United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable JOHN A. KRONSTADT, UNITED STATES
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS) ORDER RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND
CASE TO LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT (DKT. 9)
Hoeft (“Plaintiff”) filed this action in the Los
Angeles Superior Court on March 1, 2016. See Ex. A
to Notice of Removal, Complaint, Dkt. 1-1. The First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”), which is the operative
pleading, advances 12 causes of action against Time Warner
Cable Inc., Time-Warner Cable Media Inc. (collectively,
“Time-Warner”), and Mike Shippey
“Defendants”). Ex. C to Notice of Removal, FAC,
Dkt. 1-3. The claims allege violations of the California Fair
Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), Cal.
Gov't Code §§ 12940 et seq., other
California statutes and common law. The claims arise from
Plaintiffs' former employment at Time-Warner.
January 12, 2018, almost two years after the action was
filed, Defendants removed it pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1441 and 1446. In support of removal and the
associated federal jurisdiction, Defendants contend that the
FAC advances claims arising under the Employment Retirement
Income Security Act (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C.
§§ 1001 et seq. Defendant argue that ERISA
provides the exclusive remedy for claims under employee
benefit plans and preempts state law claims seeking relief
related to such plans. See Notice of Removal, Dkt. 1
filed a Motion to Remand (“Motion”) on February
12, 2018. Dkt. 9. The Motion included a request for an award
of attorney's fees pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1447(c).
Defendant filed an opposition to the Motion. Dkt. 16
(“Opposition”). Plaintiff replied. Dkt. 18
(“Reply”). A hearing on the Motion was held on
April 30, 2018, and the Motion was taken under submission.
reasons stated in this Order, the Motion is
GRANTED. This action is remanded to the Los
Angeles Superior Court at its Stanley Mosk Courthouse.
Plaintiff's request for an award of attorney's fees
alleges that in 2013 she started employment with Time-Warner
as an Account Executive. FAC, Dkt. 1-3 ¶ 19. The FAC
alleges that Shippey was employed by Time-Warner in a
managerial role, and that he was Plaintiffs supervisor during
her employment. Id.
alleges that, during the course of her employment, she had
certain disabilities, including a “cervical/spinal
injury” and an “anxiety/panic disorder.”
Id. ¶ 20. She alleges that these conditions did
not prevent her from performing her job duties. However, she
alleges that she did ask for reasonable accommodations from
Shippey and those in the Time-Warner Human Resources
Department. Id. The FAC alleges that, as a result of
these requests, Defendants “perceived Plaintiff as
disabled, ” and subjected her to adverse consequences
including, but not limited to:
. Imposing a policy that Time-Warner
employees would only communicate with Plaintiff by e-mail,
and not telephone;
. Imposing a policy that encouraged certain
employees to refuse to assist Plaintiff with certain job
. Denying Plaintiff certain training
opportunities that were made available to other,
similarly-situated Time-Warner employees;
. Arbitrarily taking sales accounts from
Plaintiff and giving them to male co-workers;
. Failing to pay Plaintiff commissions she
earned through completed sales;
. Making or allowing others to make
offensive and sexually harassing comments to Plaintiff;
. Failing to engage in a good-faith
interactive process in order to accommodate Plaintiffs
. Failing reasonably to accommodate
Plaintiff for her disabilities.
alleges that these actions were motivated by her
disabilities, and constituted retaliation for her requests
for accommodations and taking medical leave. Id.
¶ 23. The FAC also alleges that, as a result of
Defendants' alleged misconduct, her medical issues were
aggravated and she suffered from severe emotional distress.
Id. ¶ 22. This allegedly caused Plaintiff to
take medical leave from work starting in September 2014.
Id. Plaintiff alleges that Time-Warner wrongfully
terminated her employment on March 2, 2015. Id.
¶¶ 22, 99-106.
on these allegations, the FAC advances the following causes
(1) Disability Discrimination in Violation of FEHA, Cal. Gov.
Code § 12940(a) -Against Time-Warner
(2) Failure to Accommodate in Violation of FEHA, Cal. Gov.
Code § 12940(m) -Against Time-Warner
(3) Failure to Engage in the Interactive Process in Violation
of FEHA, Cal. Gov. Code §§ 2940(n) and 12926.1(e) -
(4) Failure to Prevent Discrimination and Harassment in
Violation of FEHA - Against Time-Warner
(5) Retaliation in Violation of Cal. Lab. Code 1102.5 -
(6) Retaliation in Violation of FEHA, Cal. Gov. Code §
12940(h) - ...