This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/04/2022 at 02:05:10 (UTC).

ROSALINA WILSON VS HARVEST FARMS, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 10/04/2019 ROSALINA WILSON filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against HARVEST FARMS, INC , A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MICHAEL P. LINFIELD and BARBARA M. SCHEPER. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******5403

  • Filing Date:

    10/04/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

MICHAEL P. LINFIELD

BARBARA M. SCHEPER

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

WILSON ROSALINA

Defendants

TORRES DIANA

HARVEST FARMS INC. A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

VFORCE INC. A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

GOOD SOURCE SOLUTIONS INC. A DELAWARE CORPORATION

GOOD SOURCE SOLUTIONS INC.

HARVEST FARMS INC.

VFORCE INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

ELIHU KAVEH SAM ESQ.

PANOSIAN SYLVIA V. ESQ.

ELIHU KAVEH S.

PANOSIAN SYLVIA V.

Defendant Attorneys

SMITH MELISSA MARIE

DUPUY TATIANA

STOWERS SEAN M.

SMITH MELISSA M.

LECRONE JOHN PRESCOTT

 

Court Documents

Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL

5/31/2022: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL

RETURNED MAIL

1/25/2022: RETURNED MAIL

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)

1/28/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore - ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE CANDICE MYERS., CSR# 13086

1/28/2022: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore - ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE CANDICE MYERS., CSR# 13086

Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF NON-RECEIPT OF ANY OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS TWO (2) MOTIONS TO COMPEL RESPONSES BY DEFENDANT DIANA TORRES

2/2/2022: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF NON-RECEIPT OF ANY OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS TWO (2) MOTIONS TO COMPEL RESPONSES BY DEFENDANT DIANA TORRES

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW) OF 02/03/2022

2/3/2022: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW) OF 02/03/2022

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW)

2/3/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW)

Notice of Appearance - NOTICE OF APPEARANCE DEFENDANT DIANA TORRES' NOTICE OF APPEARANCE OF COUNSEL

2/8/2022: Notice of Appearance - NOTICE OF APPEARANCE DEFENDANT DIANA TORRES' NOTICE OF APPEARANCE OF COUNSEL

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF GARRETT A. SMEE IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING TRIAL AND HEARING ON DISCOVERY MOTION

2/14/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF GARRETT A. SMEE IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING TRIAL AND HEARING ON DISCOVERY MOTION

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING TRIAL AND HEARING ON DISCOVERY MOTION

2/14/2022: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING TRIAL AND HEARING ON DISCOVERY MOTION

Proof of Service by Mail

2/14/2022: Proof of Service by Mail

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING TRIA...)

2/15/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING TRIA...)

Notice of Ruling

2/23/2022: Notice of Ruling

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF GARRETT SMEE IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND FORM INTERROGATORIES

3/4/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF GARRETT SMEE IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND FORM INTERROGATORIES

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF DIANA TORRES IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND FORM INTERROGATORIES

3/4/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF DIANA TORRES IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND FORM INTERROGATORIES

Proof of Service by Mail

3/4/2022: Proof of Service by Mail

Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND FORM INTERROGATORIES

3/4/2022: Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND FORM INTERROGATORIES

Notice - NOTICE PLAINTIFF ROSALINA WILSONS NOTICE OF TAKING MOTIONS TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY DEFENDANT DIANA TORRES OFF CALENDAR

3/8/2022: Notice - NOTICE PLAINTIFF ROSALINA WILSONS NOTICE OF TAKING MOTIONS TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY DEFENDANT DIANA TORRES OFF CALENDAR

86 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/15/2022
  • Hearing08/15/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 34 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 08/03/2022
  • Hearing08/03/2022 at 09:00 AM in Department 34 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 05/31/2022
  • DocketNotice (Notice of Unavailability of Counsel); Filed by Rosalina Wilson (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/18/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34; Jury Trial ( (5 day estimate)) - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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  • 03/30/2022
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department 34; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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  • 03/17/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 03/17/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 03/08/2022
  • DocketNotice (PLAINTIFF ROSALINA WILSON?S NOTICE OF TAKING MOTIONS TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY DEFENDANT DIANA TORRES OFF CALENDAR); Filed by Rosalina Wilson (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/04/2022
  • DocketDeclaration (DECLARATION OF GARRETT SMEE IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND FORM INTERROGATORIES); Filed by Diana Torres (Defendant)

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  • 03/04/2022
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by Diana Torres (Defendant)

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113 More Docket Entries
  • 11/26/2019
  • DocketAnswer (ANSWER BY DEFENDANT VFORCE INC. TO COMPLAINT); Filed by VForce, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 11/22/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Harvest Farms, Inc. (Defendant); Good Source Solutions, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 10/30/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Rosalina Wilson (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/30/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Rosalina Wilson (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/30/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by Rosalina Wilson (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/22/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/04/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Rosalina Wilson (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/04/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Rosalina Wilson (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/04/2019
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Rosalina Wilson (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/04/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: *******5403 Hearing Date: August 27, 2021 Dept: 34

SUBJECT: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

Moving Party: Defendant Harvest Farms, Inc.

