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Su v. Siemens Industry, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 10, 2014

JULIE SU, Plaintiff,
v.
SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC., Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION AND APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO BRING AN INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL; GRANTING MOTION FOR STAY OF TRIAL COURT PROCEEDINGS Re: ECF No. 124

JON S. TIGAR, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, California State Labor Commissioner Julie Su ("Plaintiff"), has moved pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1292(b) to seek interlocutory appeal of two legal issues this court decided in its May 12, 2014 summary judgment order. Pursuant to Rule 78(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds that the parties' briefs have thoroughly addressed the issues, rendering the matter suitable for disposition without oral argument. The hearing on the motion, noticed for June 19, 2014, is hereby VACATED.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Procedural and Factual Background

Plaintiff brings a single cause of action under California Labor Code Section 6310 ("Section 6310"), which prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for making certain protected job-related safety complaints. Complaint for Backpay and Injunctive Relief for Violation of Labor Code Section 6310 ("Complaint"), Exh. A to Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Siemens Industry, Inc. ("Defendant") violated Section 6310 in terminating Complainants Charles Anderson and Charles Pitschner ("Complainants") from their positions on a crew installing a baggage conveyor system at San Francisco International Airport. Id . Complainant Anderson is also an intervenor in this action. See Order Granting Motion to Intervene, 2013 WL 3477202, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96505, (ECF No. 35).

The parties brought cross-motions for summary judgment on various legal issues, which the court decided on May 12, 2014. Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment; Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment ("Summary Judgment Order"), 2014 WL 1894315, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65184 (ECF No. 102). In that order, the court decided two legal issues in Defendant's favor:

1. The court granted judgment to Defendant "as to all claims in this action relating to complaints made to Turner Construction, " since Turner was not Complainants' employer. Summary Judgment Order 6:19-13:11, 2014 WL 1894315, at *4-*8, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65184, at 11-24.
2. Applying Reeves v. Safeway Stores , 121 Cal.App.4th 95, 108 (2004), the court held that to prevail on a Section 6310 claim, Plaintiff must show that "retaliatory animus... [was] a but-for cause of the employer's adverse action." Summary Judgment Order 13:13-28, 2014 WL 1894315, at *8 and *8, n.7, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65184, at 24-25 and 25, n.7.

Plaintiff then filed the present motion to seek interlocutory appeal of those two legal conclusions. Other aspects of the case are described in the Summary Judgment Order. Id . 1-4, 2014 WL 1894315, at *1-*2, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65184, at 1-7.

C. Legal Standard

The final judgement rule ordinarily provides that courts of appeal shall have jurisdiction only over "final decisions of the district courts of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 1291. However, "[w]hen a district judge, in making in a civil action an order not otherwise appealable under this section, shall be of the opinion that such order involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation, he shall so state in writing in such order." 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). "The Court of Appeals which would have jurisdiction of an appeal of such action may thereupon, in its discretion, permit an appeal to be taken from such order." Id . "Certification under § 1292(b) requires the district court to expressly find in writing that all three § 1292(b) requirements are met." Couch v. Telescope Inc. , 611 F.3d 629, 633 (9th Cir. 2010).

D. Jurisdiction

The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), since Complainants' state citizenships are diverse from Defendant's, and the amount in controversy exceeds ...


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