United States District Court, N.D. California
JUAN SARAVIA, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
DYNAMEX, INC., DYNAMEX FLEET SERVICES, INC., DYNAMEX OPERATIONS EAST, INC., and DYNAMEX OPERATIONS WEST, INC., Defendants.
ORDER RE MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF TAX
WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
conditionally certified collective action under the Fair
Labor Standards Act, defendants move to compel the production
of all opt-in plaintiffs’ tax records. For the reasons
stated below, defendants’ motion is Granted in part and
Denied in part.
Dynamex, Inc., Dynamex Fleet Services, Inc., Dynamex
Operations East, Inc., and Dynamex Operations West, Inc.
(collectively, “Dynamex”) offer delivery
logistics services for “last mile” deliveries.
Plaintiff Juan Saravia and more than 155 opt-in plaintiffs
who contracted with Dynamex to provide delivery services to
its clients contend they were misclassified as independent
contractors. They seek minimum wages and overtime premiums
under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
October 2015, an order conditionally certified the collective
action for the purpose of facilitating notice to potential
opt-in plaintiffs. More than one-hundred fifty individuals
opted-in to the collective action. Dynamex sought written
discovery from thirty-six of the opt-in plaintiffs. One such
request for production was as follows (Perez Decl., Exh. 2):
ALL state and Federal income tax returns for YOU or ANY
business entity (e.g., sole proprietorship,
corporation, limited liability company, or partnership) in
which YOU owned more than a 20% share or interest (including
all forms, schedules, attachments, exhibits, 1099s, W2s,
1098s, worksheets and/or supporting documents) and that was
involved in TRANSPORTATION SERVICES for all tax years 2008 to
opt-in plaintiffs that were subject to this request objected
on the basis that it constituted an invasion of privacy.
Dynamex filed a discovery letter seeking an order compelling
the production of the tax documents. At the hearing on
Dynamex’s discovery letter, plaintiffs were ordered to
produce tax records from one year for each opt-in plaintiff
in a sample group of twelve identified by Dynamex. The
deadline for the production was set as June 17 at noon. The
undersigned stated, “if they turn out to be very
useful, then [Dynamex] can come back to me and we’ll
probably get you more” (Dkt. No. 131 at 23-24).
identified twelve opt-in plaintiffs and selected a year for
each. Plaintiffs failed to produce a single tax document by
the deadline. An hour after the deadline, plaintiffs stated
they had acquired documents for only six of the twelve opt-in
plaintiffs designated by Dynamex, though they hoped to
produce documents from two more soon after but that they
could not acquire tax records for the remaining four
individuals. Dynamex designated four additional opt-in
plaintiffs from which it sought tax records. Plaintiffs
produced the tax records for the resulting set of twelve on a
rolling basis over the several weeks following the deadline.
the designated opt-in plaintiffs finally produced their tax
records, they failed to produce informational forms such as
1099s or W2s issued by their businesses, although many
indicated they had contracted for labor. Similarly, many
failed to produce such forms received by themselves or their
businesses. Finally, many omitted required forms or provided
forms that lacked signatures.
21, Dynamex filed a further discovery letter, informing the
Court of plaintiffs’ tardy and deficient production. At
a hearing, the Court directed Dynamex to file a formal motion
to compel the production of the missing tax documents and to
expand the scope of the request beyond the sample group, as
contemplated at the first discovery hearing.
order follows briefing from each side allowed on an
abbreviated schedule and oral argument.
object to Dynamex’s request for the production of tax
records for three reasons. Plaintiffs first assert that
Dynamex has failed to meet the exceptions to the qualified
privilege for tax records under California law. They next
contend that the tax records are of minimal, if any,
relevance in this action. Finally, they argue that
Dynamex’s motion is merely pretext for harassment and
to place a skewed sample of the collective before the Court.
Plaintiffs also contend that if Dynamex’s motion is
granted, its ...