United States District Court, E.D. California
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE DEFENDANTS’
MOTION TO DISMISS OR TO STRIKE (DOC. 23)
LAWRENCE J. O’NEILL, UNITED STATES CHIEF DISTRICT
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT TO PARTIES AND
in the Eastern District of California carry the heaviest
caseloads in the nation, and this Court is unable to devote
inordinate time and resources to individual cases and
matters. Given the shortage of district judges and staff,
this Court addresses only the arguments, evidence, and
matters necessary to reach the decision in this order. The
parties and counsel are encouraged to contact the offices of
United States Senators Feinstein and Boxer to address this
Court’s inability to accommodate the parties and this
action. The parties are required to reconsider consent to
conduct all further proceedings before a Magistrate Judge,
whose schedules are far more realistic and accommodating to
parties than that of U.S. Chief District Judge Lawrence J.
O'Neill, who must prioritize criminal and older civil
trials set before Chief Judge O'Neill trail until he
becomes available and are subject to suspension mid-trial to
accommodate criminal matters. Civil trials are no longer
reset to a later date if Chief Judge O'Neill is
unavailable on the original date set for trial. Moreover,
this Court's Fresno Division randomly and without advance
notice reassigns civil actions to U.S. District Judges
throughout the nation to serve as visiting judges. In the
absence of Magistrate Judge consent, this action is subject
to reassignment to a U.S. District Judge from inside or
outside the Eastern District of California.
iHeartMedia Entertainment, Inc., Capstar Radio Operating
Company, and iHeartMedia (collectively,
“Defendants”) move to dismiss Plaintiff Karl Van
Lith’s two causes of action brought under California
Labor Code § 226(a) (“§ 226(a)”). Doc. 23
In the alternative, Defendants move to strike
Plaintiff’s proposed class definition for the claims.
Court took the matter under submission pursuant to Local Rule
230(g). Doc. 26. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES
Defendants’ motion to dismiss, and GRANTS IN PART and
DENIES IN PART their motion to strike.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL
alleges he was hired in March 2013, and through September
2014 his wage statements listed his employer as both
“Clear Channel” and “Capstar Radio
Operating Co., ” whose address was “200 East
Basse, San Antonio, TX 78209.” Doc. 1, Ex. B, Complaint
(“Compl.”) at ¶¶ 17-21.
further alleged that in September 2014, Clear Channel
Communications, Inc. became iHeartMedia, Inc., and Clear
Channel Broadcasting, Inc. became iHeartMedia
Entertainment, Inc. Id. at ¶ 22. Plaintiff was
informed of this change on September 16, 2014, via
2015, Plaintiff received a § 2810.5 “Notice to
Employee, ” which listed Plaintiff’s employer as
“iHeartMedia, ” whose address was “200 E.
Basse, San Antonio, TX 78209.” Id. at ¶
23. Plaintiff’s wage statements, however, continued to
list his employer as “Capstar Radio Operating Company,
” whose address was “200 East Basse, San Antonio,
TX 78209.” Id. at ¶¶ 22-23.
September 2015, Plaintiff’s employment ended.
Id. at ¶ 26. His final wage statement listed
his employer as “iHeartMedia, ” whose address was
“P.O. Box 659512, San Antonio, TX 78265-9512.”
Id. at ¶ 27. Documents provided to Plaintiff at
the end of his employment list his employer as
“iHeartMedia Entertainment, Inc., ” whose
“Entity Address” is alleged to be “111 8th
Ave, Floor 13, TX 78209” and whose address for its
“Agent for Service of Process” is alleged to be
“818 West Seventh St. Ste 930, Los Angeles, CA
90017.” Id. at ¶ 28.
December 7, 2015, Plaintiff brought this case against
Defendants for their alleged violation of various California
labor laws. See Doc. 1 at 16. Plaintiff alleged,
among other things, that Defendants failed to provide
accurate itemized wage statements to Plaintiff and other
current and former employees in violation of § 226(a).
See Id. at ¶¶ 23, 28. According to
Plaintiff, “Defendants applied a uniform pay policy
and, as such, the Labor Code violations alleged . . . also
occurred with respect to other current and former employees
and are ongoing.” Id. at ¶ 30.
asserted various “Private Attorney General Act”
(“PAGA”) allegations, noting that PAGA
permits him to bring a Labor Code violation claim on behalf
of himself and other current or former employees of
Defendants, as well as recover certain statutory penalties
for each aggrieved employee. See, e.g., id.
at ¶ 10. Plaintiff also brought, among other things, two
claims under § 226(a).Id. at ¶ 34. The
basis for the claims is Plaintiff’s assertion that
Defendants failed to provide and maintain accurate itemized
wage statements to Plaintiff and the other current and former
employees of Defendants.” Id. at ¶¶
34, 38. For both claims, Plaintiff alleged that he “and
the other current and former employees have been damaged
. . .
and request relief.” Id. at ¶¶ 35,
39. Plaintiff thus sought various damages “on behalf of
himself and . . . on behalf of other current and former
filed a first amended complaint (“FAC”) on May
11, 2015. Doc. 22. In it, Plaintiff indicates that he now
“seeks to maintain this action as a class action as
to” his two § 226(a) causes of action, which are
materially indistinguishable from those alleged in his
original complaint. Id. at ¶ 48.
proposed class consists of:
All current and former California employees of Defendants who
received a wage statement from December 7, 2014, through the
date of final judgment, which fails to accurately show the
name and address of the legal entity that is the ...