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Jappa v. State

January 8, 2009

ANDREANA JAPPA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA; CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION; DAVID CAVENDAR; ROBERT J. HERNANDEZ; JOHN MARTIN; DAVID COOK; ROBERT EDWARDS; MARDELOUIS HAWTHORNE; AND DOES 1-X., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge

ORDER

The matter before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 4).

Background

On October 6, 2008, Plaintiff initiated this action by filing the Complaint (Doc. # 1). The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff "was an employee of Defendants California Department of Corrections and State of California," and is "currently on disability leave." Complaint, ¶ 1. The Complaint alleges that California Department of Corrections ("CDC") is an agency of the State of California ("State"). The Complaint alleges that Defendants David Cavendar, Robert J. Hernandez, John Martin, David Cook, Mardelouis Hawthorne, and Robert Edwards were agents of the State and CDC at all relevant times.

The Complaint alleges that on May 30, 2005, a CDC employee offered Plaintiff employment as an electronics technician at CDC's RJ Donovan Correctional Facility ("Donovan"). The Complaint alleges:

On or about June 10, 2005, Plaintiff and Defendant CDC, through it[s] agent Cavendar, entered into an oral agreement, in which Plaintiff agreed to accept employment as an electronics technician for CDC at its RJ Donovan Correctional Facility. In exchange for this, CDC agreed to pay her a gross monthly salary of $3,375.00, and additionally pay her a one-time payment of $3,500.00 for personal property moving expenses after arrival at Donovan, plus reimburse her the actual costs of her trip from Florida to San Diego County. The last payments were due upon presentation of certain receipts by Plaintiff.

Id., ¶ 9.

The Complaint alleges that on June 27, 2005, Plaintiff began working at Donovan. The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff made several unsuccessful attempts to obtain reimbursement for her actual travel costs and for the $3,500.00 promised moving expenses. The Complaint alleges:

From July 2005 to May 2006, Plaintiff was in constant communication with CDC's employees, regarding her relocation claims. She was referred from one bureaucrat to another, and kept submitting all requested documentation. The employees kept telling her that her request is being processed at various levels of authority.

Id., ¶ 13. The Complaint alleges that in August 2005, "Plaintiff requested assistance from her union representative in speeding up her receipt of the money promised," and that the union representative "informed her that this is not within the union's jurisdiction." Id., ¶ 14. The Complaint alleges that in May 2006, Defendant Hawthorne told Plaintiff that the State and CDC would pay Plaintiff $1,000.00, and "also falsely told her a check in that amount was 'in the mail.'" Id., ¶ 15. The Complaint alleges that on or about November 29, 2006, "Plaintiff filed a claim in the amount of $30,000.00 against [CDC] with the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board," and that on or about December 14, 2007, "the Board denied Plaintiff's claim, exhausting Plaintiff's administrative remedies." Id., ¶ 18. The Complaint alleges that on or about December 19, 2008, the Board issued Plaintiff a right-to-sue letter. Id., ¶ 19.

The Complaint alleges that "Plaintiff's contract with CDC required her only to work as a[n] electronics technician," which "involves working above-ground with only [] low-voltage lines and devices." Id., ¶ 20. The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff was required, however, to work with high-voltage lines and devices and to work in man holes. The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff performed this work, and that "Plaintiff never received any additional compensation for this out-of-class work." Id., ¶ 21. The Complaint alleges that working with high voltage lines and devices constitutes work as an electrician, "which is a separate, higher-paid employee class under the CDC's collective bargaining agreement." Id., ¶ 23. The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff was also required to work "solely as a visitor escort," and that "Plaintiff never received any additional compensation for this out-of-class work." Id., ¶ 22.

The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("DFEH"). The Complaint alleges that on or about July 3, 2007, "DFEH issued to Plaintiff a right to bring a civil action based on this charge." Id., ¶ 85. The Complaint alleges that "Plaintiff presented a charge of discrimination to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ('EEOC'). Plaintiff is uncertain as to the current status of the EEOC's investigation of this charge." Id., ¶ 92.

The Complaint alleges the following causes of action: (1) breach of contract, against State, CDC, Cavendar and Hernandez; (2) breach of contract against State, CDC and Edwards; (3) breach of contract, against State, CDC, Martin and Cook; (4) fraud and deceit by intentional misrepresentation, against State, CDC and Cavendar; (5) fraud and deceit by intentional misrepresentation, against State, CDC and Hawthorne; (6) failure to pay wages in violation of section 203 of the California Labor Code, against State and CDC; (7) wage rate discrimination in violation of section 1197.5 of the California Labor Code, against State and CDC; (8) gender discrimination, in violation of the California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, section 12940 of the California Government Code ("FEHA"), against State and CDC; (9) gender discrimination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"), against State and CDC; and (10) violation of the federal Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. section 206(d), against State and CDC.

On October 14, 2008, Defendants filed the Motion to Dismiss. Defendants move to dismiss the entire Complaint on grounds that none of the causes of action state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Defendants request that the Court dismiss the Complaint with prejudice and without leave to amend on grounds that Plaintiff can allege no set of facts that would warrant relief. On November 3, 2008, Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 5). Plaintiff opposes the Motion to Dismiss on grounds that the Complaint states a claim with respect to each cause of action. Plaintiffs opposes dismissal with prejudice, and requests leave to amend in the event that the Court grants the Motion to Dismiss. On November 10, 2008, Defendants filed a Reply (Doc. # 7).

Standard of Review

A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure tests the legal sufficiency of the pleadings. See De La Cruz v. Tormey, 582 F.2d 45, 48 (9th Cir. 1978). A complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) where the factual allegations do not raise the right to relief above the speculative level. See Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007). Conversely, a complaint may not be dismissed for failure to state a claim where the allegations plausibly show that the pleader is entitled to relief. See id. (citing Fed R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)). In ruling on a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court must construe the pleadings in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and must accept as true all material allegations in the complaint, as well as any reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom. See Broam v. Bogan, 320 F.3d 1023, 1028 (9th Cir. 2003); see also Chang v. Chen, 80 F.3d 1293 (9th Cir. 1996).

In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), "courts generally consider only the allegations contained in the complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint and matters of public record." Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (9th Cir. 1993). However, "a court may consider an undisputedly authentic document that a defendant attaches as an exhibit to a motion to dismiss if the plaintiff's claims are based on the document." Id.

Analysis

I. First, Second and Third Claims for ...


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