United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. NAVARRO, Chief Judge United States District Court.
the Court is the Motion to Consolidate filed by Defendant
Briad Restaurant Group, LLC (“Defendant”) in Case
Nos. 2:14-cv-00786-GMN-PAL (the “Hanks
case”) and 2:16-cv-02217-GMN-PAL (the
“Earl case”). Plaintiffs in both cases
have opposed the Motions, which are fully briefed. For the
reasons discussed below, the Court DENIES
dispute arises out of alleged violations of an amendment to
the Nevada Constitution setting certain minimum wage
requirements for employers known as the Minimum Wage
Amendment (“MWA”). Plaintiffs are current and
former employees of various TGI Friday's restaurant chain
locations throughout Nevada. On May 19, 2014, Plaintiffs
initiated the Hanks case allegedly as “a
result of [Defendant's] failure to pay Plaintiffs and
other similarly-situated employees who are members of the
Class the lawful minimum wage, because [Defendant] improperly
claimed eligibility to compensate employees at a reduced
minimum wage rate under Nev. Const. art. XV, §
16.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 1, Hanks case, ECF No.
27, 2015, the Court dismissed five Plaintiffs from the
Hanks action who were parties to various arbitration
agreements and ordered them to arbitrate their MWA claims
against Defendant. (Order, Hanks case, ECF No. 93).
On September 20, 2016, the dismissed Hanks
Plaintiffs initiated the Earl action, “seeking
an order from this Court declaring provisions in
Defendant's arbitration agreements that purport to
prohibit class or representative actions, even in arbitration
proceedings, are invalid pursuant to National Labor Relations
Act.” (Compl. ¶ 1, Earl case, ECF No. 1).
The Earl Plaintiffs allege that they intend to file
a class arbitration, but that the American Arbitration
Association requires a court order declaring such provisions
invalid before accepting any class arbitration claims.
(Id. ¶¶ 10, 12).
filed this Motion in both cases, seeking to consolidate the
cases. For the reasons discussed below, the Court DENIES the
42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs motions
to consolidate. It provides:
If actions before the court involve a common question of law
or fact, the court may join for hearing or trial any or all
matters at issue in the actions, consolidate the actions, or
issue any other order to avoid unnecessary cost or delay.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a).
deciding whether to consolidate cases, the threshold question
for the court to answer is whether the actions involve common
questions of law or fact. See Id. If the court
determines that common questions are present, it must then
balance the savings of time and effort that consolidation
will produce against any inconvenience, delay, confusion, or
prejudice that may result. Huene v. United States,
743 F.2d 703, 704 (9th Cir. 1984). Finally, whether actions
should be consolidated under Rule 42(a) is a matter committed
to the trial court's discretion. Inv'rs Research
Co. v. U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Cent. Dist. of Cal., 877
F.2d 777 (9th Cir. 1989).
these two cases originate from essentially the same set of
facts, in the Court's view both the parties and claims
are not sufficiently similar to merit consolidation. Indeed,
while Plaintiffs in both cases dispute whether Defendant
complied with the MWA, only the Hanks
Plaintiffs' MWA claims will be determined before this
Court. The MWA claims raised by the Earl Plaintiffs
will be heard by an arbitrator. Furthermore, these cases are
at completely different stages of pretrial litigation. The
Hanks case was commenced almost five years ago, and
the Earl case was filed at the end of last year.
Consolidation would therefore only cause further delay and
waste judicial resources. Finally, Defendant in the
Earl case argues that a stay of that case is
appropriate in light of the Supreme Court's decision to
grant petitions for writ of certiorari in what Defendant
claims are cases implicating dispositive issues. Thus, if the
cases were consolidated, it is ...