United States District Court, C.D. California
PRESENT: THE HONORABLE STEPHEN V. WILSON, UNITED STATES
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
IN CHAMBERS ORDER REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT 
Brittney Kevett (“Plaintiff”) was an employee at
a fast-food restaurant owned and operated by Michael P. Graf,
doing business as Quiznos (“Graf”) and Does 1
through 20 inclusive (collectively “Defendants”).
Dkt. 13-2, p. 1. Plaintiff filed various claims in the
Superior Court of the State of California for the County of
Riverside for Defendants' alleged violations under
California Labor Code and California Business and Professions
Code. Dkt. 13-2, p. 5-10. Graf removed the action to this
Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), arguing that the
federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)
preempts Plaintiff's state law claims. Dkt. 2, p. 2. Graf
then filed a Motion to Dismiss, which is presently before the
Court. Dkt. 8.
27, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint for damages against
Defendants in the Superior Court of the State of California
for the County of Riverside. Dkt. 13-2, p. 1. Defendants own
and operate a fast-food business called Quiznos located in
Riverside, California. Dkt. 13-2, p.1. Plaintiff was an
employee of Defendants. Dkt. 13-2, p. 2. Plaintiff alleges
she was a non-exempt employee required to work off-the-clock,
that she was not compensated for all hours worked, that
Defendants deducted wages if she forgot to clock in or clock
out, that she was not permitted to take her full meal periods
for shifts over five hours long nor did she receive
compensation for missed meal periods, and that she did not
receive a final paycheck for the full amount due to her after
quitting her job at Quiznos. Dkt. 13-2, p. 3. Plaintiff's
complaint includes claims under the California Labor Code and
California Business and Professions Code for (1) failure to
pay minimum wage, (2) failure to provide meal periods or
compensation in lieu therefore, (3) failure to provide rest
periods or compensation in lieu thereof, (4) failure to
provide accurate wage statements, (5) waiting time penalties,
and (6) unfair business practices. Dkt. 13-2, p. 5-10.
February 21, 2017, Graf filed a Notice of Removal under 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a) from the Superior Court of the State of
California for the County of Riverside to the United States
District Court of the Central District of California. Dkt. 2.
On March 6, 2017, Graf filed a Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. 8. On
March 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Opposition to Graf's
Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. 13. Graf did not file a reply.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, ' possessing
‘only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute.'” Gunn v. Minton, 133 S.Ct. 1059,
1064 (2013) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co.
of America, 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). “The burden
of establishing jurisdiction falls on the party invoking the
removal statute . . . which is strictly construed against
removal.” Sullivan v. First Affiliated Sec.,
Inc., 813 F.2d 1368, 1371 (9th Cir. 1987). Further,
“the court resolves all ambiguity in favor of remand to
state court.” Hunter v. Philip Morris USA, 582
F.3d 1039, 1042 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing Gaus v. Miles,
Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992)).
28 U.S.C. § 1331, federal question jurisdiction extends
to cases in which a well-pleaded complaint establishes either
that federal law creates the cause of action or that the
plaintiff's right to relief “requires resolution of
a substantial question of federal law in dispute between the
parties.” Franchise Tax Board of California v.
Construction Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 13,
27-28 (1983). If a plaintiff may be entitled to relief for
reasons that are “completely unrelated to the
provisions and purposes” of the federal law at issue,
then the claim does not arise under federal law.
Christianson v. Colt Indus. Operating Corp., 486
U.S. at 800, 808 (1988).
Graf's Notice of Removal, Graf argues that Plaintiff
could have commenced her action under the FLSA instead of
under the California Labor Code and California Business and
Professions Code. Dkt. 2, p. 2. He argues that federal laws
preempt state laws, and thus the claim arises under federal
law and belongs in federal court. Dkt. 2, p. 2. In Graf's
Motion to Dismiss, Graf argues that Plaintiff failed to state
a claim under the FLSA, and that the federal court does not
have subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's
remaining claims, thus this Court should grant his Motion to
Dismiss. Dkt. 8, p. 3, 5.
responds that her complaint contains viable claims under
California law, and that Graf does not explain why FLSA
should preempt California law for this case. Dkt. 13, p. 1.
Plaintiff further argues that this Court may decline
jurisdiction over a case, but may not dismiss the case on
that premise. Dkt. 13, p. 6. Plaintiff then says that Graf
failed to meet and confer pursuant to Local Rule 7-3, and
thus Graf's Motion to Dismiss must be denied. Dkt. 13, p.
1. Lastly, Plaintiff requests leave to amend if Graf's
Motion to Dismiss is granted. Dkt. 13, p. 6.
federal law preempts state law if Congress expressly so
states, if Congress enacts comprehensive laws that leave no
room for additional state regulation, or if state law
actually conflicts with federal law. Pacific Merchant
Shipping Ass'n v. Aubry, 918 F.2d 1409, 1415 (9th
Cir. 1990) (quoting California Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n
v. Guerra, 479 U.S. 272, 280 (1987)). However, federal law
concerning the regulation of working conditions and wages
does not necessarily preempt state law. Rather, the standard
most beneficial to employees ...