Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Martinez v. PM&M Electric Inc.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

February 4, 2019

Antonio Martinez, Plaintiff,
PM&M Electric Incorporated, et al., Defendants. PM&M Electric Incorporated, Counterclaimant,
Antonio Martinez, et. al., Counter-Defendants.


          Honorable Jennifer G. Zipps United States District Judge.

         Pending before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 35), Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (Doc. 37), and Defendant's Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Notice of Supplemental Authority. (Doc. 50.) The motions have been fully briefed, or the time for filing a response has expired. (See Docs. 43, 44, 45, 46.) For the reasons stated herein, the Court will grant the Motion for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings and Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims. The Court will deny the Motion to Strike Notice of Supplemental Authority.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Antonio Martinez was employed by Defendant PM&M, d/b/a/ Titan Solar Power (“Titan”), from around July 2017 to February 2, 2018.[1] (Doc. 30 at ¶ 10.) Martinez was a non-exempt employee paid at a rate of $20.00 per hour. (Id. at ¶ 23.) Martinez claims he “routinely worked in excess of 40 hours per week, ” but he did not receive one-and-a-half times pay for his overtime hours as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). (Id. at ¶¶ 24-25.) He alleges that he worked 47 hours during the week of January 22, 2018, and 41.63 hours during the January 28 - February 10, 2018 pay period. (Id. at ¶¶ 26, 28.) On February 2, 2018, Martinez complained that he was not receiving correct wages and overtime, and later that day Titan terminated his employment. (Id. at ¶¶ 38-40.) Martinez received $0.00 in net pay for his last paycheck because Titan deducted $848.90 for “damages” and “tools.” (Id. at ¶¶ 31, 32.) Martinez filed this action on April 17, 2018, asserting two claims: Count I - Failure to Pay Overtime Wages in violation of FLSA and Count II - Failure to Timely Pay Wages Due in violation of Arizona Wage Statute.[2] (Doc. 1.) On May 17, 2018, Defendants filed an Answer. (Doc. 9.)

         On July 19, 2018, Plaintiff filed the Verified First Amended Complaint (FAC), adding an additional defendant[3] and three claims: Count III - Failure to Pay Minimum Wage in violation of FLSA; Count IV - Failure to Pay Minimum Wage in violation of Arizona Minimum Wage Statutes; and Count V - FLSA Retaliation. (Doc. 30.) On August 9, 2018, Defendants filed their Answer to the Amended Complaint and Defendant Titan filed a Counterclaim. (Doc. 33.) The Answer asserts numerous affirmative defenses, including offset for monies Plaintiff owes Titan “as detailed in the Counterclaim.” (Doc. 33.) The Counterclaim asserts four state law claims: (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (3) unjust enrichment; and (4) negligence. (Doc. 33, Counterclaim.) The Counterclaim includes the following allegations. Plaintiff abandoned his job on February 2, 2018. (Id. at ¶ 5.) Prior to his abandonment, Titan paid for and supplied Plaintiff with a safety device known as a YoYo, which cost $400.00, and Plaintiff agreed in writing to reimburse Titan for half of the cost of the YoYo, through four payroll deductions of $50.00. (Id. at ¶ 2). Plaintiff also agreed to either return the YoYo or reimburse Titan for its $200.00 contribution toward purchasing the YoYo if Plaintiff left his job within 12 months of receiving the YoYo. (Id. at ¶ 4.) Titan recouped $100 of the $200 owed by Plaintiff through payroll deductions. (Id. at ¶ 7.) Plaintiff left his job before 12 months had expired, and did not return the YoYo or reimburse Titan for the $300.00 he owes under the agreement. (Id. at ¶¶ 6, 7, 8.)

         Titan also supplied Plaintiff with tools valued at $472.21 for his personal use, for which Plaintiff agreed to reimburse Titan via four payroll deductions of $118.05, beginning February 2, 2018. (Id. at ¶¶ 9, 10.) Only one of these deductions was processed, resulting in a balance due of $354.16. (Id. at ¶ 11.)

         Titan also alleges that Plaintiff refueled a vehicle rented by Titan with the wrong type of fuel, causing damage to the vehicle and resulting in Titan having to reimburse the vehicle's owner in the amount of $1, 138.60. (Id. at ¶¶ 14, 16.)

         Titan asserts Plaintiff owes it a total of $1, 792.76. (Id. at ¶ 21.) For that reason, Titan claims that it “withheld Plaintiff's final paycheck in the gross amount of $848.90 as a partial offset against the debt owed as permitted by Arizona law, A.R.S. § 23-352, and as specified in the Employee Handbook.” (Id. at ¶¶ 22.)

         Despite its claim for offset, on June 20, 2018, Titan “tendered back to Plaintiff the amount of $399.55, representing the net minimum wage allegedly due to Plaintiff for his final pay period of work.” (Id. at ¶ 23.) Thus, Titan claims that Plaintiff owes Titan $1, 389.53 ($1, 792.76 minus $403.23, the partial offset from Plaintiff's final paycheck). (Id. at ¶ 24.)

         On August 14, 2018, Plaintiff filed the pending Motion for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 35), and on August 23, 2018, Plaintiff filed his Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims. (Doc. 37.) Subsequently, on August 24, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Answer to Titan's Counterclaims.[4] (Doc. 38.)


         A. Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings

          A Rule 12(c) motion is properly granted when, taking all the allegations in the pleading as true, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Knappenberger v. City of Phoenix, 566 F.3d 936, 939 (9th Cir. 2009); Gen. Conference Corp. of Seventh-Day Adventists v. Seventh-Day Adventist Congregational Church, 887 F.2d 228, 230 (9th Cir. 1989). All allegations of fact by the party opposing the motion are accepted as true, and are construed in the light most favorable to that party. Gen. Conference Corp. of Seventh-Day Adventists, 887 F.2d at 230. “As a result, a plaintiff is not entitled to judgment on the pleadings when the answer raises issues of fact that, if proved, would defeat recovery. Similarly, if the defendant raises an affirmative defense in his answer it will usually bar judgment on the pleadings.” Id.

         Plaintiff argues that he is entitled to judgment against Titan on Counts III and IV, the claims that Titan failed to pay minimum wage in violation of the FLSA and the Arizona Minimum Wage Statute. (Doc. 35 at 2, 4.) Plaintiff requests an award of liquidated damages in the amount of $874.24, and attorney's fees and costs. (Id. at 8.)

         Titan admits that it withheld Plaintiff's final paycheck as an offset for the value of tools it claims Plaintiff stole from Titan and damage Plaintiff caused to a company vehicle. Titan denies that the withholding gives rise to an FLSA liquidated damages claim due to the good faith defense set forth in 29 U.S.C. § 260, or that it gives rise to an actionable ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.