Doo Nam Yang v. ABCL Corp. et al.
427 F. Supp. 2d 327 (S.D.N.Y. 2005)
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
SAND, District Judge.
Plaintiff Doo Nam Yang brings this action under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C.A. § 201 et seq…, alleging that defendants Gold Lee Jewelry
Company ("Gold Lee"), ACBL Corporation ("ACBL"), and Han Sung Lee failed to pay
overtime…The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331…
The Court held a two day bench trial beginning on November 2, 2005. The only
witnesses were Yang and Lee. In general, the Court found Yang's testimony to be
credible and corroborated by other evidence, while Lee's testimony was replete with
contradictions, his demeanor was hostile, and his answers were, for the most part,
unworthy of credence. The Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of
Plaintiff Doo Nam Yang is a Korean immigrant who came to the United States on
January 17, 1997 and currently lives in Queens. In Korea, Yang graduated high school
and worked as a mechanic repairing sewing machines. He was first hired to work for
defendants in October 1997 as a trainee, and eventually assumed such duties as ring-
making, electric re-wiring, and repairing motors…[T]he employment relationship
terminated for the last time on February 27, 2004.
Defendant Gold Lee was a company engaged in the creation and sale of jewelry. It was
founded by defendant Han Sung Lee, who remained its president and sole owner. In 2000,
Lee closed Gold Lee and opened defendant ACBL, another jewelry business, in its stead.
Since 2000, Lee has been the president and sole owner of ACBL. Lee's business was
originally located at 50 West 47th Street # B4, Manhattan, but moved in 2000 to 31 W.
47th Street, Suite 203.
II. Yang's Compensation
…Defendants, claiming that the original payroll records were damaged when a pipe burst
and flooded Lee's office, attempted to introduce into evidence a new document
containing the wages allegedly paid to, and hours allegedly worked by, plaintiff.
According to defendants, a "Ms. Lee"--a student whose first name, address, and dates of
employment defendants could not supply--spent approximately a half-day recopying the
severely damaged yet legible records of wages paid to plaintiff onto this proffered