United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE: MOTION TO DISMISS RE: DKT. NO. 77
S. HIXSON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
putative class action involves alleged violations of the
California Labor Code and Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”) by Defendant Petrochem Insulation, Inc.
while employing Plaintiff Iafeta Mauia and others on oil
platforms on the Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”).
Before the Court is Petrochem's Amended Motion to Dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). ECF No.
84. Mauia filed an Opposition (ECF No. 86) and Petrochem
filed a Reply (ECF No. 87). Having considered the
parties' positions, relevant legal authority, and the
record in this case, the Court GRANTS IN
PART and DENIES IN PART
Petrochem's motion for the following reasons.
worked for Petrochem as an hourly Onsite Project Manager and
Superintendent of scaffolding projects on oil platforms off
the coast of California. Third Am. Compl. (“TAC”)
¶ 9. He worked for Petrochem until around March 2016.
Id. ¶¶ 9-10. On February 20, 2018, he
filed an action against Petrochem in state court which
Petrochem removed to this Court.
Third Amended Complaint, Mauia alleges five causes of action
against Petrochem related to his work on the platforms: (1)
Petrochem failed to provide meal periods as required by
California law and therefore is liable for meal period
premiums under California Labor Code section 226.7, TAC
¶ 32; (2) it failed to provide rest periods as required
by California law and therefore is liable for rest period
premiums under California Labor Code section 226.7, TAC
¶ 39; (3) it willfully failed to pay overtime,
double-time, and meal and rest period premium wages under
California law, which failure constitutes unfair business
practices under the California Business and Professions Code
section 17200, TAC ¶ 47; (4) it did not pay immediately
all meal or rest period premium wages earned and unpaid upon
discharge, and that such failure was willful, TAC ¶ 55;
and (5) it willfully and in bad faith did not pay proper
overtime rates for overtime work, in violation of section 207
of the FLSA, by not including the reasonable cost of meals
and lodging when calculating overtime earnings, TAC
moves to dismiss all claims.
complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To survive a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must plead
“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). Plausibility does not
mean probability, but it requires “more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 687 (2009). A
complaint must provide a defendant with “fair
notice” of the claims against it and the grounds for
relief. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quotations and
citation omitted); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) (A complaint must
contain a “short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”). In
considering a motion to dismiss, a court accepts factual
allegations in the complaint as true and construes the
pleadings in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 519
F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir. 2008).; Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007). However, “the
tenet that a court must accept a complaint's allegations
as true is inapplicable to threadbare recitals of a cause of
action's elements, supported by mere conclusory
statements.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
Rule 12(b)(6) motion is granted, a “court should grant
leave to amend even if no request to amend the pleading was
made, unless it determines that the pleading could not
possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.”
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000)
(en banc) (citations and quotations omitted). However, a
court “may exercise its discretion to deny leave to
amend due to ‘undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive
on part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies
by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the
opposing party . . ., [and] futility of
amendment.'” Carvalho v. Equifax Info. Servs.,
LLC, 629 F.3d 876, 892-93 (9th Cir. 2010) (alterations
in original) (quoting Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178,
Parker Drilling Mgmt. Servs. v. Newton
this case has been pending, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an
opinion addressing whether federal law or California law
applies to wage and hour claims made by employees who work on
drilling platforms on the OCS. Parker Drilling Mgmt.
Servs. v. Newton, 139 S.Ct. 1881 (2019). That case is
especially pertinent here, as it clarified the standard for
determining when state law applies on the OCS (and overturned
the Ninth Circuit's decision on that issue). The case
involved a former employee, Newton, who had worked on
drilling platforms off the California coast. Newton filed a
class action which included claims premised on
California's minimum-wage and overtime laws. The issue
before the Supreme Court was whether California law could be
adopted since the claims arose out of work on the OCS.
