On 08/14/2015 VILPULKUMAR PATEL filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against GOVIND VAGHASHIA. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Burbank Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are LAURA A. MATZ, MICHAEL S. MINK and CURTIS A. KIN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Los Angeles, California
LAURA A. MATZ
MICHAEL S. MINK
CURTIS A. KIN
QUALITY INN - BURBANK AIRPORT
QUALITY INN - CAMARILLO
JAYMIN VAGHASHIA ESQ.
RUPAL MANDEEP S.
STONE CHA & DEAN LLP.
LAW OFFICES OF ALFRED O. ANYA
MCKIBBIN ROBYN M.
MCKIBBIN ROBYN MICHELE
PHAM TERI THUY
ANYIA ALFRED OSHIOMELE
STONE DEAN LLP
1/29/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE REGARDING APPEAL)
3/11/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)
9/4/2020: Separate Statement
9/11/2020: Reply - REPLY REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION; DECLARATION OF CHRIS S. PACETTI
10/23/2020: Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT GOVIND VAGHASHIA'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL THE CONTINUED DEPOSITION OF RAKESH KOTHARI OR, ALTERNATIVELY, TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY AT TRIAL; REQU
8/14/2015: Civil Case Cover Sheet
5/17/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Miscellaneous-Other
6/6/2016: Substitution of Attorney
6/15/2016: Notice of Ruling
9/27/2016: Case Management Statement
9/29/2016: Case Management Statement
3/2/2017: Minute Order - Minute order entered: 2017-03-02 00:00:00
3/12/2018: Notice of Ruling
5/1/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Opposition
6/18/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Opposition
7/19/2018: Request For Copies -
8/17/2018: Minute Order - Minute order entered: 2018-08-17 00:00:00
Hearing08/02/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department E at 600 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91206; Jury TrialRead MoreRead Less
Hearing07/22/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department E at 600 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91206; Final Status ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
Hearing01/15/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department E at 600 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91206; Hearing on Motion to Compel Motion to Compel the Continued Deposition of Rakesh Kothari or, Alternatively, to Exclude Testimony at Trial; Request for Sanctions in the Amount of $4,171Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice (OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL FOR VIPULKUMAR PATEL); Filed by VIPULKUMAR PATEL (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketMotion to Compel (Defendant Govind Vaghashia's Notice of Motion and Motion to Compel the Continued Deposition of Rakesh Kothari or, Alternatively, to Exclude Testimony at Trial; Request Sanctions in the Amount of $4,171; Declaration of Teri Pham); Filed by GOVIND VAGHASHIA (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 11:00 AM in Department E, Curtis A. Kin, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Setting of Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment) - Held - Advanced and HeardRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 2:00 PM in Department E, Curtis A. Kin, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 2:00 PM in Department E, Curtis A. Kin, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - HeldRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment; Trial Setting Conference)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketObjection (Defendant Govind R. Vaghashia's Evidentiary Objections to Declaration of Prashant Vaghashia); Filed by GOVIND VAGHASHIA (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 am in Department NCGE, Laura A. Matz, Presiding; Order to Show Cause (RE FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH TRIALCOURT DELAY REDUCTION ACT) - Held-ContinuedRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute order entered: 2015-10-28 00:00:00; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Order to Show Cause Re Failure to Comply with Trial Court Delay Reduction ActRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Management ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil CaseRead MoreRead Less
DocketCivil Case Cover SheetRead MoreRead Less
DocketSummons FiledRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint filed-Summons IssuedRead MoreRead Less
DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by nullRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint filed-Summons Issued; Filed by nullRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: EC064357 Hearing Date: September 18, 2020 Dept: E
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION
Date: 9/18/20 (2:00 PM)
Case: Vipulkumar Patel v. Govind Vaghashia et al. (EC064357)
Defendants Govind R. Vaghashia, Sonal Vaghashia, and Sundeep Vaghashia’s Motion for Summary Judgment or, in the Alternative, Summary Adjudication is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
Defendants’ request for judicial notice is GRANTED. (Evid. Code §§ 452(c) [official acts of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of any state]; 452(h) [facts not reasonably subject to dispute]; Rodas v. Spiegel (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 513, 518 (“Official acts include records, reports and orders of administrative agencies”].)
