United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DEFENDANT AMERICAN CRUISE LINES, INC.'S
MOTION TO DISMISS
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR., SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Rimon Hanna, proceeding pro se, brings this action
against Defendants American Cruise Lines, Inc.
("ACL"), and Does 1 through 10, inclusive.
See Doc. 1. Does are the "agent or employee of
each of the remaining Defendants." Id. ¶
6. He alleges employment claims related to his time as an
executive chef for Defendant ACL. Id. ¶¶
7-8. ACL filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's initial
Complaint, [Doc. 1], Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint to
address a concern raised by ACL, [Doc. 17 at 2], and the
Court then granted Plaintiff leave to file a Second Amended
Complaint to clarify that he retained his federal law claims
and to include his request for damages, [Doc. 22]. This
ruling resolves ACL's motion to dismiss, [Doc. 14], which
I construe as now addressed to Plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint, [Doc. 24 (the "SAC")].
facts herein are taken from the allegations in
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint, which are accepted
as true only for the purposes of this Ruling.
February 2017, ACL hired Plaintiff to be an executive chef on
one of its cruise ships. SAC ¶ 7. His interviewer and
prospective boss, Chef Thomas Leonard, had promised him that
he would be paid a flat rate of $225 per day in addition to
getting his travel and living expenses covered as well.
Id. ¶¶ 7-8. ACL would also hire a kitchen
crew-including five chefs-to assist him, and that he would be
working nine to ten hours a day, if not less. Id.
¶¶ 8, 10. Plaintiff began working for ACL on March
15, 2017. Id. ¶ 9.
his employment, ACL had consistently provided Plaintiff with
fewer than five chefs; at one point, there was only one chef
working under him. Id. ¶ 10. Plaintiff alleges
that ACL exacerbated the chef shortage due to improperly
classifying all chefs, including Plaintiff, as exempt from
earning overtime compensation. Id. ¶¶ 11.
Once the chefs realized that they had to work approximately
fifteen hours per day without overtime and that non-exempt
workers, such as the dishwashers, were actually earning more
due to overtime pay, they would leave the ship without
notice. Id. ¶¶ 11, 13.
addition to the long work hours and short-staffing problem,
ACL made many other misrepresentations to him. For example,
he was told that his workday would begin between 6:30 a.m.
and 7:30 a.m., when, in fact, he had to start at 4:30 a.m.
and would finish around 9:30 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. Id.
¶¶ 32, 35-36. He was also not told that he had
non-chef duties, such as helping the dishwashers, cleaning
the kitchen every Thursday and Friday night to prepare for
potential FDA inspections, loading delivery boxes, and taking
the trash out of the kitchen. Id. ¶¶
he was told that as a manager, he could discipline and
terminate staff for bad behavior. Id. ¶¶
41, 46. Plaintiff had to report rule violations to Leonard
and the hotel manager instead because he was not authorized
to discipline the kitchen staff. Id. ¶ 41.
Leonard was also the person in charge of scheduling, hiring,
and training staff, as well as setting the menu, ordering
food and supplies, and other tasks. Id. ¶¶
43-45. Plaintiff had no say in these matters. Id.
14, 2017, Plaintiff complained about being short-staffed and
having to work sixteen hours a day to his superiors, Leonard
and Chelsea Hargis. Id. ¶¶ 22, 23. Upon
information and belief, Hargis is Leonard's boss and
ACL's company director for the west coast. Id.
¶¶ 22, 24. Plaintiff also asked Hargis to be
compensated for his overtime hours. Id. ¶ 24.
22, 2017, Plaintiff heard from ACL's hotel manager that
Leonard wanted him to go on vacation. Id. ¶ 25.
However, when Plaintiff texted Leonard about when he should
return from vacation on July 24, 2017, Leonard replied,
"[W]e are going separate ways." Id. ¶
26. Plaintiff took this to mean that he was fired.
contacted the San Diego office of the U.S. Department of
Labor in April 2018. Id. ¶¶ 15, 17. The
Department informed him that he was not eligible to file a
claim with the Department because he had earned more than
minimum wage and any retaliation was not for being a member
of a protected class pursuant to the Federal Labor Standards
Act (FLSA). Id. ¶ 16. The Department of
Labor's Seattle office confirmed this information and
also told him that he was not required to file with the
Department before filing a lawsuit to pursue his FLSA claims.
Id. ¶¶ 17, 18.
brings claims of wrongful termination, unpaid wages,
retaliation, breach of contract, intentional
misrepresentation, and negligent
misrepresentation. Id. at 1. He also alleges
violations of 29 U.S.C. § 207 and Section 215(a)(3) of
the FLSA against Defendants, but these appear duplicative of
his FLSA unpaid wages and retaliation claims. See
initially included claims relating to the violation of the
Connecticut Minimum Wage Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-56,
et seq., in his initial Complaint. Doc. 1 at 1. ACL
moved to dismiss, arguing in part that Plaintiff had no
standing to file such claims because he has never lived nor
worked in Connecticut. Doc. 15 ("ACL Mem.") at 3-4.
Plaintiff agreed and so filed an Amended Complaint.
See Doc. 17 ("Pl. Mem.") at 2. ACL then
argued that the Amended Complaint appeared to remove
references to the FLSA, thereby casting doubt upon this
Court's subject-matter jurisdiction over this action.
Doc. 19 at 2. After being granted leave by this Court,
Plaintiff subsequently filed a Second Amended Complaint to
clarify that he maintained his FLSA claims and to include a
request for damages. SAC at 1, 23-24.