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Lefevre v. Pacific Bell Directory

United States District Court, N.D. California

November 7, 2014

JUSTIN LEFEVRE, Plaintiff,
v.
PACIFIC BELL DIRECTORY, et al., Defendants. Re: Dkt. No. 16

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS

WILLIAM H. ORRICK, District Judge.

Plaintiff Justin Lefevre brings a putative class action complaint against defendants Pacific Bell Directory et al. ("Pacific Bell") for failure to pay overtime compensation, failure to provide meal and rest periods, failure to furnish proper wage statement stubs, and violations of the Business and Professions Code and the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). He alleges only conclusory facts, so I will VACATE the hearing set on November 12, 2014 and GRANT defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("FRCP") 12(b)(6) with leave to amend within 20 days. I DENY defendants' request for judicial notice of an existing collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") because plaintiff disputes the validity of the CBA and does not rely on it in the FAC.

BACKGROUND

I accept the factual allegations in the FAC as true for the purposes of this motion to dismiss. Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir. 2008). Lefevre has worked for defendants as a Telephone Sales Representative/Advertising Account Representative ("Sales Representative") since June 16, 2008. FAC ¶¶ 3, 6 (Dkt. No. 15). This is a non-exempt position for the purposes of the claims in the FAC. FAC ¶ 20. Plaintiff alleges that although he and the other Sales Representatives "routinely" work over eight hours per day or 40 hours per week, defendants do not pay them appropriate overtime rates. Id. ¶ 21. He also contends that he and the other Sales Representatives do not receive rest or meal breaks as required by law. Id. ¶ 24.

Plaintiff brought his original complaint in the Superior Court of California on July 16, 2014. Mot. at 3 (Dkt. No. 16). The case was removed to this court on August 21, 2014. Id. Plaintiff filed the FAC on September 18, 2014, and defendants now move to dismiss. Id. at 4.

LEGAL STANDARD

Under Rule 12(b)(6), a motion to dismiss should be granted where the pleadings fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6). This rule requires "enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). However, "a complaint [does not] suffice if it tenders naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement." Id. (internal quotations and citations omitted). A pleading should "give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal quotations and citations omitted).

When a court grants a motion to dismiss, it should typically grant leave to amend unless the pleading could not possibly be cured by allegations of other facts. Cook, Perkiss & Liehe v. N. Cal. Collection Serv. Inc., 911 F.2d 242, 247 (9th Cir. 1990).

DISCUSSION

I. JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THE CBA IS INAPPROPRIATE

Defendants assert that plaintiff is part of a bargaining unit that entered into at least one collective bargaining agreement with them on behalf of all Sales Representatives. Mot. at 7. It seeks judicial notice of the CBA that was in force at the time of the plaintiff's original complaint. Id. According to defendants, plaintiff's first cause of action for failure to pay overtime compensation under Section 510 of the California Labor Code fails because this section does not apply to employees "covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement." CAL. LAB. CODE. § 514 (West 2014); Mot. at 12. Plaintiff asserts that judicial notice of the CBA is premature, as it is uncertain whether "the CBA is valid, how it operates, and if the factual calculations about it are correct." Oppo. at 6-7 (Dkt. No. 17).

Courts typically do not take judicial notice of documents at the motion to dismiss stage unless they are subject to notice under Federal Rule of Evidence 201(b), [1] the complaint relies upon them or incorporates them by reference, or no party questions the authenticity of the documents. See, e.g., Hoko v. Transit Am. Servs., 14-CV-01327-LHK, 2014 WL 3963033, at *3-4 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 13, 2014), Love v. Permanente Med. Group, No. 12-cv-05679-WHO, 2013 WL 6731463, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 19, 2013). Defendants assert that the CBA is already part of the record and that plaintiff's claims depend upon it. Reply at 3 (Dkt. No. 19). But the CBA was filed by the defendants, and not the plaintiff. See Dkt. Nos. 1-6, 16-2. In addition, defendants fail to explain how the claims in the FAC rely on the CBA since the FAC does not rely on or mention the CBA. See FAC.

Defendants' argument that plaintiff does not dispute the authenticity of the CBA is also misleading. See Reply at 3. Although plaintiff does not specifically take issue with the authenticity of the CBA, he opposes judicial notice of the document and has expressed doubt as to its validity. Oppo. at 6-7. Because plaintiff disputes the validity of the CBA and does not rely on it in the FAC, judicial notice is not appropriate in resolving a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). See Sizemore v. P. Gas and Electr. Ret. Plan, 939 ...


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