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Loeza v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, S.D. California

September 30, 2014

JP MORGAN CHASE BANK NA, Defendant. an individual, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,


M. JAMES LORENZ, District Judge.

The instant Complaint alleges that Defendant failed to pay Plaintiffs overtime compensation, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 206, 207. In addition, inter alia, it is alleged that Defendant violated the California Labor Code by failing to provide: (1) meal and rest periods, (2) proper itemized wage statements, (3) payment of wages twice monthly, (4) reimbursement for business expenses, (5) proper payment upon termination. Complaint ¶¶ 40-124, ECF No. 1, Ex. A.

Pending before the Court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment. Def.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 34. The Court found this motion suitable for determination on the papers submitted and without oral argument under Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). Order re: Oral Argument, ECF No. 47. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Defendant's motion.


Named Plaintiffs Mary Loeza and Angie Reveles ("Plaintiffs") were Loss Mitigation Junior Underwriters at Defendant JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.'s ("Chase") San Diego facility from 2010 until 2012, when they were terminated for poor performance. See Loeza Dep. 31:13-15, 204:20-25, ECF No. 38-3, Ex. 7; Reveles Dep. 42:23-25, 266:17-19, ECF No. 38-2, Ex. 6. Loeza's manager and supervisor at Chase explained to her that according to Chase policy, she (1) was required to record all ours she worked, including overtime, (2) that she was prohibited from working off-the-clock, and (3) that she would be subject to discipline if she worked off-the-clock. Loeza Dep. 153:7-24. Reveles indicated that she was required to record her hours in Chase's computer system, including her start time, lunch time, and when she stopped for the day. Reveles Dep. 139:17-25.

On December 12, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint in state court alleging ten causes of action: (1) failure to pay overtime under FLSA 29 U.S.C. §§ 206, 207, (2) failure to pay overtime compensation, (3) failure to provide meal periods, (4) failure to provide rest periods, (5) failure to provide itemized statements, (6) failure to pay wages twice monthly, (7) failure to reimburse business expenses, (8) failure to pay wages upon termination of employment, (9) unlawful competition and unlawful business practices, and (10) violation of the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Compl., ECF No. 1. On January 14, 2013, the action was removed to this Court. Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. On November 22, 2013, Chase filed the instant motion for 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. P. 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.


A. The Fair Labor Standards Act and Plaintiff's Off-The-Clock Claims

Chase first argues that "Plaintiffs cannot prove Chase knew or should have known they were working off-the-clock, " therefore entitling Chase to summary judgment. Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. 11. Specifically, Chase argues that it did not know, and had no reason to know, that Plaintiffs worked off the clock. See id. Plaintiffs contend that they present enough evidence to demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Chase knew or should have known about ...

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