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Jankins v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 29, 2017

KELVIN JANKINS
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. ET AL

          Present: The Honorable BEVERLY REDD O'CONNELL, United States District Judge

          CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

         ORDER RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND [9]

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Kelvin Jankins's ("Plaintiff) Motion to Remand. (See Dkt. No. 9 (hereinafter, "Mot.").) After considering the papers filed in support of and in opposition to the instant motion, the Court deems this matter appropriate for resolution without oral argument of counsel. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; CD. Cal. L.R. 7-15. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs Motion but DENIES his request for attorneys' fees.

         II FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff is a California resident who was employed by Wells Fargo as a customer service banker.[1] (See Dkt. No. 1-1 (hereinafter, "Compl.") ¶¶ 2, 14.) Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("WFB") is a national banking association with its main office located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (See Dkt. No. 1 (hereinafter, "Removal") ¶ 8.) Defendant Wells Fargo & Co. ("WFC") is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in California.[2] (Compl. ¶ 4.)

         During his employment, between November 1, 2014 and October 1, 2015, Plaintiff claims he received bug bites on his body while working. (Id. ¶ 16.) Around June 1, 2015, Plaintiff and his fellow employees determined that the Wells Fargo[3] facility where they worked was infested with bedbugs. (Id. ¶ 18.) Around October 1, 2015, one of Plaintiffs bites became infected. (See Id. ¶ 19.) Along with other employees. Plaintiff reported the bug bites to their team leader. (Id.) After reporting their suspicions, Wells Fargo sent the employees a notice that exterminators would treat the facility. (See id.)

         On November 19, 2015, Plaintiff notified his manager that he suffered from Lupus and, as a result, required a medical leave of absence. (See Id. ¶ 20.) On November 21, 2015, Plaintiff alleges that a bedbug again bit him while at work. (Id. ¶21.) Following a doctor's appointment later that day, Plaintiff faxed his employer a doctor's note stating that he required a disability leave until January 23, 2016. (See Id. ¶ 22.) In addition, Plaintiff claims that he faxed a copy of this doctor's note to Wells Fargo's Department of Human Resources on November 22, 2015. (See Id. ¶ 23.) On November 23, 2015, Plaintiff also informed Liberty Mutual, which handles Wells Fargo's workers' compensation claims, that his doctor placed him on disability leave. (See Id. ¶ 24.)

         Plaintiff alleges that he provided Defendants with a follow-up doctor's note on January 17, 2016, which extended his medical leave to April 15, 2016.[4] (See Id. ¶ 25.) Plaintiff claims that Wells Fargo's leave manager refused to grant his request for additional leave. (Id. ¶ 26.) On February 10, 2016, Plaintiff received a letter that Liberty Mutual declined to approve his leave and that he would be terminated on February 16, 2016. (See Id. ¶ 27.) Plaintiff avers that he immediately contacted his manager and offered to provide additional documentation regarding his medical leave, but was told his only options were to resign or be terminated. (See id.) Plaintiff was terminated that same day. (See Id. ¶29.)

         On July 12, 2016, Plaintiff filed an administrative complaint under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("DFEH"). (See Id. ¶ 9.) In response, DFEH issued Plaintiff a Notice of Case Closure and Right to Sue Letter. (See id.)

         B. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff filed this action on January 4, 2017, in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles ("Los Angeles Superior Court"). (See Compl.) Plaintiff alleges the following nine state law causes of action: (1) retaliation, in violation of California Labor Code section 1102.5; (2) retaliation, in violation of California Labor Code section 98.6; (3) discrimination, in violation of California Government Code section 12940 et seq.\ (4) retaliation, in violation of California Government Code section 12940 etseq.; (5) failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation, in violation of California Government Code section 12940(k); (6) failure to provide reasonable accommodations for a known disability, in violation of California Government Code section 12940(m); (7) failure to engage in a good faith interactive process, in violation of California Government Code section 12940(n); (8) declaratory judgment; and, (9) wrongful termination, in violation of California Labor Code section 1102.5(b). (See Id. ¶¶ 35-110.)

         Defendants removed the action to this Court on February 3, 2017. (See Removal.) Plaintiff filed the instant Motion on March 3, 2017. (See Mot.) On March 13, 2017, Defendants opposed the Motion. (See Dkt. No. 10 (hereinafter, "Opp'n").) Plaintiff replied on March 20, 2017. (See Dkt. No. 11 (hereinafter, "Reply").) Along with his Reply, Plaintiff filed evidentiary objections, in which he objects to portions of the evidence Defendants provided along with their Opposition. (See Dkt. No. 12 (hereinafter, "PI. Obj.").) Likewise, on March 22, 2017, Defendants filed Objections to evidence Plaintiff submitted along with his Reply. (See Dkt. No. 14 (hereinafter. "Def Obj.").)

         III. ...


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