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Salgado v. Land O' Lakes, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 12, 2014

ARTURO SALGADO, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, Plaintiff,
v.
LAND O' LAKES, INC., Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT. (Docs. 25 & 28)

SANDRA M. SNYDER, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Arturo Salgado brought this action against defendant Land O' Lakes, Inc., arising out of defendant's allegedly discriminatory employment practices. Plaintiff now moves to modify the court's Scheduling Order and seeks leave to file a First Amended Complaint ("FAC") to add claims for time-shaving, failure to pay the applicable minimum wage, and for unpaid overtime against Defendant Land O' Lakes, Inc., and to add Kozy Shack Enterprises, Inc. ("Kozy Shack") as a defendant ("additional defendant"). Having carefully considered the parties' arguments, as well as the entire record in this case, the Court will grant Plaintiff's motion.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On April 12, 2013, Plaintiff Arturo Salgado, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated ("Plaintiff"), filed a putative class action lawsuit against Defendant Land O' Lakes ("LOL") in the California Superior Court for the County of Stanislaus asserting the following claims: (1) Violation of California Labor Code §§ 226.7 and 512(a) (Denial of Meal and Rest Breaks); (2) Violation of California Labor Code § 226(a) (Inaccurate Wage Statements); (3) Violation of California Labor Code §§ 201 and 202 (Unpaid Wages at Discharge); (4) Violation of California Labor Code § 227.3 (Failure to Pay Accrued Vacation Pay at Discharge); (5) Violation of California Business & Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq.; and (6) Conversion. See Salgado v. Land O' Lakes, Inc., Case No. 684012. On May 24, 2013, LOL removed the action to this Court. Doc. 1.

On August 21, 2013, the parties filed a Joint Scheduling Report ("JSR"), in which plaintiff stated they did not anticipate amending the pleading. Doc. 10. On August 28, 2013, the undersigned presided over an initial scheduling conference where the parties' counsel appeared telephonically. Doc. 11. Counsel agreed to stage discovery, focusing first on class certification discovery issues. At the same conference, the parties exchanged initial disclosures with counsel requesting ninety days to review exchanged documents, to meet and confer, and asked to continue the scheduling conference to a future date in order to meet with a better understanding and focus on the scope and depth of discovery issues. The Court continued the scheduling conference to November 20, 2013, and reminded the parties to file an amended JSR prior to the upcoming conference.

On November 12, 2013, the parties filed a joint request for a continuance of the scheduling conference, which the Court granted. Docs. 12 & 13. On December 11, 2013, the parties filed an amended JSR which repeated that Plaintiff did not anticipate amending the pleading. Doc. 14.

On December 18, 2013, the undersigned presided over the continued scheduling conference where counsel for both parties appeared telephonically. Doc. 15. At the hearing, the parties reported actively meeting and conferring regarding scheduling issues as they pertain to class certification discovery, fact discovery, scheduling a class certification motion deadline, and so forth. The Court noted that Defense counsel agreed to confer with her client regarding stipulating to an amended complaint. In light of the parties' cooperative work regarding scheduling, the Court continued the scheduling conference, but emphasized that the Court was not inclined to grant further delays. Id.

On January 28, 2014, Land O' Lakes filed the parties' joint request for a continued scheduling conference. Doc. 16. The Court granted the request for a continuance, scheduling it for March 5, 2014, and emphasized that this was the last stipulated rescheduling the Court would allow. Doc. 17. The January 28 Order continued the deadline to file a stipulation with an amended complaint or a motion to file an amended complaint to three court days prior to the continued scheduling conference on March 5, 2014.

On February 26, 2014, parties filed a second amended JSR where Plaintiff, in reliance on a statement by Defendant LOL, stated that he did not anticipate amending the complaint to include Kozy Shack as a defendant. Plaintiff wrote that he expected Defendant to produce additional payroll records. He specifically noted that if upon reviewing those records he believed claims for unpaid wages were warranted, he may yet still amend the complaint. Doc. 18.

On March 5, 2014, the undersigned presided over a telephonic scheduling conference held in chambers and off the record where both parties were telephonically represented by counsel. Doc. 19. Accordingly, the Court issued a Phase One Discovery Order setting the class certification discovery deadline for March 2, 2015, and requiring that the class certification motion to be filed and noticed before the undersigned by May 15, 2015. Doc. 20.

At the request of the parties on March 19, 2014, the Court set an informal discovery dispute conference to be held telephonically on March 26, 2014. Doc. 21. On March 26, 2014, the undersigned presided over the informal telephonic conference at which the parties resolved their discovery dispute by stipulation. Doc. 23. The parties committed to filing a joint submission of the stipulation to the Court for approval. Id. The parties did not provide the Court with the promised joint submission.

On June 25, 2014, Plaintiff filed his Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint. Doc. 25. Before the Court could hold a hearing on Plaintiff's motion, the parties again requested a telephonic discovery dispute conference, which the Court set for July 9, 2014. Doc. 27.

In advance of the conference, Plaintiff filed the present motion to amend on July 1, 2014 (Doc. 28), seeking to join Kozy Shack as an additional defendant and add additional claims.

On July 9, 2014, the undersigned presided over another informal telephonic discovery dispute conference in chambers and off the record where both parties were telephonically represented by counsel. Doc. 29. In the shadow of Plaintiff's motion to amend pending before the Court, counsel discussed discovery issues in dispute as outlined in the parties' synopses provided to the Court. The Court refrained from ...


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