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Etchieson v. Sykes Enterprises, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

March 20, 2017

SHARON ETCHIESON, Plaintiff,
v.
SYKES ENTERPRISES, INC, ALPINE ACCESS, INC., Defendants.

          RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          Michael E. Hegarty, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Before the Court is Defendants' Partial Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Colorado State Law Claims in First Amended Complaint [filed January 26, 2017; ECF No. 27]. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and D.C. Colo. LCivR 72.1C, the Honorable Raymond P. Moore referred the matter to this Court for recommendation.[1] ECF No. 28. The Motion is fully briefed, and oral argument would not materially assist the Court in its adjudication. Defendants' Motion asks the Court to determine whether Defendant Sykes Enterprises, Inc. (“SEI”) is subject to the Colorado Minimum Wage Order (“CMWO”). The Court finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged facts demonstrating that SEI is in the commercial support services industry, as defined by the CMWO.[2] Therefore, the Court respectfully recommends that the District Court deny Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff initiated this lawsuit on November 15, 2016. See Compl., ECF No 1. Plaintiff's claims arise from SEI's alleged failure to pay proper wages during Plaintiff's employment with SEI.

         I. Facts

         The following are factual allegations (as opposed to legal conclusions, bare assertions, or merely conclusory allegations) made by Plaintiff in her Amended Complaint, which the Court takes as true for analysis under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) pursuant to Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         SEI provides customer support services for many well-known global companies. Am. Compl. ¶ 18, ECF No. 21. SEI employs approximately 41, 700 customer service representatives in its call centers, and an additional 7, 500 at-home agents. Id. at ¶ 3. Each of these employees has essentially the same job duties-providing customer support to individuals over the telephone. Id.

         SEI employed Plaintiff as an at-home customer service representative from September 2013 to March 2015, and again from June 2015 to August 2015. Id. at ¶ 17. In her capacity as an at-home agent, Plaintiff accessed sales records and downloaded customer information from several secure servers to assist customers with various issues. See Id. at ¶ 5. As part of Plaintiff's job duties, she was required to “boot up” her computer and log in to SEI's network. Id. at ¶¶ 6-8. Additionally, when Plaintiff's designated shift ended, SEI would log her out of her computer, regardless of whether she had finished her call. Id. at ¶ 27. Plaintiff alleges SEI did not properly compensate her (or any other customer service representative) for the time she spent logging into the computer system and finishing customer calls after her designated shift ended. Id. at ¶ 8.

         II. Procedural History

         Based on these factual allegations, Plaintiff filed her original Complaint on November 15, 2016. Compl., ECF No. 1. After Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss, see ECF No. 13, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint as a matter of course on January 12, 2017. Am. Compl., ECF No. 21. Plaintiff brings four causes of action-two for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and two for violations of the CMWO. Id. at ¶¶ 62-168.

         On January 26, 2017, Defendants responded to the Amended Complaint by filing an Answer and the present Motion. See Answer, ECF No. 26; Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 27. Defendants' Motion argues the Court should dismiss Plaintiff's state-law claims, because SEI is not subject to the CMWO. Defs.' Mot. To Dismiss 5-8. Plaintiff filed a Response on February 16, 2017, which argues that SEI is in the “retail and service” and “commercial support service” industries, as those terms are defined by the CMWO. Pl.'s Response 4-7, ECF No. 31. Defendants filed a Reply in Support of their Motion on March 2, 2017. ECF No. 32.

         LEGAL STANDARDS

         “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state 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)). Plausibility, in the context of a motion to dismiss, means that the plaintiff pleaded facts which allow “the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Twombly requires a two prong analysis. First, a court must identify “the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth, ” that is, those allegations which are legal conclusions, bare assertions, or merely conclusory. Id. at 679-80. Second, the Court must consider the factual allegations “to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.” Id. at 681. If the allegations state a plausible claim for relief, such claim survives the motion to dismiss. Id. at 680.

         Plausibility refers “to the scope of the allegations in a complaint: if they are so general that they encompass a wide swath of conduct, much of it innocent, then the plaintiffs ‘have not nudged their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible.'” Khalik v. United Air Lines, 671 F.3d 1188, 1191 (10th Cir. 2012) (quoting Robbins v. Oklahoma,519 F.3d 1242, 1247 (10th Cir. 2008)). “The nature and specificity of the allegations required to state a plausible claim will vary based on context.” Kan. Penn Gaming, LLC v. Collins,656 F.3d 1210, 1215 (10th Cir. 2011). Thus, while the Rule 12(b)(6) standard does not require that a plaintiff establish a ...


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