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Mireles v. Paragon Systems, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

September 4, 2014

PARAGON SYSTEMS, INC., Defendant. on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,


M. JAMES LORENZ, District Judge.

Plaintiffs' first amended complaint alleges eight causes of action against defendant Paragon Systems, Inc.: (1) Failure to Provide Meal Period Premium Pay, (2) Failure to Provide Rest Break Premium Pay, (3) Failure to Pay Overtime Premium Pay, (4) Failure to Indemnify/Reimburse, (5) Failure to Provide Accurate Wage Statements, (6) Failure to Promptly Pay Wages Owed, (7) Unfair, Fraudulent and Unlawful Practices, and (8) Violation of the Private Attorneys General Act ("PAGA").

Defendant seeks partial summary judgment on plaintiffs' first, third and fourth causes of action. The motion has been fully briefed and is considered without oral argument.

I. Background[1]

Paragon has been registered as a Private Patrol Operator with the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services under Business and Professions Code, Division 3, Chapter 11.5, since October 12, 2006. All ten named plaintiffs[2] are or were employed by Paragon as security officers in the security services industry. Paragon negotiated and entered into several collective bargaining agreements ("CBAs") covering many of Paragon's security officer employees, including the named plaintiffs.

Paragon and the United Government Security Officers of America ("UGSOA") Local 52 entered into a CBA effective March 17, 2008 ("2008 S.D. CBA"), covering security officer employees working in San Diego, San Bernadino, Riverside, and Imperial counties. Another CBA was entered into on November 20, 2010 ("2010 S.D. CBA"), between Paragon and the UGSOA.

Next, Paragon entered into a CBA with the International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of American ("SPFPA) Local 52 effective August 31, 2011 ("2011 S.D. CBA"), covering security officer employees working in San Diego, San Bernadino, Riverside, and Imperial counties.

Finally, Paragon entered into a CBA with SPFPA Local 3, effective August 1, 2010 ("LA CBA"), covering security officer employees working in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

At all relevant times, all of the named Plaintiffs, except Gregorio Escobedo, are or were covered by one or more of the S.D. CBAs. Gregorio Escobedo is or was covered by the LA CBA.

II. Legal Standard for Partial Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate under Rule 56(c) where the moving party demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact and entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. See FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). A fact is material when, under the governing substantive law, it could affect the outcome of the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Freeman v. Arpaio, 125 F.3d 732, 735 (9th Cir. 1997). A dispute about a material fact is genuine if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

A party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. The moving party can satisfy this burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence that negates an essential element of the nonmoving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Id. at 322-23. "Disputes over irrelevant or unnecessary facts will not preclude a grant of summary judgment." T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).

"The district court may limit its review to the documents submitted for the purpose of summary judgment and those parts of the record specifically referenced therein." Carmen v. San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, 1030 (9th Cir. 2001). Therefore, the court is not obligated "to scour the record in search of a genuine issue of triable fact." Keenan v. Allen, 91 F.3d 1275, 1279 (9th Cir. 1996) (citing Richards v. Combined Ins. Co. of Am., 55 F.3d 247, 251 (7th Cir. 1995)). If the moving party fails to discharge this initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the nonmoving party's evidence. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159-60 (1970).

If the moving party meets this initial burden, the nonmoving party cannot defeat summary judgment merely by demonstrating "that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Electric Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986); Triton Energy Corp. v. Square D Co., 68 F.3d 1216, 1221 (9th Cir. 1995) ("The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the nonmoving party's position is not sufficient.") (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 242, 252). Rather, the nonmoving party must "go beyond the pleadings" and by "the depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, " designate "specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324 (quoting FED. R. CIV. P. 56(e)).

When making this determination, the court must view all inferences drawn from the underlying facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587. "Credibility determinations, the weighing of evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge, [when] he [or she] is ruling on a motion for summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.

III. Discussion

A. Overtime and Meal Premium Pay

Defendant argues that plaintiffs, whose employment has been covered by the various CBAs, cannot prevail on their first and third causes of action because California Labor Code §§ 510(a) and 512(a) do not apply to them. Instead, Labor Code§§ 514 and 512(e) exempt employees covered by a valid CBA from state overtime and meal period requirements.

Plaintiffs contend, however, that defendant failed to pay premium pay for hours worked in excess of eight hours in a day, as provided in Labor Code § 510, and defendant violated Labor Code § 512(a) by not providing plaintiffs meal periods in accordance with the Industrial Welfare Commission ("IWC") Wage Order 4-2001 § 11(A). Plaintiffs assert that the "rights afforded to employees under sections 510 and 512 are non-waivable statutory minimum guarantees which apply regardless of a CBA." (Opp. at 7.) According to plaintiffs, because the CBAs in the present case provide premium wages for hours in excess of 40 per week but not in excess of eight hours per workday, only some overtime hours are provided with premium pay; therefore, Labor Code section 514 does not exempt defendant from compliance with section 510. And non-compliance with the IWC meal period does not permit an exemption for defendant under the CBAs.

1. Relevant Statutory Provisions

Labor Code § 510 concerns a day's work and ...

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