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United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
August 28, 2019, Decided; August 29, 2019, Entered on Docket
CASE NO. 19-61462-CIV-ALTMAN/Hunt
THIS MATTER comes before the Court upon the Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment [ECF No. 17] and the Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification [ECF No. 18], both of which were filed on August 26, 2019. On August 8, 2019, the Clerk entered a Default as to both Defendants [ECF No. 15].
The Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2), the Court may enter a final default judgment against any party who has failed to respond to the complaint. But "a defendant's default does not in itself warrant the court entering a default judgment. There must be a sufficient basis in the pleadings for the judgment entered." Nishimatsu Constr. Co., Ltd. v. Houston Nat'l Bank, 515 F.2d 1200, 1206 (5th Cir. 1975). See also Buchanan v. Bowman, 820 F.2d 359, 361 (11th Cir. 1987) ("[L]iability is well-pled in the complaint, and is therefore established by the entry of default." (alteration added)).
The Plaintiff brought this action to recover unpaid minimum and overtime wages—along with liquidated damages—under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. A defendant who fails to pay an employee [*2] in accordance with the FLSA "shall be liable to the employee or employees affected in the amount of their unpaid minimum wages, or their unpaid overtime compensation, as the case may be, and in an additional equal amount as liquidated damages." 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). On the other hand, Section 216(b) of the FLSA does not permit a plaintiff to recover any allegedly unpaid regular wages—so long as the plaintiff's regular wages exceeded the statutorily mandated minimum wage. See Bolick v. Brevard County Sheriff's Dep't., 937 F. Supp. 1560, 1568 (M.D. Fla. 1996). Put another way, by its express terms, Section 216(b) provides a remedy only for unpaid minimum wages or unpaid overtime compensation.
The Court has carefully reviewed the Plaintiff's submissions, and, while there is sufficient evidence to support the entry of a default judgment in his favor, the Court cannot enter that judgment just yet.1 The Plaintiff has submitted an uncontested declaration—in which he avers that the Defendants failed to pay him for certain hours he worked. See generally Vertilus Decl. [ECF No. 17-1]. The Plaintiff has also attached an Exhibit, which, he says, supports his allegation that the Defendants failed to pay him what he was owed. Id. at 4-7. Taken together, the Plaintiff's unpaid minimum wages total $7,849.17, and his unpaid overtime wages total $3,041.29. [*3] The Plaintiff's evidence, then, supports the proposition that he is entitled to a total of $21,780.92-$10,890.46 in unpaid wages and an additional $10,890.46 in liquidated damages.2
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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175545 *; 2019 WL 4753622
SHUBERT VERTILUS, Plaintiff, v. ANGLIN'S BEACH CAFÉ, LLC, and SPIRO MARCHELOS, Defendants.
Subsequent History: Motion granted by, in part, Motion denied by, in part, Dismissed by, Motion denied by, As moot, Judgment entered by Vertilus v. Anglin's Beach Café, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148318 (S.D. Fla., Aug. 30, 2019)
employees, similarly situated, Default, unpaid, opt, lawsuit, class certification, minimum wage, overtime