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Padilla v. Urban Garden Center, Inc. et al.; Case No.: 19-cv-09660(LGK)

landscapeNew Employment Law Class and Collective Action filed in the Southern District of New York

Padilla v. Urban Garden Center, Inc. et al.; Case No.: 19-cv-09660(LGK)

On October 18, 2019, Mr. Padilla, on behalf of himself, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly-situated, filed a collective action lawsuit in the United States District Court Southern District of New York against URBAN GARDEN CENTER, INC. (“Urban”) and DIMITRI GATANAS, individually, (“Gatanas,” and collectively with Urban, where appropriate, as “Defendants”), alleging deliberating violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”) and the New York Comp. Codes, Rules, and Regulations, including the failure of Defendants to compensate Plaintiffs for overtime wages. The claims of the case are reviewed as follows:

  • Defendant Urban is a corporation that operates as a garden center and landscaping business located in Manhattan.
  • Defendant Gatanas was and is Urban’s CEO who in that role, manages and oversees the landscaping and garden center operations, including with respect to all of its employees, on a daily basis.
  • In or around May 2016, Plaintiff commenced his employment with Defendants as a landscaper. On May 21, 2019, Plaintiff was injured and unable to work (“the relevant period”).
  • Plaintiff’s primary duties as a landscaper included planting, lawn mowing, weed whacking, and maintenance work at various job sites located throughout Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.
  • Throughout the relevant period, Defendants required Plaintiff to work, and he did work, five weekdays per week, as well as one Saturday per month. Accordingly, Plaintiff worked between forty-five hours and forty-five minutes and fifty-three hours and fifteen minutes per week.
  • In exchange for his work, throughout the relevant period, Defendants paid Plaintiff $12.00 per hour for all hours that he worked in a given week, including those that he worked in excess of forty.

As described below, Defendants willfully failed to pay Plaintiff the overtime wages lawfully due to him under the FLSA and the NYLL or the minimum hourly rate due under the NYLL. Specifically, throughout the relevant period, Defendants required Plaintiff to work over forty hours per week at Defendants’ various job sites, but failed to compensate him at the statutorily required overtime rate of at least one and one-half times the minimum wage rate, or one and one-half times his regular rate of pay when greater, for any hours that he worked each week in excess of forty. Instead, Defendants paid Plaintiff at his straight-time rate of pay for all hours worked each week – – which often fell below the minimum rate that the NYLL requires for each hour worked – – including those that he worked in excess of forty in a week. Additionally, Defendants violated the NYLL by failing to provide Plaintiff with accurate wage statements on each payday or with any wage notice at the time of his hire.

Certification of Collective Action

In this case, pursuant to the request of the Plaintiff, the Judge reviewed claims that the Plaintiff brought forward alleging that there are additional workers in the same “class” (performing the same or similar duties) whose rights have been violated. On January 15, 2020, Plaintiffs’ motion for approval of a collection action was granted, allowing the case to proceed as a collective action enabling any current and former employees who were not paid properly to join the lawsuit and seek redress for Defendants’ failure to compensate them in accordance with the law.

If you or a person you know worked for the Defendants named in the lawsuit during the time period of October 18, 2013 – present or has information that may be relevant to this case, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. as soon as possible through this website, or any of our phone numbers: (516) 248-5550, (516) ABOGADO, and (212) 679-5000.




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