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Michael Luchini v. Carmax

June 22, 2012

MICHAEL LUCHINI,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CARMAX, INC., ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE (Document 26)

On May 9, 2012, Defendants CarMax, Inc., CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc., and CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC, filed the instant motion to transfer venue. Pursuant to Local Rule 230(g), the Court deemed the matter suitable for decision without oral argument.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Michael Luchini, on behalf of himself and classes of those similarly situated ("Plaintiff"), filed this wage and hour complaint on March 21, 2012. Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint on April 24, 2012, and Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") on May 29, 2012. Plaintiff names CarMax, Inc., CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc., and CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC, as Defendants.

On May 9, 2012, Defendants filed the instant motion to transfer venue, requesting that this action be transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia. Plaintiff filed his opposition on May 25, 2012, and Defendants filed a reply on June 8, 2012.

On May 24, 2012, Plaintiff filed a motion for conditional FLSA collective action certification. The motion has been vacated pending the outcome of this motion. On June 6, 2012, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss and/or stay the action based on a prior agreement to arbitrate. That motion has also been vacated.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

According to the SAC, Plaintiff worked for CarMax as a Buyer-in-Training ("BIT") and a Buyer in Fresno, California. BITs and Buyers, along with Senior Buyers (collectively, "Covered Positions"), share the primary duties of collecting objectively observable information on used vehicles and entering that information into CarMax's computer system to assist the system in calculating a price for purchase.

Defendant CarMax, Inc., and its subsidiary CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc., are Virginia corporations with principal places of business in Richmond, Virginia. CarMax, Inc., and CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc., do business throughout the United States.

Defendant CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC, is a California subsidiary of CarMax, Inc., with its principal place of business in Richmond, Virginia. It purchases and sells used vehicles throughout California and the surrounding region.

Plaintiff was employed at CarMax in Fresno from 2007 through 2012 as BIT and Buyer. He alleges that he consistently worked overtime hours for which he was not compensated.

Plaintiff alleges that CarMax has unlawfully classified employees in the Covered Positions as exempt from overtime payments under federal and state laws, despite the fact that they should have been classified as nonexempt. Plaintiff alleges that employees in the Covered Positions have worked overtime hours and are entitled to premium compensation for all overtime hours worked.

Plaintiff also alleges that in September 2007, a CarMax employee sued CarMax in California state court alleging similar overtime misclassification under California law on behalf of employees in the Covered Positions. In August 2009, the court approved a class action settlement, providing monetary recovery for California employees in the Covered Positions from 2003 through August 2009. At some point, CarMax then reclassified California BITs to nonexempt status. However, CarMax willfully failed to reclassify California Buyers, California Senior Buyers and all non-California employees in Covered Positions.

Plaintiff asserts three classes:

1. Nationwide FLSA Plaintiffs: All persons who were, are or will be employed by CarMax nationwide in a Covered Position at any time within the three years prior to the filing of this action through the date of final disposition, and who were, are or will be misclassified as exempt from overtime pay under federal law.

2. California Class: All persons who were, are or will be employed by CarMax in California in a Covered Position at any time within the four years prior to the filing of this action through the date of final disposition, and who were, are or will be misclassified as exempt from overtime pay under California law.

3. ERISA Class: All persons who were, are or will be employed by CarMax nationwide in a Covered Position at any time within the six years prior to the filing of this action through the date of final disposition, and who were, are or will be misclassified as exempt from overtime pay under federal and state laws, and who were, are or will be covered by an ERISA benefit plan.

With these definitions, Plaintiff alleges the following causes of action:

1. First Cause of Action (Nationwide FLSA Plaintiffs) under the Fair Labor Standards Act for failure to pay overtime wages and keep records.

2. Second Cause of Action (California Plaintiffs) under Cal. Labor Code §§ 510 and 1194 for failure to pay overtime wages.

3. Third Cause of Action (California Plaintiffs) under Cal. Labor Code ยงยง 201, 202 and 203 for ...


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