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Ordonez v. Radio Shack, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

August 15, 2014

DANIEL ORDONEZ,
v.
RADIO SHACK, INC

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, District Judge.

Proceedings: (In Chambers:) PLAINTIFF'S RENEWED MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION (Dkt. #111, filed July 26, 2013)

I. INTRODUCTION

On May 26, 2010, plaintiff Daniel Ordonez filed this putative class action in Los Angeles County Superior Court against defendant RadioShack, Inc. Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated current and former non-exempt employees of defendant, seeks to recover wages and penalties resulting from various violations of the California Labor Code and California Business and Professions Code. Defendant removed this action to federal court on September 22, 2010. Dkt. #1.

The operative Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") alleges the following claims: (1) failure to provide required meal periods in violation of Cal. Labor Code § 226.7 and IWC Order 4-2001(11); (2) failure to provide required rest periods in violation of Cal. Labor Code § 226.7 and IWC Order 4-2001(12); (3) failure to pay overtime compensation in violation of Cal. Labor Code §§ 226, 510, 1194, 1197 and IWC Order 4; (4) failure to pay minimum wages in violation of Cal. Labor Code §§ 226, 510, 1194, 1197 and IWC Order 4; (5) failure to maintain required records in violation of Cal. Labor Code § 1174, 1174.5 and IWC Order 4-2001(7); (6) failure to pay all wages due to discharged or quitting employees in violation of Cal. Labor Code §§ 201, 202, 203; (7) unlawful collection or receipt of wages previously paid and failure to indemnify for expenditures in discharge of duties, pursuant to Cal. Labor Code §§ 221 and 2802 and Wage Order 7-2001; (8) unfair business practices pursuant to Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200 et seq.; and (9) representative action for civil penalties pursuant to Cal. Lab. Code §§ 2698-2699.5.

By order dated January 17, 2013, the Court denied plaintiff's motion for class certification without prejudice. Dkt. #97. Plaintiff filed a renewed motion for class certification on July 26, 2013. Dkt. #111. Defendant filed an opposition on October 25, 2013, and a supplemental opposition on October 31, 2013. Dkt. #'s 117, 119. Plaintiff replied on December 9, 2013, dkt. #120.[1] The Court held a hearing on February 10, 2014. Dkt. #123. At the hearing, the Court heard argument regarding the particulars of the electronic employee scheduling system employed by defendant, and referenced in plaintiff's renewed motion for class certification. Specifically, the Court heard argument as to whether defendant's electronic scheduling records could be used as evidence of defendant's actual practice in making rest breaks available.

The Court thereafter took this matter under submission. Dkt. #123. Next, on February 12, 2014, the Court directed the parties to lodge a post-2011 exemplar of the electronic scheduling records referenced at oral argument. Dkt. #122. The parties did so in the ensuing weeks, and also provided supplemental briefing as to the significance of the electronic schedules. Dkt. #'s 124-27. By order dated March 24, 2014, the Court then directed defendant to produce to plaintiff a "10% sampling of post-2011 electronic schedules." Dkt. #128. After that production was complete, the parties submitted briefs, setting forth their arguments regarding the significance of the electronic scheduling records, and how they bear on the question of whether plaintiff's motion for class certification should be granted. Dkt. #'s 131-32. After considering the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes as follows.

II. BACKGROUND

The facts of this case are known to the parties, and are set forth in greater detail in the Court's prior order denying plaintiff's motion for class certification. Here, the Court sets forth a summary of the most relevant facts.

RadioShack is in the business of selling a broad assortment of consumer electronics and wireless device products nationwide through its retail stores. See Sha Decl. Ex. 1 (Annual Report, Form 10-K). Plaintiff asserts that RadioShack has adopted uniform policies and procedures that deprive sales associates of the required rest breaks. E.g., Id . Ex. 3. Plaintiff asserts that RadioShack has maintained a rest break policy since 2006, applicable to RadioShack employees in California, that provides "one paid 15-minute break for every four hours worked." Id .; Agel Dep. 274:2-16; Juarez Dep. 87:12-17. Plaintiff provides declarations from nineteen current and former RadioShack employees, stating that they did not receive a second rest break if they worked a shift longer than six hours, but shorter than eight hours. Dkt. #114, Plaintiff's Compendium of Declarations ("Pl. COD") Exs. 1-17; dkt. #116, Pl. Supp. COD Exs. 18-19. According to these declarations, RadioShack employees were not compensated for missed rest breaks. Id . Plaintiff also asserts that rest breaks were not included on sales associates' electronic schedules prior to June 2011. Guidice Dep. 29:6-19; 31:13-17.

RadioShack does not appear to dispute the authenticity or accuracy of plaintiff's evidence regarding RadioShack's written rest break policy. However, RadioShack provides declarations from current and former employees, stating that the policy is not enforced as written. Dkt. #117, Defendant's Compendium of Declarations ("Def. COD") Exs. 1-13. Rather, according to these declarations, sales associates who work a shift longer than four hours receive a second rest break. Id.

Plaintiff seeks certification of a class of "[a]ll current and former non-exempt employees of RadioShack, who held positions of sales associate and stock position for a period of time since May 26, 2006 to the present." Renewed Mot. at 2. This Court previously denied certification as to all of plaintiff's claims, and plaintiff's renewed motion relates only to claims for alleged denial of rest breaks. The Court therefore construes this motion as seeking certification of a rest break subclass.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

"Class actions have two primary purposes: (1) to accomplish judicial economy by avoiding multiple suits, and (2) to protect rights of persons who might not be able to present claims on an individual basis." Haley v. Medtronic, Inc. , 169 F.R.D. 643, 647 (C.D. Cal. 1996) (citing Crown, Cork & Seal Co. v. Parker , 462 U.S. 345 (1983)). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 governs class actions. For a suit to be maintained as a class action, the proposed class must "satisfy the criteria set forth in subdivision (a)..., and it also must fit into one of three categories described in subdivision (b)." Shady Grove Orthopedic Assocs., P.A. v. Allstate Ins. Co., ___ U.S. ___ , 130 S.Ct. 1431, 1437 (2010). More than a pleading standard, Rule 23 requires the party seeking class certification to "affirmatively demonstrate... compliance with the rule." Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ...


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