Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

McKeen-Chaplin v. Provident Savings Bank, FSB

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 5, 2015

GINA McKEEN-CHAPLIN, individually, on behalf of all others similarly situated, and on behalf of the general public, Plaintiffs,
v.
PROVIDENT SAVINGS BANK, FSB, Defendant.

ORDER

ALLISON CLAIRE, Magistrate Judge.

On January 21, 2015, the court held a hearing on plaintiffs' motion to compel. Matthew Helland and Daniel Brome appeared on behalf of plaintiffs and Michael Ludwig appeared on behalf of defendant. On review of the motions, the documents filed in support and opposition, upon hearing the arguments of plaintiffs and counsel, and good cause appearing therefor, THE COURT FINDS AS FOLLOWS:

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs in this action are a group of current and former mortgage underwriters employed by defendant. ECF No. 60 at 7.[1] Plaintiffs allege that defendant misclassified them as exempt according to the standards set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). ECF No. 1 at 1. Plaintiffs allege that defendant, as a result of this misclassification, violated the FLSA's requirements that it pay all wages due, pay appropriate overtime compensation, provide meal and rest periods, pay waiting penalties, and provide accurate wage statements. Id. Defendant, on the other hand, alleges that plaintiffs qualified as exempt because their job duties were directly related to the company's management and general business operations. Id. Plaintiffs contend that their work was not managerial but administrative in nature, as it was tightly constrained by employer-issued guidelines. Id. at 1-2.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On December 17, 2012, plaintiff Gina McKeen-Chaplin filed a complaint on behalf of herself, all others similarly situated, and the general public. ECF No. 1 at 1. Plaintiffs' complaint contains claims against defendant for failure to pay overtime compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §201, et seq., California Labor Code §§ 510, 1194, 1198, and Industrial Welfare Commission ("IWC") Wage Orders; waiting time penalties under California Labor Code §§ 201-03; failure to provide itemized wage statements in violation of California Labor Code §§ 226; failure to provide and/or authorize meal and rest periods in violation of California Labor Code § 226.7; and violation of California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq.

On January 8, 2013, defendant filed an answer. ECF No. 6. On January 18, 2013, defendant filed a superseding first amended answer. ECF No. 8. Plaintiffs filed notices of consent to participate in this matter from Kristi L. Suarez, Ryan Alcantra, and Karen Honour on January 31, 2013, February 11, 2013, and February 19, 2013, respectively. ECF Nos. 9-11. On May 20, 2013, plaintiffs filed their motion for conditional class certification under 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) and class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. ECF No. 16. On August 12, 2013, the court granted plaintiffs' motion, certifying their state law claims as class actions and their FLSA claims as collective actions. ECF No. 25. From September 16, 2013, to October 28, 2013, plaintiffs filed sixteen (16) additional notices of consent. ECF Nos. 33-36, 38, 39, 41, 44, 45. On October 30, 2013, the court decertified plaintiffs' class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, while maintaining plaintiffs' federal claims as collective actions. ECF No. 46.

On December 15, 2014, plaintiffs filed their motion to compel the production of responsive documents. ECF No. 52. On December 24, 2014, defendant filed its own motion to compel discovery responses, production of documents, and appearance for depositions. ECF No. 53. On December 29, 2014, the court issued a minute order setting the hearing for both motions to compel for January 21, 2015. ECF No. 54.

On January 13, 2015, counsel for plaintiffs filed a motion to withdrawal as attorney for plaintiffs Ryan Alcantra, Kathy Archer, Jessica Edwards, Tammy Gordon, Wendy Spencer, and Michelle Suttles. ECF No. 57. Counsel for plaintiffs explained that the foregoing plaintiffs had failed to respond to numerous attempts to contact them, making continued representation impossible. Id. at 2. The next day, plaintiffs filed a notice of withdrawal from the lawsuit signed by plaintiff Wendy Spencer. ECF No. 58. On the same day, the parties filed joint statements for their respective motions to compel. ECF Nos. 59-60. In the parties' joint statement regarding plaintiffs' motion to compel (hereinafter "Plaintiffs' JS") plaintiffs request that the court compel defendant to produce documents responsive to plaintiffs' Requests for Production Nos. 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 21-23, and 29. ECF No. 60 at 8-12. In the parties' joint statement regarding defendant's motion to compel (hereinafter "Defendant's JS") defendant requests that the court compel plaintiffs to produce plaintiffs Kathy Archer, Jessica Edwards, Tammy Gordon, and Michelle Suttles for deposition while acknowledging that counsel has filed a motion to withdrawal from representation of them. ECF No. 59. On January 20, 2015, plaintiffs filed a notice of withdrawal from the lawsuit signed by plaintiff Randall Jones. ECF No. 63.

