United States District Court, E.D. California
Edgar Morales, Salvador Magaña, and Matthew Bagu, on behalf of themselves, the State of California, and all other similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs,
Leggett & Platt Incorporated, a Missouri Corporation, et al. Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION AND
APPOINTMENT OF CLASS COUNSEL
MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Edgar Morales (“Morales”), Salvador Magaña
(“Magaña”), and Matthew Bagu
(“Bagu”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”)
move for class certification under Rule 23 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Mot., ECF No. 33; Mem., ECF No. 34.
Defendants Leggett & Platt Incorporated
(“Leggett”) and L&P Financial Services Co.
“Defendants”) oppose Plaintiffs' motion. ECF
No. 44. A hearing on this motion was held on February 27,
2018. For the reasons set forth below and stated at the
hearing, the Court grants Plaintiffs' motion for class
certification as to two purported subclasses, and denies the
motion as to the remaining three purported subclasses.
Court also grants Plaintiffs' unopposed request regarding
appointment of counsel and class representatives in this
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Morales worked at Defendants' Tracy location (the
“Tracy Branch”) from 2011-2014 as a forklift
operator, peeler operator, and maintenance mechanic and was
paid hourly. Decl. of Edgar Morales (“Morales
Decl.”), ECF No. 33-47, ¶ 3. Plaintiff
Magaña worked at the Tracy Branch from 2012-2014 as a
maintenance mechanic and was paid hourly. Decl. of Salvador
Magaña (“Magaña Decl.”), ECF No.
33-46, ¶ 3. Plaintiff Bagu worked at the Tracy Branch
from 2013-2014 as a mold operator and was paid hourly. Decl.
of Matthew Bagu (“Bagu Decl.”), ECF No. 33-48,
April 28, 2015, Plaintiffs Morales and Magaña filed
their initial Complaint against Defendant Leggett in San
Joaquin County Superior Court. Pls. Class Action Compl., ECF
No. 1-1. On July 22, 2015, Plaintiffs Morales and
Magaña and additional Plaintiff Bagu added Defendant
L&P as a second defendant and filed a First Amended
Complaint (the “FAC”), seeking to proceed under
the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act
(“PAGA”) and alleging Defendants violated state
wage and hour laws by failing to pay minimum wage; failing to
pay overtime compensation; failing to provide meal and rest
breaks; unlawfully deducting wages of employees; knowingly
and intentionally failing to maintain and provide accurate
wage statements; failing to produce or permit inspection of
records; failing to timely pay wages due at termination; and
failing to indemnify employees for work expenses. FAC, ECF
No. 1-2, ¶¶ 16, 108. Plaintiffs also alleged that
Defendants violated California's Unfair Competition Law
(“UCL”). Id., ¶¶ 106-114.
removed Plaintiffs' claims to federal court under the
Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d), on
September 10, 2012. Not. of Removal, ECF No. 1, at 1-2. On
November 6, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their Motion for Class
Certification and brief in support.
the February 27, 2018 hearing on this motion, Plaintiffs
filed a Notice of Subsequent Relevant Authority (ECF No. 49)
and Defendants responded. ECF No. 50.
seek to certify the following five subclasses:
The Revision Zone Class
nonexempt hourly employees who worked at the Tracy Branch
between April 28, 2011 and November 14, 2014 and whose time
was recorded using the Amano timekeeping system and
experienced time shaving as a result of the Revision Zone
programming in the Amano timekeeping system. Mot. 2-3.
non-exempt hourly employees who have worked at
Defendants' Ontario location (the “Ontario
Branch”) and the Tracy Branch between April 28, 2011
and the present and had a shift of more than eight hours on a
seventh consecutive workday in a workweek. Mot. at 4.
30 Minute Auto-Deduction Class
non-exempt hourly employees who have worked at the Tracy
Branch, and all factory non-exempt hourly employees who have
worked at the Ontario Branch between April 28, 2011 and the
present who had 30 minutes of pay automatically deducted for
meal periods without a corresponding time entry showing that
an unpaid meal period was recorded. Mot. at 4-5.
Meal Period Premium Class
factory non-exempt hourly employees who (1) have worked at
the Ontario and Tracy Branches between April 28, 2011 and the
present, (2) have recorded untimely or short meal periods
during shifts greater than six hours, or have worked more
than 10 hours without recording a second meal period, and (3)
have not received a meal period premium. Mot. at 5-6.
Uniform Deduction Class
non-exempt employees who worked at the Ontario and Tracy
Branches between April 28, 2011 and the present and had
deductions on their wage statements (appearing in payroll as
code 870) for maintenance of their work uniform. Mot. at 6.
initially sought class certification of a sixth subclass,
i.e. the Mechanics Class, but confirmed at the hearing on
this motion that they had abandoned it. Mot. at 6;
see Reply, ECF No. 45.
Rule 23(a), a plaintiff seeking to certify a class must show
that “(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all
members is impracticable; (2) there are questions of law or
fact common to the class; (3) the claims or defenses of the
representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses
of the class; and (4) the representative parties will fairly
and adequately protect the interests of the class.” The
plaintiff must then satisfy one of the three Rule 23(b)
categories. In the instant case, the parties focus on the
“predominance” and “superiority”
category under Rule 23(b)(3).
to satisfy any element of Rule 23(a) or 23(b) requires
denying class certification. Rutledge v. Electric Hose
& Rubber Co., 511 F.2d 668, 673 (9th Cir. 1975).
requires that the class be “so numerous that joinder of
all members is impracticable.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)(1).
Defendants do not challenge Plaintiffs' satisfaction of
this requirement for any of the purported classes and the
Court finds Plaintiffs satisfy the numerosity requirement for
all five purported subclasses. See Opp.
a threshold matter, and apart from the explicit requirements
of Rule 23(a), the party seeking class certification must
demonstrate that an identifiable and ascertainable class
exists.” Backhaut v. Apple Inc., 2015 WL
4776427, at *9 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 13, 2015) (quoting
Sethavanish v. ZonePerfect Nutrition Co., No.
12-2907, 2014 WL 580696 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 13, 2014)). “A
class definition should be ‘precise, objective, and
presently ascertainable, ' that is the class must be
‘definite enough that it is administratively feasible
for the court to ascertain whether an individual is a
member.'” Roth v. CHA Hollywood Medical Center,
L.P., No. 2:12-cv-07559, 2013 WL 5775129, at *4 (C.D.
Cal., Oct. 25, 2013) (quoting O'Connor v. Boeing N.
Am., Inc., 184 F.R.D. 311, 319 (C.D. Cal. 1998)).
requires Plaintiffs to affirmatively show “that the
class members have suffered the same injury.”
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 349-50
(2011) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). The
class's common contention must be “capable of
class-wide resolution.” Id.
“Dissimilarities within the proposed class”
impede the commonality requirement because they prevent the
formation of “even a single common question.”
Id. at 350, 359.
23(a)(3) requires that the claims or defenses of the class
representative “be typical of the claims or defenses of
the class.” “A class representative must be part
of the class and possess the same interest and suffer the
same injury as the class members.” Dukes, 131 S.Ct. at
2550 (citation omitted). Representative parties' claims
are “typical” when each class member's claim
arises from the same course of events, and each class member
makes similar legal arguments to prove the defendants'
liability. A ...