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Jun Han, An Individual v. Futurewei Technologies

October 28, 2011

JUN HAN, AN INDIVIDUAL,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
FUTUREWEI TECHNOLOGIES, INC. A TEXAS CORPORATION D/B/A
HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CO., LTD.; JIANGAO CUI, AN INDIVIDUAL; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 100, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Jeffrey T. Miller United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT FUTUREWEI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO ASSERT COUNTERCLAIMS

Plaintiff Jun Han brought a complaint against Defendants in California Superior Court on March 9, 2011. Her claims are based on allegations of harassment and sex discrimination by Defendants Futurewei Technologies, Inc. dba Huawei Technologies (USA) ("Huawei") and Jiangao Cui that led to termination from her employment. On April 20, 2011, Defendants removed the case to this court based on diversity jurisdiction, and Huawei now moves for permission to assert counterclaims. Han opposes Huawei's motion and has also requested that the court strike portions of Huawei's memorandum in support of its motion for leave to amend.

Because leave to amend should be freely granted and Han has not demonstrated any strong reason to deny the motion, the motion is hereby GRANTED. Han's request to strike portions of Huawei's memorandum is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

Defendant Huawei offered Plaintiff a position as the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing in its San Diego office on April 15, 2009. Compl. ¶ 30. Han alleges that Defendant Cui subjected her and other employees of Huawei to verbal abuse and that complaints to management about such behavior "were not well received." ¶¶ 32-33. According to the complaint, Cui was required to hire only young, white males for account manager positions. ¶ 34. Plaintiff claims that few women worked in positions of power at Huawei, and those who did often quit or were terminated based on complaints about their treatment.

On May 26, 2010, Han fell and injured herself while on a business trip. ¶ 44. Over the next few months, Han missed a great deal of work, allegedly in part due to physical manifestations of stress arising out of hostile treatment by management. ¶ 46. She believed her job might be in jeopardy during this time but received little straightforward information from Defendants. ¶¶ 48-53. When Han attempted to return to work on August 2, 2010, her company computer was missing and her belongings were reorganized. She called Cui, who informed her she had been terminated. ¶¶ 54-55.

Han claims that she experienced emotional distress and anxiety because of Defendants' treatment of her, that Huawei management made false statements about her to prospective employers, and that the real reason for her termination was her complaints about Huawei's discrimination and hostile work environment. ¶ ¶ 58-59.

The complaint consists of eight claims predicated upon harassment, retaliation, infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and wrongful termination. ¶¶ 63-114. Defendants removed the action to this court on April 20, 2011.

Huawei now moves to file counterclaims alleging Han illegally copied and deleted various files from her company-issued laptop during the summer of 2010.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A counterclaim must be filed in a pleading if the counterclaim arises out of the same transaction or occurrence as the opposing party's claim and does not require the addition of another party over which the court cannot acquire jurisdiction. Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 13(a). However, Rule 13(e) allows the counterclaim to be added in a supplemental pleading if it matures or is acquired after service of an earlier pleading. If the pleading is not amended within twenty-one days of service of the complaint or responsive pleading, the proposed 13(e) counterclaim must be analyzed under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 15(a)(2), which provides that "[t]he court should freely give leave when justice requires."

The court's decision when analyzing a motion to amend should "be guided by the underlying purpose of Rule 15-to facilitate decision on the merits rather than on the pleadings or technicalities," and should be applied with "extreme liberality." United States v. Webb, 655 F.2d 977, 979 (9th Cir. 1981). Courts generally examine four factors when deciding a motion for leave to amend: bad faith, undue delay, prejudice to the opposing party, and futility of amendment. Roth v. Garcia Marquez, 942 F.2d 617, 628 (9th Cir. 1991). Whether the parties have previously amended the pleadings is also relevant. Johnson v. Buckley, 356 F.3d 1067, 1077 (9th Cir. 2004).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Same Transaction or ...


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