United States District Court, D. Nevada
TOBY EARL, an individual; SHYHEEM SMITH, an individual; DEATRA ENARI, and individual; MICHELLE PICKTHALL, an individual; and JAMES SKADOWSKI, an individual, Plaintiffs,
BRIAD RESTAURANT GROUP, LLC, a New Jersey limited liability company; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, Defendants.
M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Judge
before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment, (EFC No.
5), filed by Plaintiffs Toby Earl, Deatra Enari, Michelle
Pickthall, James Skadowski, and Shyheem Smith (collectively
“Plaintiffs”). Defendant Briad Restaurant Group,
LLC (“Defendant”) filed a Response, (ECF No. 20),
and Plaintiffs filed a Reply, (ECF No. 21).
pending before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No.
13), filed by Defendant. Plaintiffs filed a Response, (ECF
No. 17), and Defendant filed a Reply, (ECF No. 19). However,
because the Court finds that the Supreme Court's
decisions in Murphy Oil, U.S.A., Inc. v. NLRB, 808
F.3d 1013 (5th Cir. 2015); Morris v. Ernst & Young,
LLP, 834 F.3d 975, 984 (9th Cir. 2016); and
Patterson v. Raymours Furniture Co., Inc., 2016 WL
4598542, at *2 (2d Cir. Sept. 2, 2016), as corrected (Sept.
7, 2016), as corrected (Sept. 14, 2016) (collectively
“Morris”) are dispositive in determining
whether class-arbitration waivers in arbitration agreements
are valid and enforceable, the case is
STAYED pending the Supreme Court's
decision in Morris, and the pending motions are
DENIED without prejudice.
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, which are owned by Defendant. On
May 19, 2014, Plaintiffs initiated the original
Hanks case, Hanks, et al. v. Briad Restaurant
Group, LLC, No. 2:14-cv-00786-GMN-PAL (D. Nev. 2014),
allegedly as a result of Defendant's failure to pay
Plaintiffs the lawful minimum wage, because Defendant
improperly claimed eligibility to compensate employees at a
reduced minimum wage rate under Nev. Const. art. XV, §
16. (See Compl. ¶ 3-4, ECF No. 1).
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 instant 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). 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).
September 20, 2016, Plaintiffs filed the instant lawsuit
seeking to overturn the Court's order in Hanks
regarding the class-arbitration waiver provision in
Plaintiffs' arbitration agreements. (See generally
id.). Specifically, Plaintiffs seek declaratory relief
that the class arbitration waiver within their arbitration
agreements is invalid. (Id. ¶¶ 12-13).
The Supreme Court's Pending Morris
Plaintiffs filed their Motion, the Supreme Court granted
certiorari in Ernst & Young, LLP v. Morris, No.
16-300, 137 S.Ct. 809 (U.S. Jan. 13, 2017). The Supreme Court
will resolve in Morris the question of whether
class-arbitration waivers are unenforceable-a question that
has caused a circuit split with the Ninth and Seventh holding
that waivers are unenforceable, and the Second, Fifth, and
Eighth holding that the waivers are enforceable. See
Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 834 F.3d 975, 984 (9th
Cir. 2016); Lewis v. Epic Systems Corp., 823 F.3d
1147 (7th Cir. 2016); Sutherland v. Ernst & Young
LLP, 726 F.3d 290 (2d Cir. 2013); Patterson v.
Raymours Furniture Co., Inc., 2016 WL 4598542, (2d Cir.
Sept. 2, 2016), as corrected (Sept. 7, 2016), as corrected
(Sept. 14, 2016); D.R. Horton, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 737
F.3d 344 (5th Cir. 2013); Murphy Oil USA, Inc. v.
N.L.R.B., 808 F.3d 1013, 1015 (5th Cir. 2015);
Cellular Sales of Missouri, LLC v.
N.L.R.B., 824 F.3d 772 (8th Cir. 2016); Owen v.
Bristol Care, Inc., 702 F.3d 1050 (8th Cir. 2013).
power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent
in every court to control the disposition of the causes of
action on its docket with economy of time and effort for
itself, for counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v.
N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). “A trial
court may, with propriety, find it is efficient for its own
docket and the fairest course for the parties to enter a stay
of an action before it, pending resolution of independent
proceedings which bear upon the case.” Leyva v.
Certified Grocers of Cal., Ltd., 593 F.2d 857, 863 (9th
Cir. 1979). In deciding whether to grant a stay, a court may
weigh the following: (1) the possible damage which may result
from the granting of a stay; (2) the hardship or inequity
which a party may suffer in being required to go forward; (3)
the orderly course of justice measured in terms of the
simplifying or complicating of issues, proof, and questions
of law which could be expected to result from a stay.
CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir.
“[o]nly in rare circumstances will a litigant in one
case be compelled to stand aside while a litigant in another
settles the rule of law that will define the rights of
both.” Landis, 299 U.S. at 255. A district
court's decision to grant or deny a Landis stay
is a matter of discretion. See Dependable Highway Exp.,
Inc. v. Navigators Ins. Co., 498 F.3d 1059, 1066 (9th