Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cardenas v. Costco Wholesale Corp.

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 28, 2019

CAROLINA CARDENAS, Plaintiff,
v.
COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS DKT. NO. 15

          PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Defendant 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 following reasons.

         BACKGROUND

         Cardenas 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. ¶ 19.

         The 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 claims.

         The 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”).

         On 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.[1]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.

         On May 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., Ex. F.

         On June 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.

         On 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.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         1. Rule 12(c)

         Rule 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.