United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL
SUMMARY JUDGMENT RE: DKT. NO. 169
NATHANAEL M. COUSINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
chapter of his employment class action, plaintiff Eric Chavez
moves for partial summary judgment as to whether defendant
Converse, Inc.'s retail store employees were under its
control when they underwent security checks before leaving.
See Dkt. No. 169 at 6; see also Dkt. No.
174 at 4. Because Converse's employees were required to
submit to security checks between July 10, 2011, and November
19, 2019, the Court GRANTS Chavez's motion for partial
summary judgment as to claims one, three, four, five, six,
operates 20 stores in California. See Dkt. No.
169-1, Ex. B (“May Depo.”) at 24:16-18. At each
store, Converse installs time clocks in back rooms for their
employees to clock in and clock out. See id., Ex. A
(“Kiefer Depo.”) at 41:13-22. Converse's
stores typically have a single point of exit and entry,
located at the front of the store away from the break room.
See Id. at 43:18-24.
an employee leaves a store, they are subject to an exit
search. See Id. at 65:2-66:25; see also
id., Ex. 3, 4. Under Converse's exit search policy,
“[i]f an employee refuses to cooperate, interferes, or
hinders the search in any way . . . that employee may be
suspended pending further investigation which may include
termination. Id., Ex. 4 at 1. Exit searches take
place “closest to the point of exit, ” which is
typically near the front door. Id. Searches are
conducted visually. See Id. at 73:21-25. Employees
will typically flash the pockets of their jackets or
sweatshirts to demonstrate that they are empty. Id.
at 73:24-74:4. If an employee brings a bag, they are required
to open the bag for inspection. Id. at 64:18-24.
November 19, 2019, Converse no longer requires its employees
to submit to an exit search. See Dkt. No. 179-1, Ex.
A (“Ziegler Decl.”) at 16:23-25, 23:11-17.
filed his first amended complaint on December 4, 2015, for
various violations of the California Labor Code stemming from
Converse's alleged failure to compensate its employees
for time spent on exit searches. See Dkt. No. 28. On
September 22, 2016, the Court certified a class of
“[a]ll current and former non-exempt retail store
employees of Converse who worked in California during the
period from July 10, 2011, to the present.”
See Dkt. No. 89.
October 11, 2017, the Court granted summary judgment in favor
of Converse based on the federal de minimis
doctrine. See Dkt. No. 144. Chavez appealed.
See Dkt. No. 146. Shortly after, the California
Supreme Court decided Troester v. Starbucks Corp., 5
Cal. 5th 829 (2018) and held that the federal de
minimis doctrine did not apply to wage claims under
California law. In light of Troester, the Ninth
Circuit reversed and remanded this case for further
proceedings. See Dkt. Nos. 156, 168.
now moves for partial summary judgment. See Dkt. No.
169. The sole issue in Chavez's motion is whether
Converse exercises control over its employees when they
undergo an exit search. Pending before the Court is
Converse's own motion for summary judgment, which is set
for hearing on March 4, 2020. See Dkt. No. 179. This
order does not resolve that motion.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56(a), a court “shall
grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Under Rule
56, the moving party bears the initial burden to demonstrate
the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Once the
moving party meets its burden, then the non-moving party must
cite “particular parts of materials in the
record” showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). A “genuine issue”
exists if a reasonable jury could find for the non-moving
party. E.g., Open Text v. Box, Inc., No.
13-cv-04910-JD, 2015 WL 428365, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 30,
2015). On summary judgment, the Court does not make
credibility determinations or weigh conflicting evidence, as
these determinations are left to the trier of fact at trial.
Bator v. State of Hawaii, 39 F.3d 1021, 1026 (9th