United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT (Docket No. 79)
EDWARD M. CHEN, District Judge.
On June 12, 2015, this Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants' motion to dismiss the First Amended Complaint (FAC) in this action. See Yucesoy v. Uber Techs., Inc., - F.Supp. 3d -, 2015 WL 3657656 (N.D. Cal. 2015). The Court granted Plaintiffs leave to amend their dismissed claims, and directed Plaintiffs to file an amended complaint no later than July 3, 2015. See id. at *11.
Rather than file an amended complaint solely addressing the deficiencies noted in this Court's Order, Plaintiffs instead brought the instant motion for leave to file a second amended complaint (SAC) on June 30, 2015. Docket No. 79. Plaintiffs' proposed SAC would: (a) allegedly fix the deficiencies this Court identified in its prior Order; (b) add a claim under California Labor Code section 2802 on behalf of the putative class of Massachusetts-based Uber drivers; and (c) add three additional named plaintiffs. See Docket No. 79-1 (Proposed SAC).
For the reasons explained below, the Court grants in part and denies in part Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend: The Court will not permit Plaintiffs to file an amended complaint that alleges a violation of California Labor Code section 2802, because such amendment would be futile. However, the Court will permit Plaintiffs to file the remainder of the proposed SAC. The hearing on this matter currently set for August 6, 2015 is hereby VACATED.
A. Legal Standards
After a party has amended a pleading once as a matter of course, it may only amend further after obtaining leave of the court, or by consent of the adverse party. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). Generally, Rule 15 advises the court that "leave shall be freely given when justice so requires." Id. However, "the grant or denial of a subsequent opportunity to amend is within the discretion of the District Court." Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). In determining whether leave should be granted pursuant to a district court's discretion, the Supreme Court has stated that:
[i]n the absence of any apparent or declared reason - such as undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of amendment, etc. - the leave sought should, as the rules require, be "freely given."
In the Ninth Circuit, the above listed factors - often referred to as the Foman factors - are not weighted equally. Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1051-52 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing DCD Programs, Ltd. v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 185 (9th Cir.1987)). Rather, courts have held that "the crucial factor is the resulting prejudice to the opposing party." Howey v. United States, 481 F.2d 1187, 1190 (9th Cir. 1973).
In addition to the requisites of Rule 15, "[o]nce the district court [files] a pretrial scheduling order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16 which establishe[s] a timetable for amending pleadings that rule's standards control[.]" Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 607-08 (9th Cir. 1992). Orders entered before the final pretrial conference may be modified only upon a showing of "good cause." Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b). "A court's evaluation of good cause is not coextensive with an inquiry into the propriety of the amendment under... Rule 15." Rather, "Rule 16(b)'s good cause' standard primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking the amendment." Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609.
B. Plaintiffs' Request to Add Claim Under California Labor Code Section 2802
The proposed SAC is a putative class action complaint brought "on behalf of all Uber drivers... who have worked in Massachusetts." See Proposed SAC at ¶¶ 4-5. Plaintiffs in this action do not allege that they drove for Uber in California, nor do they seek to represent any unnamed drivers who did so. See Mot. at 4-5. Nevertheless, Plaintiffs ask this Court for leave to amend their complaint to add a cause of action on behalf of the putative class brought under California Labor Code section 2802, which requires, inter alia, that an employer "indemnify his or her employee for ...