United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER APPROVING SECOND AMENDED SETTLEMENT Re: Dkt.
H. Koh United States District Judge.
the Court is Plaintiff's motion for approval of the
second amended settlement. On August 15, 2019, the Court held
a hearing on Plaintiff's motion. On August 26, 2019,
Plaintiff filed a supplemental brief and the parties'
amended settlement. On August 27, 2019, Plaintiff filed a
second supplemental brief and the parties' second amended
settlement. Having considered the parties' submissions,
the arguments at the August 15, 2019 hearing, the relevant
law, and the record in this case, the Court GRANTS
Plaintiff's motion for approval of the second amended
“provide[s] outsource sales and marketing for other
companies.” ECF No. 37- 1, Ex. D (“Wiley
Depo.”), 25:16-18. Defendant employed Plaintiff as a
district manager from April 2013 until April 18, 2017. ECF
No. 37-5 (“Delgado Decl.”), ¶ 2. Plaintiff
supervised employees who sold cellular phones inside Target
stores. Id. ¶ 3. Plaintiff “was
responsible for staffing these sales departments, as well as
managing inventory and tracking supplies.” Id.
Plaintiff terminated at least three of Defendant's
employees during Plaintiff's employment with Defendant.
ECF No. 42-1, Ex. E (“Delgado Depo.”),
Defendant's Policies and Practices for Paying Final Wage
pays its employees their wages via either electronic direct
deposit or a paper check. Wiley Depo. 32:11-12. When
Defendant fires an employee, Defendant distributes the
employee's final paycheck through similar means, via
either direct deposit or a paper check sent overnight with
Federal Express (“FedEx”). Id. at
162:23-25. According to Defendant's policies, Defendant
pays fired employees their final wages “in accordance
with state law.” ECF No. 42-1, Ex. B; see also
Wiley Depo. 135:2-15 (testifying that Defendant's
practice is for a fired employee to “have a check that
day”). California law requires Defendant to pay fired
employees their final wages “immediately.” Cal.
Labor Code § 201.
order to comply with California law, Defendant maintains the
following policies and practices. Before a manager decides to
terminate an employee, Defendant requires the manager to
receive approval from Defendant's human resources
department. ECF No. 42-4 (“Wiley Decl.”), ¶
9. Then, the manager must complete an Employee Status Form
(“ESF”), which documents the employee's name,
termination date, and reason for termination. Wiley Depo. at
149:1-18. Defendant's human resources department must
authorize the ESF. Id. at 149:23-25. Eventually, the
ESF is sent to Defendant's payroll department to prepare
the employee's final paycheck. Id. at 150:2-6.
When Defendant pays final wages by direct deposit, the
“final wages are typically . . . processed the day
before the termination date such that the funds are in the
employee's bank account on the last day of
employment.” Wiley Decl. ¶ 11. If using direct
deposit might delay an employee's receipt of final wages,
or if the employee receives her regular wages by paper check,
Defendant issues a paper check and sends it to the fired
employee via overnight FedEx. Id.
Managers Guide to Paying Hourly Employees also includes
instructions regarding the payment of final wages. ECF No.
42-3, Ex. A. The Managers Guide informs managers that
“in some states”-including California-“an
employee is due his or her final wages immediately upon
termination.” Id. at 1, 4. As a result, the
Managers Guide instructs managers to contact human resources
“as soon as possible . . . when the manager makes the
decision to terminate an employee.” Id. at 1.
Plaintiff received an email from a payroll specialist
reminding him to approve timecards for to-be-fired employees
when submitting the ESF for those employees because “CA
is immediate payout state.” ECF No. 42-1, Ex. G.
Finally, Defendant's payroll department maintains an
internal document that lists “immediately” as the
payout date for involuntarily terminated employees in
California. ECF No. 42-4, Ex. C.
April 18, 2017, Plaintiff had a meeting with his supervisor,
Gary Slate, at which Slate informed Plaintiff of his
termination. Delgado Decl. ¶ 5. Plaintiff was fired for
misconduct. ECF No. 37-1, Ex. A. Plaintiff did not receive
his final wage statement until April 19, 2017. Delgado Decl.
¶ 7; see also id., Ex. A (Plaintiff's bank
point, the parties' accounts of Plaintiff's
termination diverge. Plaintiff asserts that Plaintiff's
termination was effective April 18, 2017. Plaintiff points to
the ESF for Plaintiff's termination, which lists April
18, 2017 in the “effectiveDate” field. ECF No.
37-1, Ex. A.
contends that Plaintiff was terminated effective Wednesday,
April 19, 2017. In an email sent before Plaintiff's
termination, Plaintiff's manager, Gary Slate, stated that
“[t]he ESF and plan was for Wednesday.” ECF No.
42-3, Ex. C. Slate had originally planned to meet with
Plaintiff on Wednesday, but Plaintiff was unavailable that
day, so Slate and Plaintiff instead met on Tuesday.
Id. Slate believes that he informed Plaintiff that
Defendant was terminated effective April 19, 2017. ECF No.
42-3 (“Slate Decl.”), ¶ 10. Defendant also
points to a confirmation email Slate received when first
submitting Plaintiff's ESF on April 12, 2017, in which
the effective date for Plaintiff's termination was listed
as April 19, 2017. Id., Ex. D. The email
confirmation containing Plaintiff's ESF includes, as part
of a “Termination Checklist, ” the instruction
that “timely timecards are required so that we can
ensure the processing of payroll remains compliant” for
immediate payout states, including California. Id.
November 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed a putative class action
complaint against Defendant in California Superior Court for
the County of Santa Clara. ECF No. 1, Ex. 1
(“Compl.”). Plaintiff's complaint alleged
claims for (1) failure to provide accurate itemized wage
statements in violation of California Labor Code §
226(a); (2) failure to pay all wages owed immediately upon
termination in violation of California Labor Code
§§ 201, 203; and (3) civil penalties pursuant to
California's Private Attorney General's Act
(“PAGA”). Id. ¶¶ 29-40.
December 29, 2017, Defendant removed Plaintiff's
complaint to federal court pursuant to the Class Action
Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1453. ECF No. 1.
August 1, 2018, the parties stipulated to strike those
portions of Plaintiff's complaint alleging that Defendant
violated California Labor Code § 226(a). ECF No. 26. In
addition, the parties stipulated to strike Plaintiff's
§ 226(a) allegations as a basis for Plaintiff's PAGA
claim. Id. at 2. Then, on September 5, 2018, the
parties stipulated to dismiss Plaintiff's § ...