Sargent v. HG Staffing, LLC

Decision Date08 March 2019
Docket NumberCase No. 3:13-cv-00453-LRH-GWF
PartiesTIFFANY SARGENT, BAILEY CRYDERMAN, SAMANTHA L. IGNACIO (formerly SCHNEIDER), VINCENT M. IGNACIO, HUONG ("ROSIE") BOGGS, and JACQULYN WIEDERHOLT on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. HG STAFFING, LLC; MEI-GSR HOLDINGS, LLC d/b/a GRAND SIERRA RESORT; and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Nevada
ORDER

Before the court are six pending dispositive motions:

First, defendants HG Staffing, LLC and MEI-GSR Holdings, LLC d/b/a Grand Sierra (collectively "defendants") moved for summary judgment against plaintiff Tiffany Sargent ("Sargent").1 ECF No. 253. Sargent filed an opposition (ECF No. 268), to which defendants replied (ECF No. 283).

Second, defendants moved for summary judgment against plaintiff Bailey Cryderman ("Cryderman"). ECF No. 258. Cryderman filed an opposition (ECF No. 267), to which defendants replied (ECF No. 282).

Third, defendants moved for summary judgment against plaintiff Jacqulyn Wiederholt ("Wiederholt"). ECF No. 255. Wiederholt filed an opposition, (ECF No. 269), to which defendants replied (ECF No. 285).

Fourth, defendants moved for summary judgment against plaintiff Huong "Rosie" Boggs ("Boggs"). ECF No. 254. Boggs filed an opposition, (ECF No. 266), to which defendants replied (ECF No. 284).

Fifth, defendants moved for summary judgment against plaintiff Vincent Ignacio ("V. Ignacio"). ECF No. 256. V. Ignacio filed an opposition, (ECF No. 270), to which defendants replied (ECF No. 287).

Sixth, defendants moved for summary judgment against plaintiff Samantha Ignacio (formally Schneider) ("S. Ignacio"). ECF No. 257. S. Ignacio filed an opposition, (ECF No. 271), to which defendants replied (ECF No. 286).

The court now denies in part and grants in part defendants' motions as set forth in this Order.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs sue the defendants for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), the Nevada Constitution, provisions of the Nevada Revised Statutes, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"). ECF No. 47. Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint alleged that defendants: (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 Nevada Revised Statute ("NRS") §§ 608.140 and 608.016; (5) failed to pay minimum wage in violation of the Nevada Constitution and NRS § 608.250; (6) failed to pay overtime in violation of NRS §§ 608.140 and 608.018; (7) failed to timely pay all wages due and owing in violation of NRS §§ 608.140 and 608.020-.050; (8) made unlawful chargebacks in violation of NRS §§ 608.140 and 608.100; and (9) violated the ADEA, 29 U.S.C. § 621 and NRS § 613.330. ECF No. 47.

/// On January 12, 2016, the court initially granted partial summary judgment for the defendants as to plaintiffs' fourth, sixth, seventh, and eighth causes of action. ECF No. 172. However, following the Nevada Supreme Court's ruling in Neville v. Eighth Judicial District Court in & for County of Clark, 406 P.3d 499 (Nev. 2017), the court reversed in part its prior order, and reinstated plaintiffs' fourth, sixth, and seventh claims. ECF No. 248. Plaintiffs' eighth cause of action remains dismissed. Id. On March 22, 2016, the court also granted partial summary judgment for defendants on plaintiffs' first cause of action, which also remains dismissed. ECF No. 174.

In reinstating plaintiffs' fourth, sixth, and seventh causes of action, the court dismissed defendants then pending motions for summary judgment (see ECF Nos. 218, 220, 222-225) and instructed defendants to refile these motions in light of the court's order. ECF No. 248. On March 2, 2018, defendants re-filed motions for summary judgment as to all 6 of the plaintiffs. ECF Nos. 253-258. The court's order as to these pending dispositive motions now follows.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Motion for Summary Judgment Pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 56.

