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Adams v. Michaels Stores, Inc.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

July 31, 2013

BRIAN ADAMS, an individual, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
MICHAELS STORES, INC., a Trial Delaware corporation, Defendant.

CATHERINE A. CONWAY, SBN 98366, JESSE A. CRIPPS, SBN 222285, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, Los Angeles, CA, HEATHER D. HEARNE, SBN 254496, JUSTIN T. GOODWIN, SBN 278721, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, Irvine, CA, Attorneys for Defendant MICHAELS STORES, INC.

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

GEORGE H. WU, District Judge.

Defendant Michaels Stores, Inc. ("Michaels"), respectfully submits the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a) and following the bench trial of Plaintiff Gayle Booth's claims in this action, which was held on December 14, 2010.

This action came on for Court Trial before the Honorable George H. Wu, United States District Court Judge, Central District, on December 14, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., in Courtroom 10, located at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Plaintiff Gayle Booth ("Plaintiff") and Defendant Michaels Stores, Inc. ("Defendant" or "Michaels") appeared through their counsel of record.

The Court, having read and considered all of the papers filed, and arguments made, as well as all other matters on file and properly before the Court, including the trial testimony and evidence presented, does hereby make the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law:

1. Defendant operates specialty retail stores throughout the United States that sell an assortment of crafts, home decor items, picture framing materials and services, custom floral arrangements, and art and hobby supplies. Each of Defendant's stores employs a Store Manager, a salaried employee responsible for the overall management of the store, as well as hourly employees who report to the Store Manager.

2. Plaintiff was hired by Defendant in October 2000. After completing a training program, Plaintiff became the Store Manager of a Michaels store in Montclair, California in November 2000. Plaintiff managed that store until she was transferred to the Rancho Cucamonga, California store in September 2001. Plaintiff remained the Store Manager of the Rancho Cucamonga store as of the time of trial.

3. Defendant classifies its Store Managers, including Plaintiff, as exempt executive employees pursuant to the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 7-2001 and codified in title 8, section 11070 of the California Code of Regulations.

4. On March 20, 2009, Plaintiff Gayle Booth filed an individual action against Defendant alleging that, in her capacity as Store Manager at Michaels, she had been misclassified as an exempt employee. The complaint alleged various violations of the California Labor Code, including the failure to pay overtime compensation (Cal. Labor Code §§ 510, 1194, 1198), failure to provide meal and rest breaks (Cal. Labor Code §§ 226.7, 512), and failure to provide accurate wage statements (Cal. Labor Code § 226), and unfair competition under California Business & Professions § 17200 et seq.

5. The parties stipulated that the applicable statute of limitations period for Plaintiff's claims runs from May 10, 2002, until the entry of judgment.

6. Plaintiff dismissed all of her Labor Code claims several days before trial and proceeded to trial on her unfair competition claim, thus foregoing a jury trial.

7. Under the executive exemption, as set forth in Wage Order No. 7-2001, an employee is not subject to certain provisions of the wage order, including the overtime and meal and rest break provisions, if:

(a) his or her "duties and responsibilities involve the management of the enterprise in which he/she is employed or of a customarily ...

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