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Corral v. HG Staffing, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 1, 2017

SHENNA CORRAL, et al, Plaintiffs,
v.
HG STAFFING, LLC; MEI-GSR HOLDINGS, LLC d/b/a GRAND SIERRA RESORT; and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants.

          ORDER

          LARRY R. HICKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the court is Defendants' motion to dismiss. ECF No. 15. Plaintiffs filed a response (ECF No. 18), to which Defendants replied (ECF No. 19). Because Plaintiff Shenna Corral settled related claims against Defendants in a separate case before a different court within this district, claim preclusion applies. The court will therefore dismiss her from this action. However, Defendants' arguments regarding dismissal of the remaining plaintiffs are without merit and Defendants' motion will be denied as to these plaintiffs.

         I. Background

         Plaintiffs are "ServerTainers" and "dancing dealers"[1] formerly employed by Defendants HG Staffing, LLC ("HG Staffing") and MEI-GSR Holdings, LLC ("GSR"). ECF No. 14 at 3-4. Plaintiffs each bring one claim of failure to pay overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).[2] See 29 U.S.C. § 207. They allege that Defendants required all ServerTainers and dancing dealers “to perform work activities without compensation by having employees perform work without being logged in to the timekeeping system.” ECF No. 14 at 3. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants required them to attend hour-long mandatory dance classes two to four times a week during each week they worked. Id. at 3-4. They thus allege that Defendants failed to pay them at least two hours of overtime each week. Id.

         Two related suits precede the instant action. Because both suits are relevant to Defendants' motion to dismiss, the court will briefly describe their procedural history and substance.

         A. Sargent action: Sargent v. HG Staffing, 3:13-cv-00453-LRH-WGC

         In the first action, Tiffany Sargent and other individuals formerly employed by Defendants filed suit against the business entities in Nevada state court. Defendants then removed that action to this court in August 2013. Sargent v. HG Staffing, 3:13-cv-00453-LRH-WGC (“Sargent action”). In that suit, Sargent and her fellow plaintiffs alleged that Defendants' wage practices violated several provisions of the FLSA and Nevada law. Sargent v. HG Staffing, LLC, 171 F.Supp.3d 1063, 1070 (D. Nev. 2016).

         As in the instant action, the plaintiffs alleged that Defendants, among other purportedly improper practices, required employees to perform certain tasks before or after their shifts and thus without compensation. Sargent, 3:13-cv-00453-LRH-WGC at (ECF No. 47 at 5). The plaintiffs therefore brought an FLSA collective action premised in part on Defendants' alleged failure to pay overtime wages for the time the plaintiffs spent engaging in off-the-clock work activities. Id. at (ECF No. 47 at 11). Shenna Corral, the lead named plaintiff in the instant action, opted into the collective action along with numerous other plaintiffs. Defendants eventually moved to decertify the collective action. Id. at (ECF No. 162). After analyzing the relevant factors, the court found that the plaintiffs were not “similarly situated, ” as required under the FLSA. Sargent, 171 F.Supp.3d at 1079-85. The court therefore decertified the class on March 22, 2016, and the action is on-going.

         B. Benson I: Benson v. HG Staffing, 3:16-cv-00191-RCJ-VPC

         Several weeks after the Sargent action's decertification, Shenna Corral, along with six other plaintiffs that had originally opted into the Sargent action, again filed suit against HG Staffing and GSR in Nevada state court. Defendants once again removed the suit to federal court, but the case was assigned to Judge Robert C. Jones. Benson v. HG Staffing, 3:16-cv-00191-RCJ-VPC (“Benson I”). Unlike the prior suit, the plaintiffs only alleged state-law claims, which were premised on many of the same factual allegations as the Sargent action. See Id. at (ECF No. 7).

         All seven plaintiffs eventually accepted offers of judgment from Defendants. Id. at (ECF Nos. 16-22). The clerk of the court consequently entered judgment in favor of each plaintiff on June 6, 2016. Id. at (ECF Nos. 23-29).

         C. Instant action and parallel actions

         Several weeks later, the Benson I plaintiffs filed five separate actions against both HG Staffing and GSR in this court, including the instant action. See Corral v. HG Staffing, 3:16-cv-00386-LRH-WGC (i.e., the instant action); Benson v. HG Staffing, 3:16-cv-00388-LRH-WGC (“Benson II”); Ramirez v. HG Staffing, 3:16-cv-00318-LRH-WGC; Reader v. HG Staffing, 3:16-cv-00387-LRH-WGC; Reader v. HG Staffing, 3:16-cv-00392-LRH-WGC. While some of the plaintiffs from Benson I are lead named plaintiffs in their respective actions, [3] other individuals formerly employed by Defendants also filed suit in each action. It appears that most if not all of these plaintiffs in the instant and parallel actions were opt-in plaintiffs in the Sargent action. Defendants have now moved to dismiss the instant action.[4]

         II. Legal standard

         To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a complaint must satisfy the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) notice-pleading standard. Mendiondo v. Centinela Hosp. Med. Ctr., 521 F.3d 1097, 1103 (9th Cir. 2008). That is, a 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). The 8(a)(2) pleading standard does not require detailed factual allegations, but a pleading that offers “‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action'” will not suffice. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

         To satisfy the plausibility standard, 8(a)(2) requires a complaint to “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). A claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the reasonable inference, based on the court's “judicial experience and common sense, ” that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. See id. at 678-79. The plausibility standard “is not akin to a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are ...


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