With respect to Issue No. 1, defendants seek summary adjudication of plaintiff Vipulkumar Patel’s claim to the extent plaintiff seeks compensation for damages purportedly sustained prior to August 14, 2012. As defendants argue, plaintiff’s claims are subject to a three-year statute of limitations under CCP § 338. Section 338(a) imposes a three-year statute of limitations for actions “upon a liability created by statute.” Plaintiff’s claims, including the eighth cause of action for violation of Business & Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq., are all based on violations of wage and hour statutes. Plaintiff does not oppose summary adjudication as to Issue No. 1. Accordingly, because plaintiff filed this action on August 14, 2015, plaintiff’s claims for damages are limited to those alleged violations occurring up to three years prior to this filing date. The motion for summary adjudication as to Issue No. 1 is GRANTED.
With respect to Issue Nos. 2 through 7, defendants contend that the first through fifth and seventh causes of action fail because plaintiff was an exempt employee under Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Order 14. (See 9/4/20 Notice of Errata correcting numbering of causes of action based on operative First Amended Complaint.) Employers are not required to pay overtime or provide meal and rest breaks to persons employed in executive capacities. (Lab. Code § 515(a) [overtime]; IWC Wage Order 5 §§ 1(B), 11, 12 [meal and rest periods not required for persons employed in executive capacities].) According to defendants, because plaintiff was not entitled to overtime or meal or rest periods, plaintiff was paid all the wages to which he was entitled.
As an initial matter, the Court notes that IWC Order 14 pertains to agricultural occupations, which plaintiff did not have. (California Department of Industrial Relations, Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders, https://www.dir.ca.gov/iwc/wageorderindustries.htm.) In addition, the regulation cited in the motion, 8 C.C.R. § 11070 (Mot. at 13:7), corresponds to the mercantile industry, which is defined as “any industry, business, or establishment operated for the purpose of purchasing, selling or distributing goods or commodities at wholesale or retail; or for the purpose of renting goods or commodities.” (Dept. of Labor Standards Enforcement, “WHICH IWC ORDER? Classifications, located at https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/WhichIWCOrderClassifications.PDF; see also Weil and Brown, Civil Procedure Before Trial § 11:135.1 [“To determine which Wage Order applies to a particular employment, consult the DLSE pamphlet “Which IWC Order? Classifications,” available on the DLSE website (www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/”].)
Thus, it would appear the appropriate order is IWC Order 5, which pertains to the public housekeeping industry, because plaintiff was a hotel manager. (FAC ¶ 10.) Consequently, the applicable regulation to determine whether plaintiff was an exempt employee is 8 C.C.R. § 11050, also known as IWC Order 5. Paragraph 1(B)(1) of IWC Order 5 states that persons employed in executive capacities are exempt from the order.
Plaintiff does not dispute that his job duties satisfy subparts (a) through (e) of IWC Order 5. As General Manager of Quality Inn Burbank Airport (“QIBA”), plaintiff was responsible for managing the hotel’s day-to-day operations. (UMF 4-6.) Plaintiff customarily and regularly supervised and directed more than two employees. (UMF 7-8.) Plaintiff had the authority to hire employees and essentially fire employees by reducing their hours. (UMF 13.) Plaintiff customarily and regularly exercised discretion and independent judgment in preparing work schedules for employees; maintaining guest folios, verifying that the housekeeping and maintenance staff were performing their duties; ordering tools, equipment, and supplies; calculating daily reports; and managing third party contractors. (UMF 4-6, 9, 14, 15, 21.) Plaintiff does not dispute defendants’ contention that plaintiff spent more than half his time performing exempt work or work that was closely related to exempt work. (8 C.C.R. §11050(1)(B)(1)(e); 29 C.F.R. § 541.102 [setting forth examples of exempt work].)
Plaintiff, however, does oppose the motion on the grounds that he was not paid twice the minimum wage for full-time employment—the factor set forth in subpart (f) of IWC Order 5. From August 14, 2012, the earliest date of the period for which plaintiff could receive damages, to February 19, 2014, the last day of plaintiff’s employment (UMF 3), the minimum wage was $8 per hour. (Defs. Request for Judicial Notice Ex. A.) Therefore, under 8 C.C.R. § 11050(1)(B)(1)(f), in order to be deemed an exempt executive employee, plaintiff had to receive a minimum of $16 per hour, which corresponds to (1) $640 per week, (2) $33,280 per year, or (3) $2,773.33 per month.
