United States District Court, C.D. California
Paul E. Loeb
ZipRecruiter, Inc., et al.
Present: The Honorable JOHN A. KRONSTADT, UNITED STATES
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS) ORDER RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND (DKT.
April 3, 2019, Paul E. Loeb (“Plaintiff”), on
behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, brought
this putative class action in the Los Angeles Superior Court
against ZipRecruiter, Inc. (“Defendant”), and
Does 1 through 50. Dkt. 1-2. The Complaint advances five
causes of action: (i) failure to provide standalone
disclosures in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act,
(“FCRA”) 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)(A); (ii)
failure to make disclosures in violation of the FCRA, 15
U.S.C. §§ 1681d(a)(1) and 1681g(c); (iii) failure
to pay vacation wages in violation of Cal. Lab. Code §
227.3; (iv) failure to provide accurate written wage
statements in violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 226(a); and
(v) failure to timely pay all final wages in violation of
Cal. Lab. Code §§ 201-203. Id.
16, 2019, Defendant removed the action on the basis of
federal question jurisdiction. Id. at 2. On July 10,
2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand (the
“Motion”). Dkt. 15. Defendant opposed the Motion
on July 24, 2019. Dkt. 18. Plaintiff filed a reply on July
31, 2019. Dkt. 24. A hearing on the Motion was held on August
26, 2019, and the matter was taken under submission. Dkt. 25.
reasons stated in this Order, the Motion is
GRANTED, and the action is remanded to the
Los Angeles Superior Court.
is a citizen of California. Dkt. 1-2 ¶ 7. Plaintiff
worked for Defendant from June 12, 2017, through January
2019. Id. ¶ 21. Defendant is a Delaware
corporation doing business in California. Id. ¶
alleged that when Plaintiff applied for a job with Defendant,
Defendant arranged for a background investigation of him.
Id. ¶ 22. Defendant allegedly failed to provide
proper disclosure and authorization forms to Plaintiff
regarding his rights with respect to the information gathered
pursuant to this investigation, because the forms that were
provided to him “contained extraneous and superfluous
language and did not comport with the FCRA standalone
disclosure and authorization requirement.” Id.
¶ 23. It is further alleged that Defendant
“maintained policies that provide for the unlawful
forfeiture of vested vacation pay, ” and that
Defendant's wage statements were inaccurate insofar as
they failed to reflect all vacation hours earned and accrued.
Id. ¶¶ 24-32.
Complaint seeks monetary relief based on the amount of unpaid
wages, actual damages, liquidated damages, restitution,
declaratory relief, pre-judgment interest, statutory
penalties, costs and attorney's fees. Id. at
General Legal Standards
Removal and Remand
motion to remand is the procedural means to challenge the
removal of an action. Moore-Thomas v. Alaska Airlines,
Inc., 553 F.3d 1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 2009). In general, a
state civil action may be removed only if, at the time of
removal, it is one over which there is federal jurisdiction.
28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Because federal courts are ones of
limited jurisdiction, the removal statute is strictly
construed, and any doubt as to the appropriateness of removal
is resolved in favor of remand. Gaus v. Miles, Inc.,
980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). Thus, the removing party
has the burden of establishing that removal is proper,
including that there is federal jurisdiction over one or more
of the claims. Id. “If a case is improperly
removed, the federal court must remand the action because it
has no subject matter jurisdiction to decide the case.”
ARCO Envtl. Remediation, L.L.C. v. Dep't of Health
& Envtl. Quality of Mont., 213 F.3d 1108, 1113 (9th
Cir. 2000) (internal citations omitted).
Federal Question Jurisdiction
U.S.C. § 1331 provides original jurisdiction in district
courts over civil actions “arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
Pursuant to the well-pleaded complaint rule, “a suit
arises under federal law for 28 U.S.C. § 1331 purposes
only when the plaintiff's statement of his own cause of
action shows that it is based upon federal law.”
Hawaii ex rel Louie v. HSBC Bank Nev., N.A., 761
F.3d 1027, 1034 (9th Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks
omitted). “It does not suffice to show that a federal
question lurks somewhere inside the parties' controversy,
or that a defense or counterclaim would arise under federal
law.” Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 70
(2009). Similarly, “removal cannot be based on a . . .
cross-claim . . . raising a federal question; to hold
otherwise would allow defendants to determine the
removability of a case.” Le v. Young Champions
Recreation Programs, No. SA CV 08-414AHSRNBX, 2008 WL
1970186, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 30, 2008). Thus, the operative
analysis calls for an examination of the complaint alone.
See Coleman v. Estes Express Lines, Inc., 631 F.3d
1010, 1016 (9th Cir. 2011).
must determine federal jurisdiction based solely on what
“necessarily appears in the plaintiff's statement
of his own claim in the bill or declaration, unaided by
anything in anticipation of avoidance of defenses which it is
thought the defendant may interpose.” California ex
rel. Sacramento Metro. AirQuality Mgmt. Dist. v.
United States, 215 F.3d 1005, 1014 (9th Cir. 2000). A
defendant's answer or counterclaim, for example, cannot
create federal question jurisdiction where that question is
not “presented on the ...