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Rios v. Career Educ. Corp.

United States District Court, C.D. California

November 24, 2014

ROSSANA RIOS
v.
CAREER EDUCATION CORPORATION ET AL

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Not Present.

Attorneys for Defendants: Not Present.

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL PROCEEDING: (IN CHAMBERS): DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION (dkt. 10, filed October 14, 2014)

Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER.

PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND (dkt. 16, filed November 3, 2014)

The Court finds this motion appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. Accordingly, the hearing currently scheduled for December 1, 2014 is hereby vacated, and the matter is taken under submission.

I. INTRODUCTION

On August 14, 2014, plaintiff Rossana Rios filed a complaint in the Los Angeles County Superior Court against her former employers Career Education Corporation and Le Cordon Bleu North America, LLC (collectively, " Company defendants").[1] Dkt. 1. Plaintiff also named as defendant her supervisor, Anastasia Vereninova. Id. On October 3, 2014, Company defendants filed a notice of removal on the grounds of diversity jurisdiction. Id.[2]

Plaintiff's complaint alleges the following seventeen claims against the Company defendants: (1) discrimination on the basis of race in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (" FEHA"), Cal. Gov. Code section 12940 et seq ; (2) harassment on the basis of race in violation of FEHA; (3) discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of FEHA; (4) failure to provide reasonable accommodation in violation of FEHA; (5) failure to engage in the interactive process in violation of FEHA; (6) retaliation in violation of FEHA; (7) failure to take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination in violation of FEHA; (8) wrongful termination in violation of public policy; (9) violation of Cal. Labor Code section 6310; (10) violation of Cal. Labor Code section 1102.5; (11) violation of Cal. Labor Code section 510; (12) violation of Cal. Labor Code section 226.7(a); (13) violation of Cal. Labor Code sections 201-218.6; (14) violation of California's Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code section 17200, et seq .; (15) breach of oral and written contract; (16) fraud; and (17) invasion of privacy. Id. Plaintiff only alleges her second claim for harassment on the basis of race in violation of FEHA against individual defendant Vereninova. Id.

On October 14, 2014, Vereninova filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's second claim for race-based harassment pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). Dkt. 10. Plaintiff opposed the motion on October 27, 2014, dkt. 11, and Vereninova replied on November 3, 2014, dkt. 17. On November 3, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case to state court. Dkt. 16. Defendants opposed the motion on November 10, 2014, dkt. 21, and plaintiff replied on November 17, 2014. Dkt. 22.[3] Having carefully considered the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes as follows.

II. BACKGROUND

This cases arises from the termination of plaintiff's employment by the Company defendants. Plaintiff is a Puerto Rican woman who was employed by Company defendants as an Admissions Representative from February 2010 until her termination on August 6, 2013. Compl. ¶ ¶ 13-14. During plaintiff's employment, the Director of Admissions and plaintiff's supervisor was defendant Vereninova, a Caucasian woman. Id. ¶ ¶ 17-18.

As is relevant here, plaintiff alleges that despite her consistently superior performance as an employee, plaintiff was denied promotions for which she was qualified, and those promotions were instead given to less-qualified employees who were not Hispanic. Id. ¶ ¶ 14-18. Additionally, plaintiff alleges that Vereninova was " condescending and abusive towards Hispanic employees, " including plaintiff, and regularly favored White employees. Id. ¶ 18. As a result of Vereninova's alleged mistreatment of Hispanic employees, plaintiff alleges that Vereninova created a hostile work environment. Id. ¶ ¶ 57-64.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Removal is proper where the federal courts have original jurisdiction over an action brought in state court. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), the federal courts have original jurisdiction over state law actions only where the amount in controversy ...


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