Citing the declaration of defendant Govind Vagashia, the owner of QIBA, defendants contend plaintiff earned $2,800 per month as General Manager of QIBA. (UMF 16 [citing Govind Decl. ¶ 5].) Plaintiff, however, provides evidence to the contrary. Prashant Vagashia, co-owner of QIBA and Govind Vagashia’s business partner and brother states in his declaration that, at all relevant times, plaintiff was never paid more than $2,000 per month, which is below the salary necessary to qualify as an exempt employee. (Prashant Decl. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff also testified that, beginning in 2010, he was only paid $2,000 when he was promised $3,000. (Na Decl. ¶ 2 & Ex. A at 56-57.) Plaintiff further testified that, in 2013, he was only paid $1,000 per month. (Id. at 57:8-9.)
Further, the Court notes that Govind Vagashia’s statement that plaintiff earned $2,800 per month is belied by the W-2 forms for 2012 and 2013 attached to Govind Vagashia’s declaration. (Govind Decl. ¶ 8 & Ex. A.) The W-2 for 2012 indicates that plaintiff earned a total of $24,000 in 2012. Although, as noted above, plaintiff may only seek damages for the period in 2012 after August 14, one reasonable conclusion derived from plaintiff’s 2012 Form W-2 is that plaintiff only received $2,000 per month during that period, which falls short of twice the minimum wage compensation required for exempt executive employees. Further, the 2013 W-2 indicates that plaintiff earned $12,000 in 2013, which was an average of $1,000 per month.
In their reply, defendants argue plaintiff cannot now claim he is an exempt employee because plaintiff understood and agreed that he would be paid salary and compensation for his work in excess of twice the minimum wage. (See FAC ¶ 11 [alleging plaintiff was told he would receive $3,000 per month but was only paid $1,000 per month].) From this, defendants argue that, while such a circumstance arguably entitles plaintiff to sue defendants on some other theory of liability for having “shorted” him on the agreed upon salary, that purported arrangement prevents plaintiff from pursuing his current causes of action for statutory violations against a non-exempt employee with a salary less than twice the minimum wage. (Reply at 2-3.) Defendants’ argument may represent one view of plaintiff’s evidence. However, another reasonable view is that the compensation defendants are alleged to have falsely led plaintiff to believe he would be paid does not constitute plaintiff’s salary, because the salary earned by plaintiff was the money defendants actually paid him, which, as discussed above, might reasonably be found as having fallen short of the salary requirement for an exempt employee.
Defendants also argue plaintiff admitted in discovery responses that he had no evidence to support his unpaid wages claim, but has now submitted a declaration from Prashant Vaghashia contradicting that assertion. On July 29, 2020, plaintiff responded to Request Nos. 41-48 that he currently did not have evidence supporting his first through eighth causes of action in his possession, custody, or control because plaintiff left the evidence with defendants. (Pacetti Decl. ¶ 2 & Ex. A, pp. 6-11.) Defendants thus argue plaintiff cannot create a triable issue of material fact by directly contradicting his own discovery responses. (See D'Amico v. Board of Medical Examiners (1974) 11 Cal.3d 1, 22 (“[A]dmissions against interest have a very high credibility value. . . . Accordingly, when such an admission becomes relevant to the determination, on motion for summary judgment, of whether or not there exist triable issues of fact (as opposed to legal issues) between the parties, it is entitled to and should receive a kind of deference not normally accorded evidentiary allegations in affidavits.”); Visueta v. General Motors Corp. (1991) 234 Cal.App.3d 1609, 1613 (“Admissions or concessions made during the course of discovery govern and control over contrary declarations lodged at a hearing on a motion for summary judgment”].) However, plaintiff only stated in his discovery response that he did not currently have supporting evidence, i.e., as of July 29, 2020, when plaintiff made such response. The declaration from Prashant Vaghasia is dated September 2, 2020. Thus, in opposing the motion for summary judgment, plaintiff was entitled to obtain and rely upon a declaration from Prashant Vaghasia despite not having such evidence as of July 29, 2020.
Defendants further argue that the declaration of Prashant Vaghasia is self-serving, as Prashant Vaghasia has other lawsuits against Govind Vaghasia. To the extent that is true, it bears on the weight that should be afforded the declaration, not its admissibility. Defendants’ objections to the declaration of Prashant Vaghasia are overruled. As the co-owner of QIBA, Prashant Vighasia is qualified to provide testimony concerning the circumstances of plaintiff’s pay, or lack thereof. To the extent such testimony may not be credible, that determination is left to the trier of fact and is not appropriately considered on this motion for summary judgment.
Because plaintiff presents a triable issue as to whether he was an exempt employee, the motion for summary adjudication as to Issue Nos. 2 through 7 is DENIED. Accordingly, the motion for summary judgment is also DENIED.