Streets v. Space Sys.

Decision Date13 September 2021
Docket Number20-cv-07901-EJD
PartiesSIMON STREETS, Plaintiff, v. SPACE SYSTEMS/LORAL, LLC, et al., Defendants.
CourtUnited States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California


SPACE SYSTEMS/LORAL, LLC, et al., Defendants.

No. 20-cv-07901-EJD

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

September 13, 2021


EDWARD J. DAVILA United States District Judge

On August 21, 2020, Plaintiff Simon Streets (“Streets”) filed suit against Defendants Space Systems/Loral, LLC (“SSL”) and Maxar Technologies Holdings Inc. (“Maxar”) (collectively “Defendants”) in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, California. Notice of Removal, Ex. A (“Compl.”), Dkt. No. 1. Streets alleges age and disability discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, failure to accommodate, negligence, and unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices, in violation of California and federal law. On November 10, 2020, his complaint was removed to this Court. Notice of Removal, Dkt. No. 1. Before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss, to strike, and/or for a more definite statement. Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss, to Strike, and, Alternatively, For a More Definite Statement (“Mot.”), Dkt. No. 14. Streets opposes the motion. Opp'n, Dkt. No. 16. Defendants filed a reply to Streets' opposition. Reply, Dkt. No. 17. Having considered the parties' papers, the record in this case, and the relevant legal authority, the Court orders as follows: Defendants' motion to dismiss is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, Defendants' motion to strike is DENIED, and Defendants' motion for a more definite statement is DENIED.


Streets, now over the age of fifty-five, began working for SSL and Maxar (Streets says they are his joint employers) as an Export Licensing Specialist in the Trade Compliance Export Group on January 30, 2006. Compl. at 3. Despite his qualifications and strong performance[2], he was denied multiple promotions, subject to harassment and discriminatory treatment, and eventually, on June 28, 2018, involuntarily terminated. Id. at 3-6.

Streets largely makes general allegations of discriminatory treatment and harassment. He provides a few examples of this conduct, mostly without providing exact or approximate dates of their occurrences. Streets alleges that during his employment with Defendants, he requested, but was denied, work accommodations for his disability. Id. at 3-5. He also alleges that one of his supervisors, Heather Sroka, made inappropriate age-related comments and threatened to terminate his employment. Id. at 3-4.

The first dated occurrence of discriminatory treatment Streets provides occurred around August or September of 2017. Id. at 4. Sometime between August 28, 2017 and September 15, 2017, while Streets was on medical leave due to his disability, SSL posted on the internet that his job was “available for hire.” Id. On September 16, 2017, he returned to work and was reassigned to a different work group, and Jenner Balagot was temporarily hired to his former position on or about September 26, 2017. Id. In October and November of 2017, SSL again posted on the internet that Streets' former job (for which Jenner Balagot had been temporarily hired to fill) was now “available for hire.” Id. On December 18, 2017, Streets was “allowed to return” to his prior work group and instructed to train Balagot. Id. On or about March 9, 2018, Streets informed his work group that he would be taking medical leave for a total hip replacement in June of 2018, and that upon his return, he would need accommodations. Id. at 5. In May of 2018, Erin Sargent was hired as a temporary employee, and Streets was told to train her. Id. Streets took medical leave from June 13, 2018 to June 26, 2018. Id. On June 28, 2018, two days after his return to work, Streets was informed of his termination, effective that day. Id.

On November 13, 2018, Streets filed his first administrative charge, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), against SSL. Id.

On March 11, 2019, SSL posted Streets' former job on its “job board.” Id. Streets applied for the position and asked if he could meet with Mr. Lihani about the position. Id. “On or about March 15, 2019, SSL took down the job posting from their website, ” and Streets did not hear back from SSL or Mr. Lihani. Id. Ms. Sargent was “hired to” Streets' former position (for which he applied for rehire) after her temporary contract ended. Id. On May 22, 2020, Streets filed his second administrative charge with California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) and received a right-to-sue letter the same day. Id. at 3.

