Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ulysses Aburto v. Verizon California

January 3, 2012

ULYSSES ABURTO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VERIZON CALIFORNIA, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Otis D. Wright, II United States District Judge

I. INTRODUCTION

Pending before the Court is Plaintiff, Ulysses Aburto's ("Plaintiff"), Motion for Class Certification. (Dkt. No. 44.) Defendant, Verizon California, Inc. ("Defendant" or "Verizon"), filed an Opposition on September 2, 2011, to which Plaintiff filed a Reply on September 9, 2011. (Dkt. Nos. 48, 55.) Having considered the papers filed in support of and in opposition to the instant Motion, the Court deems the matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; L.R. 7-15. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion is DENIED.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Verizon's California FiOS workgroup ("FiOS workgroup" ) is composed of over 680 individuals, who install and repair the company's network of fiber-optic ("FiOS") cables in connection with its telephone, Internet, and television/video services. (FAC ¶ 2; Solis Depo. 10:8-13:17; Aburto 172: 7-9.) The FiOS workgroup is led by one Director and six Second Level Area Managers, who oversee geographic Districts. (Solis Depo. 54:14-56:1.) The FiOS workgroup is comprised of seventeen "Yards" and employs approximately thirty five First Level Managers ("FLMs"), who oversee the Yards. (Aburto Depo., Ex. 50.) Each Yard also employs technicians, who install and service the fiber-optic cables and whose work is measured by computerized statistics referred to as "metrics." (Aburto Depo. 42:14-43:13; Exh. 1.) There are over 635 technicians in the FiOS workgroup.

Verizon hired Plaintiff as a Technician III in 1999. (FAC ¶ 6; Aburto Depo. 64:2-4.) Thereafter, Plaintiff was promoted several times: first, in June 2000 to the position of Equipment Maintainer; second, in March 2003 to the position of Central Office Equipment Maintainer; and finally, in June 2005 to the position of FLM. (Id.) In his position as FLM of the San Bernanrdino Yard, Plaintiff managed up to thirty technicians and, for most of his career, was the only FLM at this location. (Aburto Depo.174:8-176:8; 176:18-19.)

The gravamen of Plaintiff's Complaint is that he, along with all FLMs were "unlawfully classified as exempt from California overtime laws." (Mot. at 2.) As a result of this grievance, Plaintiff now moves the Court to certify a class, currently consisting of only sixty-four members, of "all those individuals employed by Defendant Verizon California Inc. . . . in California who worked as [FLMs] in the Verizon FiOS Group at any time during the period between January 14, 2007 to July 6, 2011 . . . ." (Mot. at 1.) Plaintiff only seeks class certification with respect to his first three claims for: (1) unfair competition in violation of California Business and Professions Code section 17200; (2) failure to pay overtime compensation in violation of California Labor Code sections 510, 515.5, 551, 552, 1194, and 1198; and (3) failure to provide accurate itemized statements in violation of California Labor Code section 226. (Id.) Plaintiff does not seek class certification with respect to his fourth claim for failure to pay overtime compensation in violation of 29 U.S.C. § 201 or his fifth claim under California Labor Code section 2678. (Id.)

III. LEGAL STANDARD

"The class action is 'an exception to the usual rule that litigation is conducted by and on behalf of the individual named parties only.'" Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541, 2550 (2011) (quoting Califano v. Yamasaki, 442 U.S. 682, 700--01 (1979)). "In order to justify a departure from that rule, 'a class representative must be part of the class and possess the same interest and suffer the same injury as the class members.'" Id. (quoting E. Tex. Motor Freight Sys., Inc. v. Rodriguez, 431 U.S. 395, 403 (1977)). "Rule 23(a) ensures that the named plaintiffs are appropriate representatives of the class whose claims they wish to litigate. The Rule's four requirements-numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequate representation-'effectively limit the class claims to those fairly encompassed by the named plaintiff's claims.'" Id. (quoting Gen. Telephone Co. of Sw. v. Falcon, 457 U.S. 147, 156 (1982)). Under Rule 23(a), the party seeking certification must demonstrate that:

(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable,

(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class,

(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class, and

(4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

Id. at 2548.

The proposed class must also satisfy at least one of the three requirements listed in Rule 23(b). Id. Here, Plaintiff relies solely on Rule 23(b)(3), which states that a class may be maintained where "questions of law or fact common to class members predominate over any questions affecting only individual members," and a class action would be "superior to other ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.