Supreme Court noted first that the Outer Continental Shelf
Lands Act (“OCSLA”), 42 U.S.C. §§
1333-56b, “extends federal law to the subsoil and
seabed of the [OCS].” 139 S.Ct. at 1886. “Under
the OCSLA, all law on the OCS is federal law, administered by
federal officials.” Id. The OCSLA, the Court
wrote, “denies States any interest in or jurisdiction
over the OCS, and it deems the adjacent State's laws to
be federal law ‘[t]o the extent that they are
applicable and not inconsistent with' other federal
law.” Id. (quoting 43 U.S.C. § 1333). The
Court proceeded to address the question of how to determine
which state laws meet that requirement and therefore should
be adopted as federal law.
Supreme Court noted that the District Court in the earlier
proceedings had applied Fifth Circuit precedent which
provides that under the OCSLA, “state law only applies
to the extent it is necessary to ‘fill a significant
void or gap' in federal law.” Newton v. Parker
Drilling Mgmt. Servs., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191899, *6
(quoting Cont'l Oil Co. v. London Steam-Ship
Owners' Mut. Ins. Ass'n, 417 F.2d 1030, 1036
(1969)). On appeal, the Ninth Circuit vacated and remanded,
finding that state law is
“‘applicable'” under the OCSLA whenever
it “pertains to the subject matter at hand, ” and
that state laws are “inconsistent” with federal
law under the OCSLA only if “they are mutually
incompatible, incongruous, or inharmonious.” Newton
v. Parker Drilling Mgmt. Servs., 881 F.3d 1078, 1078-93
(2018) (citations omitted). The Supreme Court disagreed.
Reaffirming that federal law is the “exclusive
law” on the OCS, the Court rejected a pre-emption type
analysis to determine if state law is applicable on the OCS.
Instead, the Court opined, “the question is whether
federal law has already addressed the relevant issue; if so,
state law addressing the same issue would necessarily be
inconsistent with existing federal law and cannot be adopted
as surrogate federal law. Put another way, to the extent
federal law applies to a particular issue, state law in
inapplicable.” 139 S.Ct. at 1889. State law, the Court
wrote, “serves a supporting role, to be adopted only
where is a gap in federal law's coverage.”
Id. at 1892. “[I]f a federal law addresses the
issue at hand, then state law is not adopted as federal law
on the OCS.” Id.
that standard, the Supreme Court found that Newton's
claims premised on the adoption of California law requiring
payment for time spent on standby failed because federal law
already addressed that issue. Id. at 1893 (quoting
29 C.F.R. § 785.23 (2018) (“An employee who
resides on his employer's premises on a permanent basis
or for extended periods of time is not considered as working
all the time he is on the premises.”)). The Court also
found that Newton's claims relying on the adoption of the
California minimum wage failed because the FLSA already
provides for a minimum wage, even though the FLSA sets a
minimum wage of “‘not less than . . . $7.25 an
hour,' and does not ‘excuse noncompliance with any
Federal or State law . . . establishing a [higher] minimum
wage.'” 139 S.Ct. at 1893 (quoting 29 U.S.C.
§§ 206(a)(1), 218). “[W]hatever the import of
these provisions in an ordinary pre-emption case, ” the
Court explained, “they do not help Newton here, for the
question under the OCSLA is whether federal law addresses the
minimum wage on the OCS. It does.” 139 S.Ct. at 1893.
the Supreme Court's opinion in Parker Drilling,
Mauia amended his complaint, dropping his claims premised on
California minimum wage and stand-by laws, see
Second Am. Compl., ECF No. 22, and adding his FLSA claim.
Mauia's Claim for Meal Break Violations under California
asserts that under Parker Drilling, Mauia has no
viable claim for meal break violations under California law
because federal law already addresses the issue of meal
law requires that a first meal period be given no later than
the start of an employee's sixth hour of work.
Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court, 53 Cal.4th
1004, 1041-42 (2012); 8 Cal. Code Regs. § 11160(10)(A);
Cal. Lab. Code § 512(A). A second meal period must be
given no later than the start of the eleventh hour of work.
Brinker, 53 Cal.4th at 1042; 8 Cal. Code Regs.
§ 11160(10)(B); Cal. Lab. Code § 512(A). When an
employer fails to comply with these meal period requirements,
it must pay an employee one hour of additional pay for each
workday a meal period violation occurs. Cal. Lab. Code ...