DISCOVERY BACKGROUND

The parties do not include a comprehensive history of their discovery to date in either of their joint statements. Plaintiffs' JS does, however, include correspondence between the parties addressing their discovery disputes. ECF No. 60-2 at 1-85. When these documents are read in conjunction with the facts alleged by the parties, a somewhat disjoined discovery timeline can be constructed.

Plaintiffs first propounded their requests for production upon defendant in January 2013. ECF No. 60 at 22. Shortly thereafter, the parties suspended discovery for an undisclosed duration to pursue mediation. Id. The next communication between counsel referenced in the joint statements occurred on June 18, 2014. ECF No. 60-2 at 14-19. On that date, plaintiffs' counsel sent defendant's counsel a letter detailing alleged deficiencies in defendant's discovery responses. Id. The letter from plaintiffs' counsel notes, among other things, that defendant had asserted attorney-client privilege regarding Requests for Production Nos. 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 28, 29, and 33. Id. at 16. Although the parties do not supply defendant's response to plaintiffs' letter, a subsequent email from plaintiffs to defendant implies that defendant supplied another response in the beginning of August 2014. Id. at 21. The parties continued to meet and confer on a regular basis regarding these issues until December 2014. Id. at 1-85.

Although the parties do not include copies of plaintiffs' original requests for production or defendant's original response, they do replicate the relevant requests for production along with defendant's objections.

Request for Production 6: All records, in electronic, delimited, and importable format, identifying or describing the days and hours worked by Plaintiffs including, but not limited to, timesheets, schedules, time detail reports, time-stamped documents, security logs, security badge records, time recordation files, and card access data.
Response: Defendant has made a diligent search and a reasonable inquiry in an effort to locate the items requested for Plaintiffs Gina McKeen-Chaplin, Karen Honour, and Kristi Suarez. Defendant is unable to comply with this request because at the present time because Defendant has not identified any such documents. Defendant's discovery and investigation are continuing. Defendant also made a diligent search and a reasonable inquiry in an effort to locate the items requested for Ryan Alcantra. Defendant is unable to produce the requested items for Ryan Alcantra because Defendant believes that no such documents ever existed.
Supplemental Response: Defendant has made a diligent search and a reasonable inquiry in an effort to locate the items requested for Plaintiffs who opted-in to the FLSA Collective following service of the Original Responses. However, Defendant is unable to comply with this Request because Defendant has not identified any such documents, and does not believe that any such documents ever existed.
Request for Production 8: All documents identifying or describing any changes in Defendant's policies, procedures, or methods of compensating mortgage underwriters. Response: Defendant objects to this request on the grounds that (1) it is overly broad as to time to the extent it seeks documents prior to December 17, 2009; (2) it seeks documents that are not relevant to any party's claim or defense; and (3) it seeks the production of documents protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege and/or the attorney work product doctrine. Notwithstanding the foregoing objections, and without waiting them, Defendant responds as follows: Defendant will comply with this request by producing true and correct copies of non-privileged documents describing any changes in Defendant's policies, procedures, or methods of compensating mortgage underwriters since December 17, 2009. [Initial response, served March 25, 2013.]
Request for Production 10: All documents used by mortgage underwriters in the performance of their job duties including, but not limited to, manuals, handbooks, guidelines, polices (sic), or procedures.
Response: Defendant will comply with this request by producing true and correct copies of manuals, handbooks, guidelines, polices, or procedures used by mortgage underwriters in the performance of their job duties. [Initial response, served March 25, 2013.]
Request for Production 13: All documents identifying, describing, or referring to any production goals or requirements placed on Plaintiffs, including but not limited to the number of loans to be underwritten on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
Response: Defendant objects to this request to the extent it seeks the production of documents protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege and/or the attorney work-product doctrine. Notwithstanding the foregoing objections, and without waiving them, Defendant responds as follows: Defendant will comply with this request by producing true and correct copies of non-privileged documents describing the Plaintiffs' production goals. [Initial response, served March 25, 2013.]
Request for Production 15: All documents used to review or assess the job performance of mortgage underwriters.
Response: Defendant will comply with this request by producing a true and correct copy of a template of a performance review used to assess the job performance of mortgage underwriters. [Initial response, served March 25, 2013.]
Request for Production 20: All documents relating to Defendant's underwriting policies, procedures, or guidelines in place during Plaintiffs' employment.
Response: Defendant objects to this request to the extent that it seeks the production of documents prior to December 17, 2009. Notwithstanding the foregoing objections, and without waiving them, Defendant responds as follows: Defendant will comply with this request by producing true and correct copies of any underwriting policies, procedures or ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.