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Castaneda v. Ensign Group Inc.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division

September 15, 2014

JOHN CASTANEDA, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
THE ENSIGN GROUP, INC. et al., Defendants and Respondents.

Superior Court County No. C110466 of San Luis Obispo Dodie A. Harman, Judge

Page 1016

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1017

COUNSEL

Ehlert Appeals, Allison L. Ehlert; Baltodano & Baltodano, Hernaldo J. Baltodano and Erica Flores Baltodano for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Horvitz & Levy, Lisa Perrochet, John F. Querio; Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, and Dawn T. Collins for Defendants and Respondents.

OPINION

GILBERT, P. J.

A corporation with no employees owns a corporation with employees. If the corporation with no employees exercises some control over

Page 1018

the corporation with employees, it also may be the employer of the employees of the corporation it owns.

Plaintiff John Castaneda appeals a summary judgment in favor of defendant The Ensign Group, Inc. (Ensign) in his class action lawsuit. He seeks damages for nonpayment of minimum and overtime wages.[1] We conclude there are triable issues of fact whether Ensign was Castaneda's employer. We reverse.

FACTS

Castaneda filed a class action complaint on behalf of himself and other certified nursing assistants against Ensign for "unpaid minimum and overtime wages." He alleges Ensign is the alter ego of the Cabrillo Rehabilitation and Care Center (Cabrillo), a nursing facility, where he worked, and its "corporate veil should be pierced." He claims Ensign was his employer.

In its summary judgment motion, Ensign stated, "Rather than sue Cabrillo, the company that hired him, paid him, set his daily schedule..., [Castaneda] has sued Ensign and [EFS]..., neither of which was his employer as a matter of law. [ΒΆ]... Ensign is a holding company that has no employees and is not engaged in the direction, management or control of Cabrillo or its employees." (Fn. omitted.) It ...


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