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Woodrum v. Automatic Data Processing, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 9, 2018

DAWN MARIE WOODRUM
v.
AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING INC., ET AL.

          PRESENT: THE HORABLE DAVID O. CARTER, JUDGE

          CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

         PROCEEDINGS (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND [8]

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Dawn Marie Woodrum's (“Woodrum” or “Plaintiff”) Motion to Remand (“Motion”) (Dkt. 8). The Court finds this matter suitable for resolution without oral argument. Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; L.R. 7-15. Having reviewed the papers and considered the parties' arguments, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion.

         I. Background

         A. Facts

         The Court adopts the facts as set out in Plaintiff's Complaint. See Notice of Removal (“Not. Rem.”) (Dkt. 1) Ex. 1 (Complaint (“Compl.”)).

         Plaintiff Woodrum is an individual who resides in Orange County, California. Compl. ¶ 2. Defendants Automatic Data Processing, Inc. and ADP, LLC (collectively, “ADP”) are corporations existing in California, but their principal places of business are located at One ADP Blvd., MS 433, Roseland, New Jersey, 07068. Id. ¶ 3. Defendant Lyle Burley (“Burley”) is an individual who resides in Orange County, California. Id. ¶ 4.

         Plaintiff alleges that “each of the Defendants herein was at all times relevant hereto the agent, employee or representative of the remaining Defendants and was acting at least in part, within the course and scope of such relationship in doing the things herein alleged.” Id. ¶ 6. Moreover, Plaintiff alleges that “each of the Defendants was acting in a single or joint employer, agency, employer, and/or alter ego capacity such that they are liable for the acts of their agents and/or employees.” Id. ¶ 7.

         Plaintiff was hired by ADP on February 8, 1999, as an overflow computer operator. Id. ¶ 8. For years, Plaintiff received positive job performance reviews. See Id. ¶¶ 10-17, 19. On November 27, 2013, Plaintiff became a Tax Service Coordinator II, and effective November 16, 2015, Plaintiff became an “Impl [sic] Specialist II.” Id. ¶¶ 21, 23. On June 30, 2016, Plaintiff “received an Overall Rating of 3, indicating Strong Performance and Valued Contribution.” Id. ¶ 25.

         In November 2016, Plaintiff underwent a nerve study for numbness and tingling in her left arm, after which she was diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Id. ¶ 26. As a result, Plaintiff filed a Workers' Compensations Claim. Id. On November 28, 2016, Plaintiff returned to her physician after work hours and was instructed to undergo physical therapy. Id. ¶ 27. When Plaintiff explained to Human Resources that she had a carpal tunnel issue in the left arm, Human Resources told Plaintiff that physical therapy would have to be done on non-work hours. Id.

         Work restrictions to address Plaintiff's carpal tunnel were sent directly from the Workers' Compensation Medical provider, Concentra Occupational Medicine, to Plaintiff's employer. Id. ¶ 29. First, Defendants were informed of a restriction that required Plaintiff to take a ten-minute break from typing every hours, a restriction that Defendants accommodated. Id. ¶ 28. On December 21, 2016, Plaintiff was given restrictions of a twenty-minute break from repetitive typing every hour, which Defendants accommodated. Id. ¶ 30.

         In January 2017, Plaintiff was informed that she would need surgery on her left arm, and on March 7, 2017, Plaintiff underwent carpal tunnel surgery. Id. ¶¶ 31-32. Plaintiff was out of work from March 8, 2017, through May 22, 2017, but she was “not offered leave under CFRA nor was her time designated as such.” Id. ¶ 32.

         On May 16, 2017, Plaintiff was released to work effective May 22, 2017, albeit with the restrictions of a thirty-minute productive break from typing every hour, and no lifting over five pounds. Id. ¶ 33. On May 22, 2017, Plaintiff returned to work. Id. ¶ 34. After Plaintiff had worked for two hours, her supervisor, Defendant Lyle Burley, said she would have to leave because the employer had not approved her return to work. Id. He walked her out of the facility, and said that he would let her know when her return to work was approved. Id. On May 23, 2017, Mr. Burley texted that he had not heard anything yet. Id. ¶ 35. The next day, “he texted that there was still no word.” Id. ¶ 36.

         On May 26, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by her physician, and sent her restrictions to Human Resources. Id. ¶ 37. On June 13, 2017, Plaintiff's restrictions were modified to a thirty-minute productive break from typing every hour, and no lifting over ten pounds. Id. ¶ 38.

         On July 4, 2017, Plaintiff “received a COBRA notice from Defendants, ” which is a type of notice related to health care coverage that is usually provided ...


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