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Thomas Rix, An Individual, On Behalf of Himself, and On Behalf of All Persons Similarly Situated v. Martin Corporation

January 4, 2012

THOMAS RIX, AN INDIVIDUAL, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF, AND ON BEHALF OF ALL PERSONS SIMILARLY SITUATED,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARTIN CORPORATION, A MARYLAND CORPORATION, AND DOES 1 TO 10,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Nita L. Stormes U.S. Magistrate Judge United States District Court

ORDER REGARDING JOINT MOTION FOR DISCOVERY DISPUTE NUMBER TWO, DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL LOCKHEED [Doc. No. 83]

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This case was filed as a purported class action in which Plaintiff Thomas Rix ("Plaintiff") alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws against his former employer, defendant Lockheed Martin ("LM"). Plaintiff alleges LM wrongfully classified his employment position as Industrial Security Representative ("ISR") and the position of Industry Security Representative, Senior ("ISRSR", collectively "ISRS") as exempt positions based on job title alone. On February 3, 2010, Plaintiff filed the operative First Amended Complaint, alleging six causes of action: (1) Unfair business practices in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.; (2) Failure to pay overtime compensation under Cal. Lab. Code §§ 510, 515.5, 551, 552, 1194 and 1198; (3) Failure to provide meal and rest periods under Cal. Lab. Code §§ 226.7 and 512; (4) Failure to provide accurate itemized statements under Cal. Lab. Code § 226; (5) Violation of Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") 29 U.S.C. § et seq.; and (6) Labor Code Private Attorney General Act § 2698 ("PAGA"). [Docket No. 21.]

On March 14, 2011, the Court denied Plaintiff's Motion to Certify a Class Action, finding that individual inquiries will predominate over common questions and, therefore, Plaintiff cannot meet the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b)(3). [Docket No. 62 at 12.] After the Court denied class certification, LM moved to Strike or, in the alternative, Dismiss Plaintiff's PAGA Representative Claim. [Docket No. 67.] LM argued, inter alia, that the PAGA claim cannot proceed because it "would be unmanageable, impracticable, and raise serious due process concerns." [Docket No. 67 at 1.] Plaintiff opposed the motion, arguing that the case could be decided on common evidence. The Court denied the Motion to Strike or Dismiss, finding that it was premature. [Docket No. 77 (the "Order.").]

The Joint Motion for Resolution of a Discovery Dispute

The parties filed a joint discovery motion in order to decide whether, despite Plaintiff's representations that he will refute the application of the exemption based on common evidence, Plaintiff is entitled to discovery as to each and every allegedly aggrieved employee.*fn1 Plaintiff is currently seeking to compel, for each and every allegedly aggrieved employee: 1) contact information; 2) identification and production of every document that supports the contention that the employee was correctly classified as exempt; 3) identification of all witnesses with knowledge that supports the classification; 4) all time records; and 5) all payroll information.

Plaintiff argues that the Order (denying the Motion to Strike or Dismiss) specifically granted him the right to the sought discovery. LM counters that the Order proves that Plaintiff is not entitled to the discovery and that the discovery is unduly burdensome. The Court will address each issue in turn.

DISCUSSION

A. Discovery at Issue

The parties have identified three interrogatories and three document requests at issue. This small number of discovery requests, however, encompasses an enormous scope of discovery. Plaintiff seeks to compel further responses to Interrogatory No. 13 which asks: "Please IDENTIFY all ISRs who were employed by you during the RELEVANT TIME PERIOD." LM provided the information for the ISRS who worked at the Palmdale facility, the facility where Plaintiff worked, who did not object to disclosure of their information.

Plaintiff also seeks to compel a response to Interrogatory No. 16, which asks: " For each workweek IDENTIFIED in YOUR response to Interrogatory No. 14, please IDENTIFY all DOCUMENTS that support DEFENDANT'S contention that the Defendant's classification of the ISR as exempt from overtime during that workweek was correct."

Plaintiff also seeks to compel a response to Interrogatory 17, which asks: "For each workweek IDENTIFIED in YOUR response to Interrogatory No. 14, please IDENTIFY all witnesses with knowledge of facts that support DEFENDANT'S contention that the Defendant's classification of the ISR as exempt from overtime during that workweek was correct." LM responded with objections to this interrogatory.

Plaintiff also seeks to compel a further response to Request for Production No. 49, which seeks: "All DOCUMENTS evidencing the records of hours worked by the ISRs during the RELEVANT TIME PERIOD, including all entries made into DEFENDANT'S electronic time recording systems."

LM has produced the records for all ISRS who worked at the Palmdale facility, who did not object to ...


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