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Wert v. U.S. Bancorp

United States District Court, S.D. California

June 23, 2014

MONICA R. WERT, Plaintiff,
v.
U.S. BANCORP, et al., Defendants.

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

CYNTHIA BASHANT, District Judge.

On November 13, 2013, Plaintiff Monica R. Wert commenced this employment class action against Defendants U.S. Bancorp and U.S. Bank National Association ("U.S. Bank") in the San Diego Superior Court. Thereafter, Defendants removed this action to this Court. Defendants now move to dismiss the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Plaintiff opposes.

The Court finds this motion suitable for determination on the papers submitted and without oral argument. See Civ. L.R. 7.1(d.1). For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Defendants' motion to dismiss.

I. BACKGROUND

"[W]ithin the last year, " Plaintiff alleges that she worked for Defendants as a bank teller. (Compl. ¶ 27.) According to Plaintiff, she complied with the exhaustion requirements of the Private Attorney General Act of 2004 ("PAGA") by "providing notice by certified letter on October 7, 2013, to Defendants and the LWDA concerning the PAGA claims Plaintiff intends to pursue."[1] ( Id. ¶ 15(e).)

Plaintiff alleges that "[t]he wage statements Defendants furnished, and continue to furnish, to Plaintiff and other California employees did not meet the requirements of California Labor Code § 226(a), including by failing to: (1) show the total hours worked by the employee; (2) adequately show the deductions from wages; (3) itemize the dates in prior pay periods to which adjustments were made; [and] (4) itemize the inclusive dates of the pay period, including the pay period begin date[.]" (Compl. ¶¶ 30, 36, 56.) According to Plaintiff, these omissions caused her and Defendants' other California employees injuries. ( Id. )

Plaintiff also alleges that "Defendants oftentimes did not provide Plaintiff with meal breaks during the work day." (Compl. ¶¶ 31, 43.) She adds that "Defendants made a record of these violations with their meal period pay." ( Id. ¶ 44.) Furthermore, "[i]n order to perform their duties, Plaintiff and Business Expense Class Members were required to use business related materials" and the cost of those materials were deducted from the employees' wages. ( Id. ¶ 32.)

On November 13, 2013, Plaintiff commenced this employment class action against Defendants in the San Diego Superior Court. Plaintiff asserts six claims in her complaint for: (1) violation of California Labor Code § 226(a) brought under PAGA; (2) violation of California Labor Code § 512 brought under PAGA; (3) violation of California Labor Code § 2802 brought under PAGA; (4) violation of California Labor Code § 226; (5) violation of California Labor Code § 2802; and (6) unfair competition. On December 20, 2013, Defendants removed this action to this Court. They now move to dismiss the complaint in its entirety under Rule 12(b)(6). Plaintiff opposes.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure tests the legal sufficiency of the claims asserted in the complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 731 (9th Cir. 2001). The court must accept all factual allegations pleaded in the complaint as true and must construe them and draw all reasonable inferences from them in favor of the nonmoving party. Cahill v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336, 337-38 (9th Cir. 1996). To avoid a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal, a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, rather, it must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim has "facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).

"[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)) (alteration in original). A court need not accept "legal conclusions" as true. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Despite the deference the court must pay to the plaintiff's allegations, it is not proper for the court to assume that "the [plaintiff] can prove facts that [he or she] has not alleged or that defendants have violated the... laws in ways that have not been alleged." Associated Gen. Contractors of Cal., Inc. v. Cal. State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526 (1983).

Generally, courts may not consider material outside the complaint when ruling on a motion to dismiss. Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., 896 F.2d 1542, 1555 n.19 (9th Cir. 1990). However, documents specifically identified in the complaint whose authenticity is not questioned by parties may also be considered. Fecht v. Price Co., 70 F.3d 1078, 1080 n.1 (9th Cir. 1995) (superceded by statutes on other grounds). Moreover, the court may consider the full text of those documents, even when the complaint quotes only selected portions. Id. It may also consider material properly subject to judicial notice without converting the motion into one for summary judgment. Barron v. Reich, 13 F.3d 1370, 1377 (9th Cir. 1994).

As a general rule, a court freely grants leave to amend a complaint which has been dismissed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). However, leave to amend may be denied when "the court determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the deficiency." ...


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