Summary judgment is appropriate only when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, affidavits or declarations, stipulations, admissions, and other materials in the record show that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). In assessing a motion for summary judgment, the evidence, together with all inferences that can reasonably be drawn therefrom, must be read in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); County of Tuolumne v. Sonora Cmty. Hosp., 236 F.3d 1148, 1154 (9th Cir. 2001).

The moving party bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for its motion, along with evidence showing the absence of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). On those issues for which it bears the burden of proof, the moving party must make a showing that is "sufficient for the court to hold that no reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the moving party." Calderone v. United States,799 F.2d 254, 259 (6th Cir. 1986); see also Idema v. Dreamworks, Inc., 162 F. Supp. 2d 1129, 1141 (C.D. Cal. 2001).

To successfully rebut a motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must point to facts supported by the record which demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact. Reese v. Jefferson Sch. Dist. No. 14J, 208 F.3d 736 (9th Cir. 2000). A "material fact" is a fact "that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Where reasonable minds could differ on the material facts at issue, summary judgment is not appropriate. See v. Durang, 711 F.2d 141, 143 (9th Cir. 1983). A dispute regarding a material fact is considered genuine "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248. The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the party's position is insufficient to establish a genuine dispute; there must be evidence on which a jury could reasonably find for the party. See id. at 252.

III. DISCUSSION
A. NRS Chapter 608 provides a private right of action for unpaid wages.

The Nevada Supreme Court's decision on this matter is clear: Chapter 608 allows for a private right of action. See Neville, 406 P.3d 499. In Neville, the defendant, similarly to the defendants in this case, argued that the Legislature had given the Nevada Labor Commissioner exclusive enforcement authority and therefore, no private right of action existed. Id. at 501. However, the Court concluded that "the Legislature intended to create a private right of action for unpaid wages pursuant to NRS 608.140." Id. at 504. It then reversed the dismissal of the plaintiff's wage claims brought under Chapter 608 and tied to NRS § 608.140—specifically NRS §§ 608.016, 608.018, and 608.020 to 608.050. Id.

Defendants here argue that even if a private right of action exists, plaintiffs were still required to exhaust their administrative remedies, including making a good faith attempt to collect their wages, before plaintiffs could file their claims in this court. The court disagrees.

First, in Neville, the plaintiff also did not file his claim before the Nevada Labor Commissioner. However, the Court still found that a private right of action existed and reversedthe lower court's grant of summary judgment. Id. at 504. Had the Court intended to follow defendants' reasoning, that even if a private right of action exists a plaintiff must still exhaust its administrative remedies, the Court would not have reversed the lower court. Rather, the Court would have found that a private right of action exists but would have nevertheless affirmed the lower court because plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. This was not the Court's ruling; therefore, it follows that exhaustion is not required.

Second, prior precedent from the Nevada Supreme Court also supports a finding that exhaustion is not required. In Baldonado v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC, the Court determined that the "Legislature has entrusted labor laws' enforcement to the Labor Commissioner, unless otherwise specified;" noting, for example, that NRS § 608.140 provides for a private right of action. 194 P.3d 96, 102, 104 n.33 (Nev. 2008). The Court then held that "[a]s no private remedy is implied under NRS 608.160, appellants had no right to obtain relief in the district court under that statute." Id. at 104-05. It follows that had a private right of action existed, the appellant would have been permitted to obtain relief in the district court without first exhausting his claims before the Labor Commissioner.

From this precedent, it is clear that not only does a private right of action exist in this case, but plaintiffs are not required to exhaust their administrative remedies prior to bringing suit. Additionally, because plaintiffs are not required to bring suit first before the Labor Commissioner, additional administrative procedures, such as making a good faith attempt to collect wages, are not required before filing suit in this court. Given that plaintiffs, in accordance with the Court's ruling in Neville, tied their fourth, sixth, and seventh causes of action to NRS § 608.140, which provides for a private cause of action, the court finds that defendants' motions for summary judgment fail as to this argument.

B. Statute of Limitations
i. Statute of Limitations under FLSA

Claims for violations of the FLSA must be brought within 2 years of the violation. 29 U.S.C. § 255(a). However, a "cause of action arising out of a willful violation may be commenced within three years after the cause of action accrued." Id. "A violation of the FLSAis...

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