United States District Court, C.D. California
Kendrall Davis, et al.
Beam Team Inc.
PRESENT: HONORABLE MICHAEL W. FITZGERALD, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
(IN CHAMBERS): ORDER RE: PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO REMAND
the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand (the
“Motion”), filed on April 5, 2018. (Docket No.
12). On April 23, 2018, Defendant Beam Team Inc.
(“BTI”) filed an Opposition. (Docket No. 14). On
April 30, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Reply. (Docket No. 15).
The Court held a hearing on May 21, 2018.
reasons discussed below, the Motion is GRANTED. BTI has not
plausibly established that the amount in controversy is more
than the $5 million jurisdictional threshold under CAFA.
January 4, 2018, Plaintiffs, former employees of BTI, a
construction company that focuses on the development of
retail stores, commenced a putative class action against BTI
in San Bernardino County Superior Court asserting nine
wage-and-hour-related claims for relief under California law:
failure to pay minimum wages; failure to pay overtime;
failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements; failure
to pay all wages within the appropriate pay periods; waiting
time penalties; failure to reimburse all business expenses;
failure to provide meal periods; violation of
California's Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”),
Cal. Bus. & Profs. Code § 17200 et seq.;
and a claim for relief under California's Private
Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), Cal. Lab. Code
§ 2698 et seq.
their Complaint, Plaintiffs propose the following class
All nonexempt hourly employees who worked for Defendants in
California at any time within four (4) years prior to the
filing of this Complaint until the final judgment
(hereinafter “the Class Period”), in one of the
following job positions: Site Representative, Site Lead, and
(Complaint ¶ 18). Plaintiffs allege that “[t]he
membership of the entire class is greater than 50
individuals, but the identity of such membership is readily
ascertainable via inspection of the personnel records and
other documents maintained by Defendants.”
(Id. ¶ 19).
primary focus of Plaintiffs' Complaint is BTI's
treatment of the putative class members' travel time to
and from projects: Plaintiffs allege that BTI did not pay
putative class members for time spent driving to/from
projects that were less than 100 miles from the putative
class members' homes or hotels, and paid putative class
members hourly, at the minimum wage rate, for travel beyond
the first 100 miles. (See, e.g., Id. ¶¶
27-28). Plaintiffs also allege that BTI's travel-time
policy resulted in the under-provision of overtime wages and
meal breaks, as travel time that should have counted towards
the putative class members' overall hours worked was not.
(Id. ¶¶ 37-38). Plaintiffs do not specify
the amount of the putative class members' damages in
February 23, 2018, after filing an answer in Superior Court,
BTI removed the action, invoking this Court's
jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act of
2005 (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. §1332(d), Pub. L.
No. 109-2. (Notice of Removal (“NoR”) (Docket No.
1) ¶ 7). This Motion followed.
Jurisdiction under CAFA
CAFA, the Court has “original jurisdiction of any civil
action in which the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $5, 000, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and
is a class action in ...