United States District Court, N.D. California
SOM SWAMY, on behalf of himself and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
TITLE SOURCE, INC., Defendant.
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS AND MOTION TO
WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action for unpaid wages, defendant moves to dismiss
plaintiff's FLSA and California state law claims pursuant
to FRCP 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1). In the alternative, defendant
moves to strike a portion of plaintiff's factual
allegations. For the reasons set forth herein,
defendant's motion is Denied.
Title Source, Inc., is a national real estate valuation
company that works with lenders to evaluate properties and
refinance loans. To complete property valuations, defendant
hires appraisers who work remotely and choose properties to
inspect in their geographic region through an online portal
(Dkt. No. 29 ¶¶ 26-27). Appraisers work remotely,
driving to assigned properties in their own vehicles and
using their personal computers to communicate with their
Title Source managers.
May 2013 to May 2017, plaintiff Som Swamy worked as a Title
Source appraiser, driving to various locations in the San
Francisco Bay Area in his personal vehicle to conduct
physical inspections of his assigned properties and write
reports on them, which he forwarded to his manager
electronically. Plaintiff worked at least eight hours each
day from Monday through Friday and worked approximately five
to ten hours each weekend to keep up with the workload. Thus,
the amended complaint alleges, plaintiff worked approximately
fifty hours a week on average during his employment with
defendant, except during weeks when he was not working due to
sick leave or vacation. Defendant paid plaintiff, and other
former appraisers, no overtime wages and kept no records of
their work hours. Moreover, defendant did not reimburse
appraisers for any costs - namely travel and computer
expenses - they incurred in completing their reports
(id. ¶¶ 28-33).
amended complaint alleges that defendant misclassifies
appraisers as exempt from overtime and therefore its failure
to pay plaintiff, as well as putative class and collective
members, overtime wages for work done in excess of forty
hours a week violates (1) the FLSA, and (2) the California
Labor Code. In addition to the state and federal overtime
claims, the complaint alleges that defendant violates
California labor laws and the California Business and
Professions Code by (3) failing to reimburse plaintiff, and
putative class members, for necessary job-related
expenditures; (4) failing to provide statements accurately
reflecting appraisers' work hours and wages; (5) reaping
profits at the expense of appraisers, and, therefore,
engaging in unfair business practices (Dkt. No. ¶¶
brought a motion to transfer this action to the Eastern
District of Michigan, which the undersigned judge denied
after full briefing, venue discovery, and oral argument (Dkt.
No. 61). Defendant also brought a motion to dismiss, to which
plaintiff responded with an amended complaint, specifying
that he worked approximately fifty hours a week on average
and alleging that he is owed reimbursements for business
expenses under the FLSA as well as California law (Dkt. No.
29 ¶¶ 32, 82). Defendant now brings a new motion to
dismiss. This order follows full briefing and oral argument.
defendant moves to dismiss plaintiff's claims for
overtime wages and unfair competition pursuant to FRCP
12(b)(6). Second, defendant argues in the
alternative that plaintiff's factual allegations
regarding unreimbursed business expenses should be stricken
from the FLSA claim. Third, defendant contends that
plaintiff's state law claim for accurate wage statements
and unpaid business expenses should be dismissed for lack of
supplemental jurisdiction. This order addresses these
arguments in turn.
Motion to Dismiss.
complaint must plead “enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim has
facial plausibility when its factual allegations, rather than
mere conclusory statements, create the reasonable inference
that defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
State and Federal Overtime Claims.
moves to dismiss plaintiff's state and federal claims for
unpaid overtime, contending that plaintiff's allegations
fall short of pleading a plausible claim for overtime under
Landers v. Quality Communications, Inc., 771 F.3d
638 (9th Cir. 2014). Landers held that an employee
need not allege the overtime compensation owed with
mathematical precision, but must provide “sufficient
detail about the length and frequency of [his] unpaid work to
support a reasonable inference that [he] worked more than
forty hours in a given week.” 771 F.3d at 646. Thus,
the plaintiff's general allegations that he worked more
than forty hours a week and was not paid ...