Resp. Party: Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson

The motion to compel further discovery responses is DENIED.

BACKGROUND:

Plaintiff brings this action against Defendants to allege that she was wrongfully terminated and discriminated against based on her age and national origin. (See Complaint, ¶¶ 31, 42-46.)

On October 4, 2019, Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson commenced this action against Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc., Good Source Solutions, Inc., VForce, Inc., and Diana Torres for (1) discrimination; (2) harassment; (3) retaliation; (4) failure to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; (5) declaratory judgment; (6) wrongful termination in violation of public policy; (7) retaliation for disclosing violations of law; (8) failure to pay wages; (9) failure to provide meal and rest periods; (10) failure to provide itemized wage statements; (11) waiting time penalties; and (12) unfair competition.

On March 3, 2020, pursuant to Plaintiff’s request, Defendant VForce, Inc. was dismissed from this action without prejudice.

On April 22, 2021, pursuant to Plaintiff’s request, default was entered as to Defendant Diana Torres.

On July 26, 2021, Defendant Harvest Farms, Inc. (“Defendant”) filed the instant motion to compel responses to its Requests for Production, Set Two, Numbers 6 and 7.

ANALYSIS:

I. Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

A. Legal Standard

In responding to a demand for production of documents, a party must provide one of the following: (1) a legally adequate statement of compliance; (2) a statement of inability to comply; or (3) an objection to the particular demand. (See Code Civ. Proc., ; 2031.210, subd. (a).) If any objections are made, they must: (1) “[i]dentify with particularity any document … falling within any category of item in the demand to which an objection is being made”; and (2) “[s]et forth clearly the extent of, and the specific ground for, the objection.” (Id., ; 2031.240, subd. (b).) A party who believes that a responding party has served (1) an incomplete statement of compliance, (2) an inadequate, incomplete, or evasive statement of compliance, or (3) an unmeritorious objection can move for an order compelling further responses. To prevail, the moving party must first offer specific facts demonstrating “good cause justifying the discovery sought by the demand.” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2031.310, subd. (b)(1).) This burden “is met simply by a fact-specific showing of relevance.” (TBG Ins. Servs. Corp. v. Superior Court (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 443, 448.) If “good cause” is shown by the moving party, the burden shifts to the responding party to justify any objections made to document disclosure. (Kirkland v. Superior Court (2002) 95 Cal.App.4th 92, 98.)

“Unless otherwise limited by order of the court . . . any party may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter involved . . . if the matter either is itself admissible in evidence or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” (Code Civ. Proc. ; 2017.010.) “Even highly relevant, nonprivileged information may be shielded from discovery if its disclosure would impair a person’s ‘inalienable right of privacy’ provided by” Article 1, section 1 of the California Constitution. (See Britt v. Superior Court (San Diego Unified Port Dist.) (1978) 20 Cal.3d 844, 855-856.)

“ ‘Legally recognized privacy interests are generally of two classes: (1) interests in precluding the dissemination or misuse of sensitive and confidential information (“informational privacy”); and (2) interests in making intimate personal decisions or conducting personal activities without observation, intrusion, or interference (“autonomy privacy”).’” (Pettus v. Cole (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 402, 440, as modified on denial of reh'g (Oct. 15, 1996), quoting Hill v. National Athletic Assn. (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1, 35.) Individuals have a legally cognizable interest in maintaining the privacy of the detailed medical information that is conveyed to others. (See ibid.) This is because “ ‘[t]he right to control circulation of personal information is fundamental. [Citations.] This right reaches beyond the interests protected by the common law right of privacy, and may be protected from infringement by either the state or by any individual. [Citation.] The “zones of privacy” created by article I, section 1, extend to the details of one's medical history.’” (Id. at p. 440, internal citations omitted.)

