United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
Honorable Alfred H. Bennett United States District Judge.
bring this case against Defendants WeRunTexas, LLC d/b/a
Mercy ("Mercy Nightclub"), Mojeed Martins, Jonathan
Reitzell and Steven Rogers for failure to pay wages and
failure to pay minimum wage pursuant to the Fair Labor
Standards Act ("FLSA").
April 24, 2019, this Court held a non-jury trial in the
above-entitled matter. During the proceeding, the Court
received evidence and heard sworn testimony from Rosana
Turbay (former cocktail waitress and cocktail manager for
Mercy Nightclub), Khirstie Matta, Kimberley Kolbye, Monica
Dinh, Alexandra LeBlanc, and Danielle Henderson (former
cocktail waitresses for Mercy Nightclub), John Caravello
(former General Manager of Mercy Nightclub), Steven Rogers,
Mojeed Martins, and Johnathan Reitzell (former owners of
Mercy Nightclub and former members of WeRunTexas, LLC).
considered the evidence, testimony and oral arguments
presented during the trial, and applicable law, the Court now
enters the following findings of fact and conclusions of law
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a). The
specific findings of fact and conclusions of law are set out
below. Any finding of fact that should be construed as a
conclusion of law is hereby adopted as such. Any conclusion
of law that should be construed as a finding of fact is
hereby adopted as such.
Findings of Fact
Mercy Nightclub employed Plaintiffs during the timeframe of
October 2016 until February 2017 (the "Relevant Time
Defendant WeRunTexas, LLC had ownership interest in Mercy
Nightclub beginning October 2016 and during the Relevant Time
Steven Rogers, Mojeed Martins, and Johnathan Reitzell
("Club Owners") were the members of WeRunTexas, LLC
during the Relevant Time Period.
Plaintiffs presented documents that revealed Mercy
Nightclub's net total sales were approximately $11, 000
to $39, 000 per Week. Based upon weekly net sales numbers, Mercy
Nightclub netted over $500, 000 annually. Defendants
presented no evidence to rebut the documents presented by
There was no witness or document which provided evidence that
out-of-state goods or services were exchanged through Mercy
Club Owners hired a general manager, John Caravello, to run
the day-to-day operations of Mercy Nightclub.
general manager (John Caravello) End two cocktail managers
(Tanner Cox and Rosana Turbay) supervised the cocktail
waitresses during the Relevant Time Period.Rosana Turbay was
hired by John Caravello, and Tanner Cox was hired by the Club
Scheduling and duties were assigned to the cocktail
waitresses by John Caravello and the cocktail
managers. John Caravello set the club operating
hours and the required number of cocktail waitresses
necessary to staff Mercy Nightclub and provided this
information to the cocktail managers who in turn communicated
staffing needs and schedules to the cocktail
Plaintiffs' job duties as cocktail waitresses included
greeting guests, seating guests at tables, servicing
guests' drink orders, monitoring consumption of alcohol,
handling guests' inquiries, handling payments, reporting
to management, and cleaning and setting up tables at Mercy
John Caravello and the cocktail managers supervised the
cocktail waitresses during the day-to-day operations of Mercy
Nightclub John Caravello and the cocktail managers had
control over the staff at Mercy Nightclub-cocktail waitresses
reported to John Caravello and the cocktail managers while
working at Mercy Nightclub.
John Caravello and the cocktail managers determined the rate
of pay and the tips to be paid to the staff each night. The
cocktail managers kept notes each work night to determine the
cash earned and the tip amounts paid to cocktail waitresses
at Mercy Nightclub. John Caravello prepared weekly financial
reports for the Club Owners.
checks were distributed to the cocktail waitresses by the
cocktail manager-Tanner Cox. Tanner Cox wrote in the amounts
that the cocktail waitresses earned, and Club Owner Steven
Rogers signed the pay checks.
During the Super Bowl 2017 work schedule, the price per
bottle of alcohol sold by cocktail waitresses and tips were
communicated to the cocktail waitresses by John ...