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Pedro v. Gallardo

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 22, 2017

CARLOS PEDRO, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
GABRIEL GALLARDO, SR., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY (DOC. 42)

          JENNIFER L. THURSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiffs assert they “were farmworkers who performed vineyard work for the Defendants Gabriel Gallardo Sr., Manuel Gallardo, Silvia Esther Gallardo, Kern County Cultivation Inc., Nazar Kooner, Pawan S. Kooner and Hardeep Kaur.” (Doc. 34 at 2, ¶ 1) According to Plaintiffs, the defendants violated federal and state law through the failure to pay wages due, failure to provide required meal and rest breaks, and the failure to reimburse the plaintiffs for necessary tools and equipment. (See Id. at 2-3)

         Plaintiffs now seek to compel Defendant Silvia Gallardo to produce further discovery, responsive to Plaintiffs' First Set of Requests for Production of Documents. (Doc. 42) Although Plaintiffs contacted Defendant to prepare a Joint Statement, she failed to participate in preparing the statement (see Doc. 64-7 at 1-2), and has not opposed the motion to compel discovery.

         For the following reasons, Plaintiffs' motion to compel is GRANTED.

         I. Background

         Plaintiffs contend the defendants “jointly and severally operated an agricultural operation in Kern County, from at least 2014.” (Doc. 34, ¶ 18) Plaintiffs allege they “worked for Defendants as farm laborers, performing vineyard work for Defendants through the 2015 harvest.” (Id., ¶19) Plaintiffs assert they were “recruited and hired” by Defendants, who “directed them when to begin and end work, assigned tasks to each employee at the work site, directed them as to when and if they could take meal and rest breaks, and established their rates of pay.” (Id., ¶ 20)

         According to Plaintiffs, they were informed by Defendants-either directly or through an agent or employee-that the pay would be $9.00 per hour for all hours worked, and would be received on a weekly basis. (Doc. 34, ¶ 21) Plaintiffs allege they, and others on their crews, “generally worked for Defendants six days per week, eight and a half hours per day, from March 2015 through June 2015.” (Id., ¶ 22) Plaintiffs assert they did not receive all wages due, and that “Defendants failed to provide …accurate itemized wage statements and failed to keep accurate records showing the hours worked and the rate of compensation paid.” (Id.) In addition, Plaintiffs allege the “crews regularly worked an excess of five hours a day without being provided at least one thirty-minute meal period, and an excess of four hours a day without being provided at least a ten-minute rest period.” (Id., ¶ 23) Instead, Plaintiffs assert they were permitted “only allowed to take a ten or fifteen-minute lunch break, and that they were not permitted a second rest break in the afternoon.” (Id.) Plaintiffs also contend Defendants did not reimburse them for necessary tools and equipment. (Id., ¶ 52)

         Based upon these facts, Plaintiffs contend the defendants are liable for: (1) violation of the Agricultural Workers Protection Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1801; (2) failure to pay minimum wages in violation of the state law and the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 206; (3) failure to provide meal and rest periods required by Cal. Labor Code § 226.7; (3) failure to reimburse for necessary tools and equipment, in violation of Cal. Labor Code § 2082(a); (5) failure to provide accurate, itemized wage statements as required by Cal. Labor Code § 226; (6) failure to pay wages due upon termination of employment as required by Cal. Labor Code §§ 201, 202, 203; (7) failure to permit inspection of employee records; (8) payment of wages with bad checks; (9) violations of the California Farm Labor Contractors Act; (10) unlawful completion in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200-17208; and (11) civil penalties arising under the Private Attorney Generals Act. (See generally Doc. 34)

         II. Scope of Discovery

         The scope and limitations of discovery are set forth by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In relevant part, Rule 26(b) states:

Unless otherwise limited by court order, parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged manner that is relevant to any party's claim or defense - including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or other tangible things . . . For good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the accident. Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b). Relevant evidence is defined as “evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.” Fed.R.Evid. 401. Relevancy is interpreted “broadly to encompass any matter that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter that could bear on any issue that is or may be in the case.” Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978).

         III. Requests for Production

         A party may request documents “in the responding party's possession, custody, or control.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1). Similarly, a party may serve a request “to permit entry onto designated land or other property possessed or controlled by the responding party, so that the requesting party may inspect, measure, survey, photograph, test, or sample the property . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(2). A request is adequate if it describes items with “reasonable particularity;” specifies a reasonable time, place, and manner for the inspection; and specifies the form or forms in which electronic information can be produced. Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b). Thus, a request is sufficiently clear if it “places the party upon ‘reasonable notice of what is called for and what is not.'” Kidwiler v. Progressive Paloverde Ins. Co., 192 F.R.D. 193, 202 (N.D. W.Va. 2000) (quoting Parsons v. Jefferson-Pilot Corp., 141 F.R.D. 408, 412 (M.D. N.C. 1992)); see also ...


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