Joining sister Circuits, on Wednesday the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that an employee must set forth specific information regarding his or her work hours to properly plead an FLSA claim for unpaid minimum wages or overtime under the Iqbal doctrine. Landers v. Quality Communs., Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21440 (9th Cir. Nov. 12, 2014)
Joining the “trilogy of cases” from the Second Circuit, as well as decisions from the First and Third Circuits (and rejecting an unpublished order from the Eleventh Circuit permitting more conclusory pleading), the Court agreed “with our sister circuits that in order to survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff asserting a claim to overtime payments must allege that she worked more than forty hours in a given workweek without being compensated for the overtime hours worked during that workweek.” The Court declined to issue a hard and fast pleading rule that would serve as the “sine qua non of plausibility,” but consistent with the prior opinions from other Circuits required factual specificity. Having articulated that standard, the court affirmed dismissal of the complaint at bar because it “presented [only] generalized allegations asserting violations of the minimum wage and overtime provisions.”
Four Circuits have now adopted a variation of the rule originally set forth by the Second Circuit in Lundy. Practitioners must closely review pleadings and avail themselves of this doctrine as appropriate.