United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
DKT. NO. 15
PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Costco Wholesale Corporation's (“Costco”)
motion for judgment on the pleadings came on for hearing
before this court on June 19, 2019. Defendant appeared
through its counsel, Christopher Truxler. Plaintiff Carolina
Cardenas did not make an appearance. Having read the papers
filed by the parties and carefully considered their arguments
and the relevant legal authority, and good cause appearing,
the court hereby GRANTS defendant's motion, for the
began her employment with Costco in 2013. Dkt. 1-1, Ex. 1,
Compl. ¶ 10. According to the complaint, between 2014
and early 2017, plaintiff's coworkers repeatedly sexually
harassed plaintiff and, when plaintiff reported that conduct,
management either ignored her complaints or took retaliatory
action. Id. ¶¶ 11-22. On March 17, 2017,
Costco terminated Cardenas' employment based on
allegations that Cardenas had violated Costco's
anti-harassment and discrimination policies. Id.
complaint asserts six state law causes of action.
Id. ¶¶ 23-59. The first three allege (1)
sexual harassment, (2) failure to take steps to prevent
discrimination and harassment, and (3) retaliation in
violation of California's Fair Employment and Housing Act
(“FEHA”). Id. ¶¶ 23-44 (the
“FEHA claims”). The latter three are common law
claims asserted against Costco for (4) wrongful termination
in violation of public policy; (5) breach of written and
implied-in-fact contract; and (6) breach of implied covenant
of good faith and fair dealing. Id. ¶¶
45-59. In response to defendant's motion, plaintiff
voluntarily dismissed claims four through six. Dkt. 23 at 8.
Accordingly, all that remains are plaintiff's FEHA
FEHA violations that plaintiff complains of have previously
been the subject of three administrative charges filed with
the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (the
“DFEH”) and the United States Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”).
August 11, 2016, plaintiff filed her first charge of
discrimination with the DFEH and EEOC, alleging
discrimination and harassment. Dkt. 15-2, Req. Jud. Not., Ex.
C.After the DFEH investigated the charge and
closed the case for insufficient evidence, the DFEH issued
plaintiff a right-to-sue notice on August 2, 2017.
Id., Ex. D.
9, 2017, plaintiff filed a second charge with the DFEH,
alleging that discrimination and retaliation resulted in her
termination. Id., Ex. E. In conjunction with that
charge, plaintiff requested an immediate right to sue and, on
the same day, the DFEH issued her the notice. Id.,
6, 2017, plaintiff filed a third charge with the DFEH and
EEOC, alleging discrimination and retaliation. Id.,
Ex. G. On April 30, 2018, and again on August 24, 2018, the
DFEH notified plaintiff that her June 6, 2017 charge was
duplicative of her second charge and, therefore, closed the
file because the DFEH no longer had jurisdiction once a
right-to-sue notice has been issued. Id. at 3 (April
30, 2018 letter), 5 (August 24, 2018 letter). The DFEH did
not issue a new right-to-sue notice. Id.
September 12, 2018, the EEOC dismissed plaintiff's June
6, 2017 charge. Id. at 4. That dismissal notified
plaintiff that the EEOC had closed her file and adopted the
DFEH's findings on plaintiff's June 6, 2017 charge.
Id. The EEOC simultaneously issued plaintiff her
federal right-to-sue notice. Id.
12(c) provides: “[a]fter the pleadings are closed-but
early enough not to delay trial-a party may move for judgment
on the pleadings.” The analysis under Rule 12(c) is
“substantially identical to [the] analysis under Rule
12(b)(6).” Chavez v. United States, 683 F.3d
1102, 1108 (9th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). Specifically, all factual allegations in
the complaint must be accepted as true and construed in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party. Turner v.
Cook, 362 F.3d 1219, 1225 (9th Cir. 2004).
“Judgment on the pleadings is properly granted when
there is no issue of material ...