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CALIFORNIANS v. MENDONCA

February 4, 1997

CALIFORNIANS FOR SAFE AND COMPETITIVE DUMP TRUCK TRANSPORTATION, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
ROBERTA MENDONCA, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PATEL

 Plaintiffs Californians for Safe and Competitive Dump Truck Transportation and others brought this action against defendants Roberta E. Mendonca and other directors of certain state agencies of the State of California seeking (1) a declaration that California Labor Code sections 1770-80 ("Prevailing Wage Law") are unconstitutional as preempted by 49 U.S.C. section 14501 and as an impermissible burden on interstate commerce; and (2) an injunction preventing enforcement of the Prevailing Wage Law against plaintiffs. Now before the court is defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has moved to intervene as a defendant in this action and has filed a brief as amicus curiae in support of defendants' motion to dismiss. The court granted the motion to intervene and has reviewed the submissions of the intervenors.

 Having considered the parties' arguments and submissions, and for the reasons set forth below, the court enters the following memorandum and order.

 Plaintiff Californians for Safe and Competitive Dump Truck Transportation (CSCDTT) is an association of motor carriers operating in California, formed to improve dump truck transportation in California and to help its members resolve common problems and grievances. The two additional plaintiffs, Lindeman Brothers, Inc. and Yuba Trucking, Inc., are California corporations that provide dump trucks to move various construction materials in both intrastate and interstate commerce.

 Collectively, plaintiffs brought this action against several individuals and the state agencies they represent. Defendant Roberta E. Mendonca is Director of the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, *fn2" defendant Lloyd Aubry, Jr. is Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations and defendant James W. Van Loben Sels is Director of the California Department of Transportation. Under the authority of their respective agencies, defendants regulate wages on public works projects in the State of California.

 Plaintiffs provide, among other things, motor carrier services to publicly-funded projects in the state and calculate their rates for such services based on: (1) costs, including cost of labor, permits, insurance, tax and license; (2) performance factors; and (3) conditions, including prevailing wage requirements.

 Two statutes are involved in this action: (1) California's prevailing wage law, Labor Code §§ 1770-80 ("Prevailing Wage Law"); and (2) 49 U.S.C. § 14501 ("section 14501"). Enacted in 1937, the Prevailing Wage Law requires payment of a general prevailing wage based on wages in the "locality" for various "crafts" to persons performing public works contracts and the disclosure of certified employee payroll records to ensure compliance. See Cal. Labor Code §§ 1770, 1776. Enacted in the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 ("FAAA Act"), Section 14501 establishes preemption of state economic regulation "related to a price, route, or service" of motor carriers. FAAA Act, Pub. L. No. 103-305, § 601(c), 108 Stat. 1569 (1994) (currently codified at 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c)). *fn3"

 Defendants have notified plaintiffs that they are subject to various penalties for failing to pay prevailing wages and provide payroll records as required by the Prevailing Wage Law. Plaintiffs contend that enforcement of the Prevailing Wage Law will result in irreparable harm because compliance requires them to increase their rates by 25% for transportation services provided from non-commercial sources to public works projects, and from public works projects to other public and private sites ("disputed transportation"). *fn4"

 Plaintiffs filed this action on September 20, 1996, claiming that enforcement of the Prevailing Wage Law with respect to the disputed transportation is unconstitutional in two ways: (1) the Prevailing Wage Law constitutes an impermissible burden on interstate commerce; and (2) enforcement of the Prevailing Wage Law violates the supremacy clause because it is preempted by section 14501. Defendants filed the instant motion to dismiss on October 18, 1996.

 Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim will be denied unless it appears that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts which would entitle him or her to relief. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957); Fidelity Financial Corp. v. Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, 792 F.2d 1432, 1435 (9th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1064, 93 L. Ed. 2d 998, 107 S. Ct. 949 (1987). All material allegations in the complaint will be taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. NL Industries, Inc. v. Kaplan, 792 F.2d 896, 898 (9th Cir. 1986). Although the court is generally confined to consideration of the allegations in the pleadings, when the complaint is accompanied by attached documents, such documents are deemed part of the complaint and may be considered in evaluating the merits of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Durning v. First Boston Corp., 815 F.2d 1265, 1267 (9th Cir. 1987), cert. denied sub. nom. Wyoming Community Dev. Auth. v. Durning, 484 U.S. 944, 98 L. Ed. 2d 358, 108 S. Ct. 330 (1987). Each ground for dismissal will be considered in turn.

 DISCUSSION

 Plaintiffs contend that enforcement of the Prevailing Wage Law with respect to the disputed transportation is unconstitutional on two grounds: (1) such regulation is preempted by 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c) and therefore violates the supremacy clause; and (2) such regulations place an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce under the commerce clause. Defendants have ...


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