United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS AND/OR STRIKE AND
DENYING REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE RE: DKT. NO. 8
VAN KEULEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
putative class action, Plaintiff Tami Sulzberg alleges that
Defendant Happiest Minds Technologies engaged in employment
discrimination on the basis of race and national origin
against individuals who are not South Asian and who are not
of Indian national origin. See Dkt. 1 (Complaint) at
¶¶ 1, 29. Before the Court is Defendant's
motion to dismiss and/or strike, which also includes a
request for judicial notice. Dkt. 8, 8-3. The parties have
consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge. Dkt. 7,
15. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court deems this
motion suitable for determination without oral argument.
Based on a review of the parties' submissions, the case
file, and relevant law, the Court DENIES the motion to
dismiss, motion to strike, and request for judicial notice
for the reasons discussed below.
Happiest Minds provides information technology and consulting
services. Dkt. 1 (Complaint) at ¶ 1. Defendant is
headquartered in India and has some employees in the United
States. Id. at ¶ 4. Plaintiff Tami Sulzberg,
who is a Caucasian woman born in the United States, worked
for Defendant in in the United States a sales role from
January 17, 2018 until May 19, 2018. Id. at
¶¶ 21, 26. Plaintiff contends that her termination
was the result of Defendant's pattern or practice of
discriminating against non-South Asian and non-Indian
employees. Id. at ¶ 27.
brings this case individually and on behalf of the putative
class of “[a]ll individuals who are not of South Asian
race and Indian national origin who applied for positions
with (or within) Happiest Minds in the U.S. and who were not
hired and/or who Happiest Minds involuntarily
terminated.” Id. at ¶¶ 2, 29.
Plaintiff asserts claims under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. §
1981. Id. at ¶¶ 38-48.
seeks to dismiss the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Dkt. 8.
Defendant also seeks to strike the class action claims
pursuant to Rule 12(f). Id.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a district court
must dismiss a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. In ruling on a motion to
dismiss, courts may consider only “the complaint,
materials incorporated into the complaint by reference, and
matters of which the court may take judicial notice.”
Metzler Inv. GmbH v. Corinthian Colls., Inc., 540
F.3d 1049, 1061 (9th Cir. 2008). In deciding whether the
plaintiff has stated a claim, the court must assume the
plaintiff's allegations are true and draw all reasonable
inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Usher v. City of
L.A., 828 F.2d 556, 561 (9th Cir. 1987). However, the
court is not required to accept as true “allegations
that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact,
or unreasonable inferences.” In re Gilead Scis.
Sec. Litig., 536 F.3d 1049, 1055 (9th Cir. 2008).
survive a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must allege
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). This “facial
plausibility” standard requires the plaintiff to allege
facts that add up to “more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009).
to amend must be granted unless it is clear that the
complaint's deficiencies cannot be cured by amendment.
Lucas v. Dep't. of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th
Cir. 1995); see also Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,
521 (1972) (pro se complaint should not be dismissed
unless the court finds it “beyond doubt that the
plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim
which would entitle him to relief”) (quotation marks
and citations omitted).
12(f) enables a court to strike from a pleading “any
redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous
matter.” The function of a Rule 12(f) motion is
“to avoid the expenditure of time and money that must
arise from litigating spurious issues by dispensing with
those issues prior to trial.” Whittlestone, Inc. v.
Handi-Craft Co., 618 F.3d 970, 973 (9th Cir. 2010).