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Adedapoidle-Tyehimba v. Crunch, LLC

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

May 3, 2013

OSABEMI-YE ADEDAPOIDLE-TYEHIMBA, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
CRUNCH LLC., et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STAY AND DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND STRIKE

SUSAN ILLSTON, District Judge.

Defendants' motions to dismiss and for a stay are scheduled for a hearing on May 10, 2013. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court determines that these matters are appropriate for resolution without oral argument and VACATES the hearing. The case management conference scheduled for May 10, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. will remain on calendar. For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motion to stay is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART and defendants' motion to dismiss and strike is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. Plaintiff shall file an amended complaint by May 10, 2013.

BACKGROUND

I. The instant action

Plaintiff Osabemi-Ye Adedapoidle-Tyehimba filed the original complaint in this Court on January 16, 2013, and a first amended complaint ("FAC") on February 7, 2013. The FAC alleges that defendants Crunch LLC, New Evolution Ventures LLC, and New Evolution Fitness Company LLC operate numerous fitness clubs throughout the United States, and that plaintiff worked as a non-exempt personal trainer in one of defendants' fitness clubs located in the Northern California. Plaintiff alleges a variety of claims stemming from defendants' alleged failure to abide by the wage and hour provisions of California and federal law by, inter alia, requiring personal trainers to work "off the clock, " failing to reimburse for necessary business expenses, and failing to provide meal and rest breaks. The FAC alleges the following claims: (1) failure to pay wages and overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 206, 207; (2) failure to pay wages and overtime wages as required by the California Labor Code §§ 226, 226.6, 1174, 1194, 1197, and 1199; (3) failure to provide meal periods as required by California Labor Code §§ 226, 512, 516; (4) failure to provide rest periods as required by California Labor Code §§ 226.7; (5) failure to reimburse for necessary work-related expenses as required by California Labor Code §2802(c); (6) failure to provide and maintain accurate wage statements in violation of California Labor Code §§ 226, 226.3, 1174 and 1174.5; (7) failure to pay all wages due on termination in violation of California Labor Code §§ 201 and 202; and (8) violations of California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq.

Plaintiff seeks relief on behalf of a nationwide collective class pursuant to the FLSA, and a California class for claims under California law pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.

II. The Rothberg action

On April 4, 2012, a class action lawsuit was filed against defendant Crunch LLC in San Francisco Superior Court, Rothberg v. Crunch LLC (Case No. CGC-12-519740). The original complaint alleged all of the same California wage and hour claims as are alleged in the FAC, with the addition of a claim under the Private Attorney General Act, Cal. Lab. Code § 2699. See Defs' Request for Judicial Notice, Ex. C. The Rothberg complaint was brought as a statewide class action on behalf of personal trainers, and alleged, inter alia, that Crunch requires personal trainers to work "off the clock, " failed to reimburse necessary business expenses, and failed to provide meal and rest breaks.

The defendants removed that case to federal court, and after the federal court remanded the action, the defendants filed a demurrer and a motion to strike. Pls' Request for Judicial Notice, Ex. 1. On July 13, 2012, the state court issued an order sustaining a demurrer with leave to amend as to the meal and rest break claims and the waiting time penalty claims. Id. On July 27, 2012, the Rothberg plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint dropping the meal and rest break claims and the waiting time penalty claims. Id. After further motion practice, the parties stipulated to the filing of a second amended complaint; that complaint also omitted the meal and rest break claims.

According to defendants (and not disputed by plaintiffs), on February 13, 2013, the Rothberg parties attended a mediation during which they reached a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement, which is awaiting preliminary approval of the state court, releases all California and federal wage and hour claims on behalf of the putative class members, including unpled claims under the FLSA and the dismissed California meal and rest break claims. Kemple Decl. Ex. 2. The Rothberg settlement class is defined as all current and former personal trainer, group fitness instructor and Pilates instructor employees who were employed in California from April 4, 2008 to the present. Id. The Rothberg settlement releases all FLSA and state claims unless a class member opts out of the settlement.

III. The Aghili action

On October 9, 2012, a collective and class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entitled Aghili v. Crunch LLC, Case No. 12 CIV 7536-PAC (S.D.N.Y.). Defs' Request for Judicial Notice, Ex. B. The complaint alleges a claim under the FLSA for failure to pay overtime and also alleges wage and hour claims under New York law. Id. The Aghili complaint alleges that the named plaintiff worked for Crunch as a non-exempt Corporate Sales Assistant from 2004 to 2006, and that in 2006 she was promoted to Corporate Sales Administrator. The complaint alleges that Crunch classified the Corporate Sales Administrator position as exempt and therefore not eligible for overtime pay. The complaint alleges that the named plaintiff's work duties did not include managerial responsibilities and that her primary job function did not require the exercise of independent judgment. The FLSA claim is brought as a collective action on behalf of "all persons who are or were formerly employed by Crunch during the Statutory Period and who were nonexempt employees within the meaning of the FLSA and who were not paid overtime premium pay, in violation of the FLSA." Id. § 44.

DISCUSSION

I. Defendants' ...


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