United States District Court, D. Hawaii
CRAIG U. PELTIER, Plaintiff,
ALMAR MANAGEMENT, INC., Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT
ALMAR MANAGEMENT, INC.'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL JUDGMENT ON
Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge
Peltier brings this action against his former employer, Almar
Management, Inc. (“Almar”), for failure to pay
wages in accordance with Hawaii Revised Statutes
(“HRS”) § 103-55 and for breach of contract,
as an alleged third-party beneficiary of a contract between
Almar and a state agency. Because no private right of action
exists to enforce HRS § 103-55, Almar's Motion for
Partial Judgment on the Pleadings is granted as to Count I.
On the state of the current record, however, including the
absence of the contract on which Peltier relies, the Court is
not able to determine whether Peltier's contract claim is
based solely on an alleged violation of HRS § 103-55,
and whether permitting such a claim would enable him to
circumvent the lack of a private right of action under that
statute itself. Accordingly, Almar's Motion is denied
without prejudice with respect to Count II.
was employed by Almar and ALTRES, Inc. from May 1, 2012 until
his termination on March 3, 2014 at the Kewalo Basin Harbor,
a commercial small boat harbor controlled by the State of
Hawaii. Complaint ¶¶ 8, 12. The state agency
responsible for the harbor, the Hawaii Community Development
Authority (“HCDA”), contracted with Almar to
provide operations and maintenance services. According to
Peltier, the March 1, 2009 contract requires Almar to enforce
relevant Hawaii Administrative Rules (“HAR”)
related to Kewalo Basin Harbor and to pay wages to its
employees consistent with HRS § 103-55. Complaint
¶¶ 9-10. Peltier asserts that under the statute,
Almar and ALTRES were required to pay him “wages of at
least what the State would have paid a public employee
performing similar work, ” but failed to do so.
Complaint ¶ 13. In particular, he alleges that:
14. Almar did not give notice to Plaintiff, either through a
workplace posting or on his paycheck, that he was to be paid
wages no less than what the State would have paid a public
employee performing similar work.
* * * *
16. During that time period, Plaintiff generally worked six
days a week, with Fridays being his off day.
17. ALMAR did not post work schedules in advance of each work
18. Plaintiff oftentimes was required to work more than eight
hours in one day or more than forty hours in a week.
19. Plaintiff would regularly record his hours.
20. Oftentimes his supervisor would unilaterally change the
hours Plaintiff reported in an effort to evade the obligation
to pay Plaintiff overtime.
21. Plaintiff worked on all legal holidays, but was not paid
22. During the entire time that he was employed by Almar and
ALTRES, Plaintiff was paid a wage less than the wage of a
public employee performing similar work.
23. During the time that Plaintiff was employed by Almar and
ALTRES, Almar and ALTRES were aware that their employees
under the Contract were being paid wages less than the wages
of public employees performing similar work.
24. Almar and ALTRES did not take any remedial action towards
Plaintiff to address the prior underpaid wages and to make
sure that in the future Plaintiff was being paid a wage no
less than the wage of a public employee performing similar
* * * *
33. Also, shortly before being terminated, Plaintiff
contacted the HCDA by telephone inquiring about the wages
that Almar was required to pay him to comply with the
Contract and State law.
Peltier was terminated by Almar and ALTRES on March 3, 2014
for cause, but Peltier alleges his termination was in
retaliation for various protected activities. Complaint
filed his Complaint in the Circuit Court of the First
Circuit, State of Hawaii on March 1, 2016. He alleges claims
for: (1) violation of HRS § 103-55 (Count I); (2) breach
of contract (Count II); (3) violation of HRS § 378-62
(Count III); and (4) termination in violation of public
policy (Count IV). Almar removed the matter to this Court on
August 4, 2016 and now seeks judgment on the pleadings on
Counts I and II.
standard governing a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the
pleadings is functionally identical to that governing a Rule
12(b)(6) motion. United States ex rel. Caffaso v. Gen.
Dynamics C4 Sys., Inc., 637 F.3d 1047, 1054 n.4 (9th
Cir. 2011). For a Rule 12(c) motion, the allegations of the
nonmoving party are accepted as true, while the allegations
of the moving party that have been denied are assumed to be
false. See Hal Roach Studios v. Richard Feiner &
Co., 896 F.2d 1542, 1550 (9th Cir. 1989). A court
evaluating a Rule 12(c) motion must construe factual
allegations in a complaint in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Fleming v. Pickard, 581 F.3d 922,
925 (9th Cir. 2009). Under Rule 12(c), “[j]udgment on
the pleadings is properly granted when, accepting all factual
allegations as true, there is no material fact in dispute,
and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Chavez v. United States, 683 F.3d 1102,
1108 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Fleming, 581 F.3d at
925); see also Jensen Family Farms, Inc. v. Monterey Bay
Unified Air Pollution Control Dist., 644 F.3d 934, 937
n.1 (9th Cir. 2011).
I. Count I: Whether A Private Right Of Action