” and noted that “Defendant referred to
Plaintiff's specific job title in multiple ways during
his employment, including referring to his position as
‘Fracturing Specialist' and ‘Frac
Hand.'” Am. Compl. at 2.
Defendants object to Plaintiff's job description, they do
not argue that it is inadequate to plausibly show that
Plaintiff is “an ‘employee' as defined by the
[FLSA]” or that Defendants “employed
Plaintiff's services.” Cooper, 2016 WL
7168235, at *2 (citing 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1)). Indeed,
Defendants do not identify any element of an FLSA claim that
Plaintiff has failed to adequately allege. Nor do Defendants
point to any authority suggesting that Plaintiff's
adequacy as ...