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Reborn v. Nevada State Education Association NSEA

United States District Court, D. Nevada

February 10, 2017

JAIME REBORN, Plaintiff,
v.
NEVADA STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION NSEA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Gloria M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No. 35), filed by Defendant National Staff Organization-Nevada (“NSO-Nevada”). Plaintiff Jaime Reborn (“Plaintiff”)[1]filed a Response, (ECF No. 40), [2] and NSO-Nevada filed a Reply, (ECF No. 41).

         Also before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No. 36), filed by Defendant Nevada State Education Association (“NSEA”). Plaintiff filed a Response, (ECF No. 39), and NSEA filed a Reply, (ECF No. 42). For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS both NSEA and NSO-Nevada's (collectively “Defendants”) Motions to Dismiss.[3]

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case centers upon allegations that Defendants breached the collective bargaining agreement governing the terms of Plaintiff's employment. (See Compl. 10:12-3, ECF No. 1; NSEA MTD, 2:16-18, ECF No. 5). Plaintiff alleges that until December 31, 2012, he was an employee of NSEA and a member of NSO-Nevada, the “union that represent[s] NSEA non-management staff members.” (Compl. 1:26-2:5). Plaintiff alleges that on August 13, 2012, he applied for a Director of Communications position with NSEA.[4] (Id. 2:8-10). According to Plaintiff, NSEA “unbelievably” responded “that [his] qualifications did not merit and [sic] interview for Director of Communications.” (Id. 2:14-15). Plaintiff alleges “that [he] knew, without question, that [he] was qualified for the position.” (Id. 2:15-17).

         Based on NSEA's failure to interview Plaintiff for the Director of Communications position, Plaintiff alleges that on September 13, 2012, he “officially asked [NSO-Nevada], via email, to file a grievance on [his] behalf.” (Id. 3:16-19). Subsequently, on December 31, 2012, NSEA allegedly eliminated Plaintiff's position and terminated his employment. (Id. 7:6-9). Plaintiff alleges he “continued to pay union dues to NSO-Nevada until [his] last day as an official employee of NSEA.” (Id. 7:22-23). Plaintiff further alleges that “NSO-Nevada took no actions to fight for [his] job . . . nor did the NSO-Nevada take any actions [sic] to fight for [his] request to interview for the Director of Communications [position].” (Id. 7:19-21).

         Based on these allegations, Plaintiff filed his Complaint against both Defendants, asserting claims for: (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (3) breach of fiduciary duty. (Id. 22:4-28:22). Each Defendant subsequently filed Motions to Dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff's claims are (1) preempted by § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”), 1947, 29 U.S.C. § 185, (2) subject to the statute of limitations therein, and (3) therefore untimely. (See Mots. to Dismiss, ECF Nos. 5, 9).

         The Court agreed that Plaintiff's claims “are clearly preempted [by the LMRA] and subject to the six-month statute of limitations.” (Order 5:23, ECF No. 30). Because “Plaintiff's claims accrued no later than December 31, 2012” and “Plaintiff . . . did not file his Complaint until October 21, 2015, ” the Court determined that Plaintiff's claims are time-barred. (Id. 6:1- 5). Further, the Court rejected Plaintiff's argument that the statute of limitations should be tolled because the Defendants engaged in “fraudulent concealment” when they “concealed” from Plaintiff that the individual to whom NSEA offered the Director of Communications position, Nick DiArchangel (“DiArchangel”), did not have a master's degree at the time of his hire. (Resp. to NSO-Nevada MTD 2:20-21, ECF No. 15; Resp. to NSEA MTD 1:22-23, ECF No. 14). The Court explained:

[T]here is no plausible basis for such tolling in the instant case. Plaintiff's allegation of fraudulent concealment has no bearing on NSO-Nevada's failure to initiate a grievance or NSEA's failures to “fully vet[ Plaintiff's] application” or “allow[ Plaintiff] to interview for the Director of Communications position.” (Compl. 22:23-25). Accordingly, even assuming Defendants concealed DiArchangel's job qualifications, Plaintiff has not demonstrated any reason to toll the six-month statute of limitations.

(Order 6:14-7:3).

         The Court therefore dismissed Plaintiff's claims as time-barred, but granted Plaintiff leave to amend “to allege facts demonstrating that tolling is appropriate.” (Id. 7:14-20). In the instant Motions to Dismiss, Defendants argue Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”), (ECF No. 34), again fails to allege any viable exceptions to the LMRA's statute of limitations.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure mandates that a court dismiss a cause of action that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See North Star Int'l v. Ariz. Corp. Comm'n, 720 F.2d 578, 581 (9th Cir. 1983). When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, dismissal is appropriate only when the complaint does not give the defendant fair notice of a legally cognizable claim and the grounds on which it rests. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). In considering whether the complaint is sufficient to state a claim, the Court will take all material allegations as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See NL Indus., Inc. v. Kaplan, 792 F.2d 896, 898 (9th Cir. 1986).

         The Court, however, is not required to accept as true allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences. See Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001). A formulaic recitation of a cause of action with conclusory allegations is not sufficient; a plaintiff must plead facts showing that a violation is plausible, not just possible. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555) (emphasis added). In order to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must allege “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. “A claim ...


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