Ramirez v. HV GLOBAL MANAGEMENT CORPORATION et al

Filing 59

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART 51 MOTION TO DISMISS SAC WITH LEAVE TO AMEND IN PART AND WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND IN PART. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 1/19/2023. (Attachments: # 1 Order re MTD FAC) (blflc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/19/2023)

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Case 5:21-cv-09955-BLF Document 59 Filed 01/19/23 Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 SAN JOSE DIVISION 6 7 NELSON RAMIREZ, Plaintiff, 8 v. 9 10 11 HV GLOBAL MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, et al., Defendants. United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 21-cv-09955-BLF 12 ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION TO DISMISS THE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND IN PART AND WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND IN PART [Re: ECF No. 51] 13 Plaintiff Nelson Ramirez filed suit against Defendant HV Global Management Corporation 14 alleging violations of California Labor Code and Business & Professions Code. See ECF No. 45 15 16 (“SAC”). Now before the Court is Defendant’s motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint. ECF No. 51 (“MTD”); see also ECF No. 54 (“Reply”). Defendant argues that none of 17 Plaintiff’s claims is sufficiently pled under Rule 12(b)(6). Plaintiff opposes the motion. ECF No. 18 53 (“Opp.”). The Court held a hearing on the motion on January 19, 2023. See ECF No. 58. For 19 the reasons stated on the record at the hearing and explained below, the Court GRANTS IN PART 20 and DENIES IN PART the motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint WITH LEAVE TO 21 AMEND IN PART and WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND IN PART. 22 23 24 I. ALL CAUSES OF ACTION AND CLASS MEMBER ALLEGATIONS The Court’s Order on the Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint (“MTD FAC Order”) addresses why Plaintiff’s claims are being dismissed and what is required of Plaintiff to 25 adequately plead his claims. See ECF No. 42. Plaintiff failed to apply the Court’s requirements 26 for an amended complaint and nothing in the SAC passes muster. The Court’s prior Order clearly 27 addresses the deficiencies in the SAC. The Court has attached the MTD FAC Order here and 28 Case 5:21-cv-09955-BLF Document 59 Filed 01/19/23 Page 2 of 4 1 2 refers Plaintiff to that Order in amending his causes of action and class member allegations. II. Plaintiff’s sixth cause of action is for failure to provide accurate wage statements in 3 United States District Court Northern District of California CLAIM 6: WAGE STATEMENT VIOLATIONS 4 violation of California Labor Code § 226(a). See SAC ¶¶ 97–104. Labor Code § 226 identifies 5 nine categories of information that must be included in a wage statement, and it provides that an 6 employee who suffers injury by an employer’s knowing and intentional failure to provide such 7 information is entitled to damages. Cal. Labor Code § 226. Defendant argues that the Court 8 should dismiss the cause of action because Section 226 does not permit recovery for wage 9 statement claims that are purely derivative of other claims. MTD at 26-27. 10 A plaintiff cannot state a claim for a wage statement violation that is completely derivative 11 of their wage and hour claims. Krauss v. Wal-Mart, Inc., No. 2:19-cv-00838-JAM-DB, 2019 WL 12 6170770, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 20, 2019) (citing Maldonado v. Epsilon Plastics, Inc., 22 Cal. 13 App. 5th 1308, 1337 (2018)). A wage statement claim that is completely derivative of other 14 claims would provide “an impermissible double recovery.” Castro v. Wal-Mart, Inc., No. 2:20- 15 cv-00928-JAM-KJN, 2020 WL 4748167, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 17, 2020) (citing Maldonado, 22 16 Cal. App. 5th at 1336). To the extent that Ramirez’s wage statement claim is derivative of his 17 other claims, it is DISMISSED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND. 18 III. 19 EQUITABLE RELIEF Plaintiff’s eighth cause of action is for violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, 20 Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq. SAC ¶¶ 110–116. Defendant argues that the Court should 21 dismiss or strike this cause of action because Ramirez has not pleaded an inadequate remedy at 22 law, as required for a plaintiff to obtain equitable relief. MTD at 28-29. 23 For a district court to entertain a request for equitable relief, the plaintiff must have no 24 adequate legal remedy. Sonner v. Premier Nutrition Corp., 971 F.3d 834, 844 (9th Cir. 2020). A 25 plaintiff cannot state a claim for equitable relief “if the pleading does not demonstrate the 26 inadequacy of a legal remedy.” Sharma v. Volkswagen AG, 524 F. Supp. 3d 891, 907 (N.D. Cal. 27 2021). A plaintiff may plead a claim for equitable relief in the alternative. See, e.g., Freeman v. 28 Indochino Apparel, Inc., 443 F.Supp.3d 1107, 1114 (N.D. Cal. 2020) (“Plaintiff may allege claims 2 Case 5:21-cv-09955-BLF Document 59 Filed 01/19/23 Page 3 of 4 1 in the alternative at the pleading stage.”); Sagastume v. Psychemedics Corp., No. CV 20-6624 2 DSF (GJSx), 2020 WL 8175597, at *7 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 30, 2020) (“Sonner does not hold that 3 plaintiffs may not seek alternative remedies at the pleading stage.”) (citation omitted). The eighth 4 cause of action is DISMISSED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. 5 IV. 6 ORDER For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: • 7 minimum wage and overtime wages is GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND; 8 • 9 Defendant’s motion to dismiss the second and third claims for meal and rest break violations is GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND; 10 • 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Defendant’s motion to dismiss the first and fourth claims for failure to pay Defendant’s motion to dismiss the fifth claim for failure to pay wages for terminated or resigned employees is GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND; 12 • 13 Defendant’s motion to dismiss the sixth claim for wage statement violations is 14 GRANTED, and this grant is WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND to the extent that 15 the violations are derivative of other claims; • 16 Defendant’s motion to dismiss the seventh claim for failure to pay reimbursements is GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND; 17 • 18 Defendant’s motion to dismiss the eighth claim for failure to state a claim and 19 failure to plead the inadequacy of legal remedies is GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO 20 AMEND; and • 21 Defendant’s motion to dismiss the class allegations is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. 22 23 // 24 // 25 // 26 // 27 // 28 // 3 Case 5:21-cv-09955-BLF Document 59 Filed 01/19/23 Page 4 of 4 1 Ramirez SHALL file an amended complaint no later than 14 days following this Order. Failure 2 to meet the deadline to file an amended complaint or failure to cure the deficiencies identified in 3 this Order will result in a dismissal of Ramirez’s claims with prejudice. Leave to amend is limited 4 to the defects addressed in this Order. Ramirez may not add new claims or parties absent express 5 leave of Court. 6 7 8 9 Dated: January 19, 2023 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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