United States District Court, D. Nevada
TIFFANY SARGANT, et. al., Plaintiffs,
HG STAFFING, LLC et. al., Defendants.
WILLIAM G. COBB, Magistrate Judge.
Before the court is a motion to compel (Doc. #26) filed by Plaintiffs Tiffany Sargant, Bailey Cryderman, Huong ("Rosie") Boggs, and Jacqulyn Wiederholt, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated (collectively, Plaintiffs). Defendants HG Staffing, LLC, MEI-GSR Holdings LLC d/b/a Grand Sierra Resort (collectively, GSR) filed a response. (Doc. #29.) Plaintiffs filed a reply (Doc. #31) as well as a supplemental memorandum in support of their motion (Doc. #34). The court held a hearing on Plaintiffs' motion on April 17, 2014, and issues the instant Order.
I. SUMMARY OF ACTION
Plaintiffs have brought a collective and class action complaint on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated against GSR alleging that GSR: (1) failed to pay wages for all hours worked in violation of 29 U.S.C. § 201, et. seq. ; (2) failed to pay overtime in violation of 29 U.S.C. § 207; (3) failed to pay overtime at the correct rate in violation of 29 U.S.C. § 207; (4) failed to compensate for all hours worked in violation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 608.140 and 608.016; (5) failed to pay minimum wages in violation of the Nevada Constitution and Nev. Rev. Stat. 608.250; (6) failed to pay overtime in violation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 608.140 and 608.018; (7) failed to timely pay all wages due and owing in violation of Nev. Rev. Stat 608.140 and 608.020-050; and (8) made unlawful chargebacks in violation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 608.140 and 608.100. ( See Doc. #26 at 7:4-16; First Am. Compl., Doc. #10.)
The action was originally filed in the Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada and was removed to the United States District Court by GSR on June 21, 2013. ( See Doc. #6.) Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint on August 23, 2013. (Doc. #10.) GSR answered on October 1, 2013. (Doc. #14.) The parties have entered into stipulated protective order governing confidential information which was approved by the court. (Docs. #24, #25.)
As indicated above, Plaintiffs have brought this case as a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and as a class action under various provisions of the Nevada Revised Statutes. A collective action is a form of class action status unique to the FLSA. See 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). It allows an action to be commenced against an employer who has allegedly violated the provisions of 29 U.S.C. § 206 or § 207 by any an employee on behalf of him or herself or other similarly situated employees; however, no employee is considered a partyplaintiff until he or she consents in writing to such and the consent is filed in the court where the action is brought. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).
With the case being removed to federal court, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 governs class certification insofar as Plaintiffs claims for violations of Nevada law are concerned. Plaintiffs have not yet filed a motion for class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 for the claims arising under Nevada law; instead, Plaintiffs have indicated they reserve their right to do so at a later time. ( See Doc. #18 at 9 n. 3.)
With respect to Plaintiff's FLSA claims, Plaintiffs' motion for circulation of notice pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) is currently fully briefed and pending before United States District Judge Larry R. Hicks. ( See Docs. #18, #19, #20, #21, #23.) In analyzing this motion, the court's inquiry is focused on whether the potential plaintiffs are "similarly situated" to create an opt-in class under 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). See Lewis v. Nevada Property 1, LLC, No. 2:12-cv-01564-MMD-GWF, 2013 WL 237098, at *7 (D. Nev. Jan. 22, 2013) (citing Davis v. Westgate Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, No. 2:08-cv-00722-RCJ-PAL, 2009 WL 102735, at * 9 (D. Nev. Jan. 12, 2009)); see also Kinney Shoe Corp. v. Vorhes, 564 F.2d 859, 862 (9th Cir. 1977) (requirements for class certification under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) do not apply to claims arising under the FLSA).
Plaintiffs have now filed a motion to compel responses to discovery. While the Plaintiffs have brought this case as a collective action under the FLSA and a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, the analysis of the parameters of allowable discovery as applied to the discovery disputes raised remains the same.
II. MOTION TO COMPEL
Plaintiffs seek an order compelling GSR to respond completely to an interrogatory and to produce documents responsive to various requests for production of documents (RFPs). (Doc. #26.) Defendants responded to Plaintiffs' motion to compel (Doc #29) and Plaintiff replied (Doc. #31). Plaintiff also filed a supplemental memorandum (Doc. #34) after Plaintiff received Defendants' Second Supplemental Disclosures.
Plaintiffs' initial dispute concerned GSR's response to its single interrogatory and to RFPs 5 through 21. (Doc. #26.) In subsequent filings, Plaintiffs confirmed that after filing their motion GSR provided supplemental responses, resolving the dispute as to RFPs 7-9 and 11 and providing some of the information requested in the interrogatory. Therefore, this Order will only address RFPs 5, 6, 10, and 12-21 and the remaining information in dispute in the interrogatory.
III. LEGAL STANDARD
A. Motion to Compel
Rule 37 of the Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes a party to file a motion to compel an answer to an interrogatory under Rule 33 as well as the production or inspection of documents under Rule 34. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1), (3)(B)(iii), (iv). For purposes of Rule 37, an "evasive or incomplete disclosure" is treated as a failure to respond. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(4).
B. Scope of Discovery
Litigants "may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). In addition, "[f]or good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Id. The relevance standard is one that is necessarily broad in scope so as to "encompass any matter that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter that could bear on, any issue that is or may be in the case." Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978) (citing Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. ...