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Jeanne Shultz, Individually, On Behalf of v. Hyatt Vacation Marketing Corporation

February 28, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lucy H. Koh United States District Judge

For the Northern District of California others similarly situated, and on behalf of the general public, No.: K United States District Court


Jeanne Schultz, the named Plaintiff in this putative class action, brought suit in this Court asserting various employment law violations based on federal and California law. Defendants

Hyatt Vacation Marketing Corporation and Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc. (together, Hyatt) 21 moved to transfer this case to the Middle District of Florida pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Mot. 22 to Transfer (Mot., Dkt. No. 12). The Court finds this matter suitable for determination without oral 23 argument. See Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). Therefore, the hearing on this matter set for May 5, 2011 at 1:30 24 p.m. is hereby VACATED. For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES the motion to 25 transfer. Accordingly, the case management conference scheduled on May 5, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. 26 will remain as set.

3 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.) and the California Labor Code. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants failed to pay Plaintiff and other employees minimum 5 wage and overtime compensation. First Am. Compl. (FAC) ¶ 1. Plaintiff asserts two classes.

First, a nationwide class, composed of "all persons who are or have been employed by Defendants 7 as sales executives at any time within three years prior to this action's filing date . . . ." Second, a 8


Jeanne Schultz, the named Plaintiff in this case, brings a putative class action alleging California class, composed of "all persons who are or have been employed by Defendants as sales 9 executives within the State of California within four years of the filing of this Complaint . . . ."

FAC ¶ 40.

See FAC ¶¶ 2-3. Plaintiff alleges that the California class is made up of at least 40 people. See Plaintiff worked for Defendants as a sales executive at their Hyatt Vacation Club office in Carmel, Plaintiff asserts that she and other sales executives were designated "commission only" and therefore, at times, received no compensation from Defendants. FAC ¶ . At other times,

Plaintiff states that Defendants paid a "recoverable draw," but that this sometimes resulted in 18 payments of less than the minimum wage. FAC ¶¶ 19-20. These draws were deducted from Plaintiffs' future commissions. FAC ¶ 21. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants failed to pay 20 overtime, failed to provide meal and rest periods, and failed to provide accurate wage statements.

In addition to the Vacation Club office in Carmel, Hyatt maintains Vacation Club offices in Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Florida. See Mot. at 3. Hyatt states that it has three "sales offices 24 for resort properties" in Florida, and one office in each of the other states. See Yong-Kagimoto

Decl. ISO Mot. (Dkt. No. 14) at ¶ 4. Plaintiffs have submitted information apparently from Hyatt's 26 website which shows that three of Hyatt's Florida offices are located in Key West, in the Southern

District of Florida. See Helland Decl. ISO Opp'n. to Mot., Ex. A. Hyatt has two other Florida 28 offices, located in Bonita Springs and Siesta Key, Florida, both in the Middle District of Florida.

Plaintiff resides in Monterey, California, within the Northern District of California. California (also in the County of Monterey) for various periods during 2005-2010. FAC ¶ 5. 15

FAC ¶¶ 23-31. 22

Id. It is not clear which three of these five Florida offices are the three "sales offices for resort 2 purposes" that Hyatt identifies in its Motion, and Hyatt does not clarify in its Reply. In any event, 3 it appears that a substantial number of Florida offices are outside the Middle District, and Hyatt 4 does not dispute this. 5

Both defendants maintain their headquarters in Florida. Id. ¶ 3. Hyatt has submitted a declaration from Kathy Francis, payroll manager for Hyatt Residential Group, Inc. (formerly Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc.). Ms. Francis states that she has searched payroll records for every 8 employee and has thus determined that "more members of the putative class currently reside or 9 show a last known address in the State of Florida than in any other state." See Francis Decl. ISO Mot. (Dkt. No. 13) at ¶ 7. Neither Hyatt nor Plaintiff submit information regarding how many putative class members reside outside of California or in Florida, nor does either party specify what judicial district within Florida these class members reside in. centralized at its St. Petersburg, Florida headquarters. See Yong-Kagimoto Decl. at ¶¶ 3, 5. Most 15 human resources-related documents, including policies and some personnel files, are maintained at 16 the corporate headquarters. Id. at ¶ 8. Key personnel who make decisions regarding classification 17 of employees and terms and conditions of employment of sales executives work in the Florida 18 headquarters. Id. at ¶ 9. However, each office location has one employee who performs some 19 human resources-related tasks, including submitting payroll and processing new hires. Id. at ¶ 8. 20

Hyatt maintains its Information Technology Department at its headquarters, and maintains all sales 21 data there. Id. at ¶ 7. The Defendants' e-mail server is located at the Florida headquarters. In 22 addition, the Hyatt payroll is calculated, processed and paid out of the Florida headquarters. Id. at 23

¶ 9. The "commission specialists," who calculate commissions on real estate sales for all U.S. 24 sales personnel, work at the Florida headquarters. See Francis Decl. at ¶ 6. transfer any civil action to any ...

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