Based on the foregoing, Streets alleges claims for (1) age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) (29 U.S.C. §§ 621, et seq.) and California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) (Cal. Gov't Code §§ 12940, et seq.); (2) retaliation in violation of FEHA; (3) wrongful termination in violation of public policy; (4) disability discrimination in violation of FEHA; (5) failure to accommodate in violation of FEHA; (6) unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices in violation of the California's Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) (§§ 17200, et seq., and 17203, et seq., of the Business and Professions Code); and (7) negligence. Id. at 6-14.


A party may seek dismissal of a suit for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A motion to dismiss brought under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint. Ileto v. Glock, Inc., 349 F.3d 1191, 1199-1200 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)). A complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), and may be dismissed if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). And a claim is plausible on its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). This plausibility standard “is not akin to a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). Factual allegations that are “merely consistent with” a defendant's liability fall short of the plausibility required for relief. Id. (citation omitted).

When evaluating a motion brought under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must consider the allegations in the complaint, documents incorporated into the complaint by reference, and matters which are subject to judicial notice. Louisiana Mun. Police Emps.' Ret. Sys. V. Wynn, 829 F.3d 1048, 1063 (9th Cir. 2016) (citing Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007)). A court “may look beyond the plaintiff's complaint to matters of public record” without converting the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment. Shaw v. Hahn, 56 F.3d 1128, 1129 n.1 (9th Cir. 1995).

“Dismissal is proper only where there is no cognizable legal theory or [where there is] an absence of sufficient facts alleged to support a cognizable legal theory.” Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988), second am. opinion filed May 11, 1990). “On a motion to dismiss, all well-pleaded allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed in a light most favorable to the non-moving party.” Wyler-Summit P'ship v. Turner Broad. Sys., Inc., 135 F.3d 658, 661 (9th Cir. 1998). However, a court need not “assume the truth of legal conclusions merely because they are cast in the form of factual allegations.” Fayer v. Vaughn, 649 F.3d 1061, 1064 (9th Cir. 2011) (per curiam). Additionally, mere “conclusory allegations of law and unwarranted inferences are insufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss.” Adams v. Johnson, 355 F.3d 1179, 1183 (9th Cir. 2004). And a court need not accept as true any allegations contradicted by judicially noticeable facts. See Shwarz v. United States, 234 F.3d 428, 435 (9th Cir. 2000). If dismissal is granted, the plaintiff should be afforded leave to amend unless it is clear that the complaint “could not be saved by any amendment.” Robertson v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 749 F.2d 530, 541 (9th Cir. 1984).


As a preliminary matter, Defendants request judicial notice of five documents-the administrative charges Streets filed with the DFEH and EEOC and the resulting right to sue notices. Request for Judicial Notice (“RJN”), Dkt. No. 15. Streets opposes the request. Opp'n at 20. He claims he was not served with the request, and further that the request was not filed with the Court. Id.

Streets' opposition is without merit. The docket indicates that the request for judicial notice was properly filed with the Court and was electronically mailed to Streets' counsel, Cary S. Kletter and Madison Nguyen, on November 17, 2020 at 4:40 PST. See ECF 15. As records of federal and state agencies, the administrative charges and resulting right to sue notices are appropriate subjects of judicial notice. U.S. v. 14.02 Acres of Land More or Less in Fresno Cnty., 547 F.3d 943, 955 (9th Cir. 2008) (“Judicial notice is appropriate for records and reports of administrative bodies”) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The Court will take judicial notice of “only the existence of the administrative proceedings and the agency's findings and does not credit the truth of any fact recounted or matter asserted in the documents.” Lacayo v. Donahue, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26621, at *9, 2015 WL 993448, at *10 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 3, 2015) (citing In re Bare Escentuals, Inc. Sec. Litig., 745 F.Supp.2d 1052, 1070 (N.D. Cal. 2010)...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT