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Scott-George v. PVH Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 27, 2016

JODI SCOTT-GEORGE, individually and on behalf of other members of the general public similarly situated, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
PVH CORP., a Delaware corporation, and DOES 1 through 50 inclusive, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO RECONSIDER

          Troy L. Nurley United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court pursuant to Defendant PVH Corp.’s (hereafter, “Defendant”) Motion to Reconsider this Court’s November 20, 2015, Class Certification Order. (Def.’s Mot. to Recon., ECF No. 121.) Plaintiffs Jodi Scott-George and Melissa Wiggs on behalf of the certified class (hereafter, “Plaintiffs”) have filed an Opposition (Pl.s’ Opp’n., ECF No. 122), to which Defendant has filed a Reply (Def.’s Rep., ECF No. 123). The Court has carefully considered the arguments raised by the parties’ briefing. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant’s Motion to Reconsider is DENIED.

         I.FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Defendant’s basis for its Motion for Reconsideration involves other recent class action settlements that may overlap with the instant class action. As such, the Court provides background information as to the related class actions below.

         A. Chavez Class Action Settlement

         In March of 2013, Plaintiff Jesse Chavez represented a class action against PVH Corp. (the same Defendant in the instant case) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. See Chavez, No. 5:15-CV-01797. The Chavez action alleged, among other things, that PVH Corp. failed to pay all wages under Labor Code Section 212 due to its payment of wages via paycards (“Paycard Claim”) and to provide complaint wage statements under Labor Code Section 226(a) (“Wage Statement Claim”). (ECF No. 121 at 2.) Chavez settled on January 21, 2015. The Settlement Agreement stated that those who failed to opt out would release “all claims, rights, demands, liabilities, and causes of action, whether in law or equity, arising from, or related to the facts occurring during the Settlement Class Period.” (ECF No. 122-1 at 15.) This settlement agreement defined the Settlement Class as “all current and former employees who worked for Defendant in California during any portion of the period from March 20, 2009 through July 17, 2014.” (ECF No. 122-1 at 11.) A declaration by the class administrator for Chavez stated that five people opted out of the settlement, including the two Named Plaintiffs in this case as well as those in the Lapan case.[1]

         B. Lapan Class Action Settlement

         In July of 2014, Plaintiff Jeffrey Lapan represented a class action against PVH Corp. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. See Lapan, No. 5:13- CV-05006. The Lapan case specifically addressed PVH Corp.’s alleged noncompliant use of paycards and settled on December 18, 2015. (ECF No. 122 at 3.) Similar to the Chavez agreement, the Lapan agreement stated that those who failed to opt out released “all claims, rights, demands, liabilities, and causes of action, whether in law or equity, arising from, or related to the facts occurring during the Class Period.” (ECF No. 122-1 at 82.) The settlement agreement stated that the California Settlement Class included all “current and former employees who worked for Defendant in California from July 17, 2014, through the date of preliminary approval [August 7, 2015]… and who affirmatively opted out of the settlement in Chavez v. PVH Corp.” (ECF No. 122-1 at 76.) A declaration by the class administrator for Lapan stated that eight people opted out of the settlement, including only one from the California Class, and did not include the named plaintiffs in this case.[2]

         C. Scott-George Class Action (The Instant Class Action)

         In January of 2013, Plaintiff Jodi Scott-George filed the initial complaint in this action against PVH Corp. for violations of various provisions of the California Labor Code. Plaintiff Class Members are retail store nonexempt employees of Defendant, an international clothing retailer. At issue is the certification of Subclass IV (“Paycard Subclass”) and Subclass VIII (“Wage Statement Subclass”). Defendant seeks to decertify the following classes:

(4) Paycard Subclass: All nonexempt employees who received their earned wages via the Money Network paycard system while working for Defendant in California from March 20, 2009 to the present, and
(8) Wage Statement Subclass: All nonexempt employees who received non-compliant wage statements while working for Defendant in California from March 20, 2009 to the present.

(Mem. of P&A in Supp’t of Mot. for Class Cert., ECF No. 55-1 at 1.) Plaintiff Jodi Scott-George is the Class Representative for subclass (1), (2), (5), (6) and (7). Plaintiff Melissa Wiggs is the Class Representative for the subclass (3), (4) and (8). The classes currently encompass all nonexempt employees of PVH Corporation (which owns Van Heusen; and owned but sold G. H. Bass). (ECF No. 55-1 at 2.)

         II. ...


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