United States District Court, C.D. California
CAMILLE ARMSTEAD, GERRY CHAMBERLAIN, TERENCE KLAFKE, JUDITH LARSEN, ROBERTO R. LOPEZ, SANDRA LOPEZ, CATHY LUKE, JAMES LUMPKIN, ROBERT MARTINEZ, LAWRENCE MULLALY, BLANCA PASOS, MONICA QUIJANO, ESTHER REYES, GILBERT SANCHEZ, JAVIER SANCHEZ, KENNETH SANTOLLA, TIMOTHY SCHEY, and YVONNE WHITEMAN, Plaintiffs,
CITY OF LOS ANGELES, and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendants
For Camille Armstead, Gerry Chamberlain, Terence Klafke, Judith Larsen, Roberto R. Lopez, Sandra Lopez, Cathy Luke, James Lumpkin, Lawrence Mullaly, Blanca Pasos, Monica Quijano, Esther Reyes, Gilbert Sanchez, Javier Sanchez, Kenneth Santolla, Timothy Schey, Yvonne Whiteman, Plaintiffs: Gregory G Petersen, Richard L Hutchinson, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Gregory G Petersen ALC, Newport Beach, CA.
For City of Los Angeles, Defendant: Brian P Walter, LEAD ATTORNEY, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore APC, Los Angeles, CA; Daniel P Aguilera, Wayne H Song, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, Los Angeles, CA; Geoffrey S Sheldon, Joshua Andrew Goodman, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, Los Angeles, CA.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR MISJOINDER AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STRIKE
MARGARET M. MORROW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
On July 21, 2014, Camille Armstead and plaintiffs Gerry Chamberlain, Terence Klafke, Judith Larsen, Roberto R. Lopez, Sandra Lopez, Cathy Luke, James Lumpkin, Robert Martinez, Lawrence Mullaly, Blanca Pasos, Monica Quijano, Esther Reyes, Gilbert Sanchez, Javier Sanchez, Kenneth Santolla, Timothy Schey, and Yvonne Whiteman (collectively, the " Joined Plaintiffs" ) filed this action against the City of Los Angeles (the " City" ) and various fictitious defendants for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (" FLSA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. On September 9, 2014, the City filed a Rule 12(f) motion to dismiss or strike the joined
plaintiffs on the basis that they were misjoined under Rule 21 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It also moves to strike various collective action allegations. Plaintiffs opposed the City's motion on November 17, 2014.
Pursuant to Rule 78 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 7-15, the court finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. The hearing calendared for December 8, 2014, is therefore vacated, and the matter taken off calendar.
I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
A. Facts Alleged in the Complaint
1. The Plaintiffs
Plaintiffs previously filed opt-in consents to join two collective actions filed in this district: Roberto Alaniz v. City of Los Angeles, et al., No. CV 04-8592 GAF (AJWx), and Cesar Mata v. City of Los Angeles, et al., No. CV 07-6782 GAF (AJWx). On May 21, 2014, Judge Gary Allen Feess decertified the collective actions in Alaniz and Mata, and dismissed plaintiffs' claims without prejudice. Thereafter, the opt-in plaintiffs in the decertified Alaniz and Mata actions filed twenty-eight separate cases pleading the claims raised in Alaniz and Mata.
Among the cases filed was this one. The eighteen named plaintiffs assert that joinder of their claims is appropriate under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because
" [a]ll Plaintiffs herein have the same or substantially similar claims. These Plaintiffs performed work for the Defendant within the geographical area encompassing the United States District Court for the Central District of California. At all times relevant hereto, Plaintiffs
were employees of this Defendant as contemplated and defined by 29 U.S.C. [§ ] 203 (e)(1). Joinder of all the Plaintiffs' claims is proper due to the fact that the allegations alleged herein involve the same wrongful and/or illegal employment policy, practice, and/or scheme committed by the Defendant and that each named plaintiff claims an interest relating to the subject of the action and is so situated that disposing of the action in the person's absence may, as a practical[ ] matter impair or impede the person's ability to protect the interest; or leave an existing party subject to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent obligations because of the interest. Moreover, plaintiffs assert the right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative, with respect to or arising out of the same transactions, occurrences[,] or series of transactions or occurrences and numerous question[s] of law or fact common to all plaintiffs that will arise in the action. Plaintiffs seek such relief that the court may grant to them according to their respective rights, and against one or more defendants according to their liabilities." 
2. Facts Alleged Common to All Plaintiffs
Plaintiffs are members of the Los Angeles Police Protective League (" LAPPL" ) and are subject to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (" CBA" ) between the City and the LAPPL. During a substantial period of their employment with the City, the plaintiffs were assigned to the Special Operations, Jail, and Juvenile Divisions of the Los Angeles Police Department (" LAPD" ).
Plaintiffs allege that, during their employment with the City, they were required to work overtime hours as defined in the FLSA. They contend that, although they were expected to work overtime and did so with the knowledge and consent of their supervisors, they were not properly compensated for all overtime hours worked. Specifically, plaintiffs assert that they were frequently required to work through their meal break, also known as " Code 7" or " free time" by the LAPD. Although they were required to work through their Code 7's, the City purportedly deducted the time allotted for Code 7 purposes from plaintiffs' wages, which resulted in the incorrect calculation of overtime wages under the FLSA. Plaintiffs assert that the City denied them Code 7 time and deducted wages for the time from their compensation pursuant to written and unwritten policies intended to violate the FLSA.
In addition to working through Code 7's, plaintiffs were purportedly required to work before and/or after their scheduled watch to prepare and complete arrest reports; prepare and complete preliminary investigation reports, i.e., robbery, domestic violence, or burglary reports; make copies of reports; and/or forward reports to appropriate divisions within the LAPD. Plaintiffs allege they were not compensated for time spent working before
or after their watch as a result of the City's and LAPD policies.
Plaintiffs further allege that they performed other types of overtime work that the City and the LAPD treated as non-compensable. For example, LAPD sergeants were required to prepare for roll call, which included distributing items in the department's subpoena and kickback folders; communicating with personnel from the previous watch; and determining which officers would be working and which officers would be out sick for the watch. Plaintiffs contend it was necessary for sergeants to perform these tasks immediately before the start of their watch because the information in the folders was constantly updated with information and issues that arose during the previous watch. Plaintiffs also contend that sergeants were regularly required to work after their shifts to perform additional supervisory duties. Plaintiffs' managers and supervisors purportedly knew plaintiffs started work early to prepare for roll call because they often pressured plaintiffs to do so and prepared alongside plaintiffs. Despite knowing that plaintiffs performed compensable work before and after their shifts, the City allegedly failed to compensate plaintiffs for all of their hours worked.
Plaintiffs contend that the City knew or should have known they were working overtime without compensation because the policy of requiring officers to work through Code 7's and before and after watch were widespread throughout the LAPD. They also assert that the LAPD also failed ...