The California Supreme Court in Hill v. National Collegiate Athletic Assn. (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1, 35, “established a framework for evaluating potential invasions of privacy. The party asserting a privacy right must establish a legally protected privacy interest, an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in the given circumstances, and a threatened intrusion that is serious. [Citation.] The party seeking information may raise in response whatever legitimate and important countervailing interests disclosure serves, while the party seeking protection may identify feasible alternatives that serve the same interests or protective measures that would diminish the loss of privacy. A court must then balance these competing considerations.” (Williams v. Superior Court (2017) 3 Cal.5th 531, 552.) If any of the threshold Hill requirements are absent, the court need not move on to a balancing of interests. (Id. at p. 555.)

“The burden is on the party seeking the constitutionally protected information to establish direct relevance.” (Davis v. Superior Court (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1008, 1017.) “Mere speculation as to the possibility that some portion of the records might be relevant to some substantive issue does not suffice.” (Ibid.)

B. Discussion

Defendant moves to compel Plaintiff “to produce responses and responsive documents to Defendant’s Requests for Production, Set Two Nos. 6 and 7.” (Motion, p. 2:3-6.) Defendant brings this motion “based on Plaintiff’s failure to respond to highly relevant requests for production.” (Id. at p.3:3-4.) Defendant asserts that as a result of Plaintiff’s claims for discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination, failure to provide meal periods, and Defendant’s wrongful termination of Plaintiff, “Plaintiff asserts she lost income and employment benefits, and suffered pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress.” (Id. at p. 3:4-8.) However, Defendant argues that “Plaintiff has failed to provide responses to requests for production seeking, for example, representations she made to third parties about her separation from Harvest Farms, ability to work and efforts to mitigate her damage.” (Id. at p. 3:9-11.)

Request for Production of Documents No. 6 asks for:

“All DOCUMENTS that refer to, relate to, reflect or evidence any and all unemployment benefits YOU received.”

Request for Production of Documents No. 7 asks for:

“All DOCUMENTS that refer to, relate to, reflect or evidence any and all disability benefits YOU received.”

Defendant maintains that the disclosure of the EDD records should be compelled here because “the reasons Plaintiff gave an independent third party regarding her separation of employment is directly relevant to Plaintiff’s alleged constructive termination, which is a material issue in dispute here.” (Id. at p. 5:25-26.) Defendant argues that “Plaintiff has also waived any privilege with respect to all representations she made to third parties about her reasons for leaving Defendant by placing her reasons for leaving Defendant at issue.” (Id. at pp. 5:28-6:1.) Defendant also asserts that “Plaintiff’s application for disability and unemployment benefits, the documents supporting her application and the decision awarding her benefits are likely to lead to admissible evidence bearing on the disputed issues in this case, and, as a result, discoverable.” (Id. at p. 6:13-15.) Defendant argues that “Plaintiff’s representations on these forms about the reason for her termination, her efforts to find new work, and her ability to find work is directly relevant to their wrongful termination claim.” (Id. at p. 6:15-17.) Defendant contends that Plaintiff’s “application for unemployment benefits is . . . likely to corroborate or refute what she says happened during her employment with Defendant Harvest Farms, and the basis for her termination.” (Id. at p. 6:26-28.)

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that “this employment discrimination lawsuit involves two protected characteristics: age and race; therefore, unemployment and disability records are not only irrelevant and done in furtherance of an improper fishing expedition, but such records are private and Plaintiff’s objections state as much.” (Opp., p. 2:6-9.) Plaintiff asserts that she “is only claiming age and national origin discrimination, and has not put her disabilities at issue nor opened the door to such discovery.” (Id. at p. 7:13-14.) Plaintiff explains that “even still, and in good faith, Plaintiff responded to questions regarding payments from the EDD and to the extent this Court finds that such information is at least somewhat discoverable, Defendant has already obtained it via less intrusive means through Plaintiff’s deposition.” (Id. at p. 7:14-17.) Plaintiff also argues that “Defendant is not entitled to disability or unemployment records pursuant to the collateral source rule.” (Id. at p. 8:1-2.)

Request for Production Number 6 seeks “All DOCUMENTS that refer to, relate to, reflect or evidence any and all unemployment benefits YOU received.” (Defendant’s Separate Statement, p. 2:4-6.) Request for Production Number 7 similarly seeks “All DOCUMENTS that refer to, relate to, reflect or evidence any and all disability benefits YOU received.” (Id. at p. 4:16-18.)

The Court finds that this motion must be denied for at least three reasons.

First, Plaintiff has a legally cognizable privacy interest in her medical information that was presented for the unemployment and disability benefits and has an objectively reasonable expectation that this information will be kept private and not circulated to others. (See Pettus, supra, 49 Cal.App.4th at p. 441; see also Williams, supra, 3 Cal.5th at p. 552.)

Second, the Court finds that as phrased, Request for Production Numbers 6 and 7 are extremely overbroad, as they seek “all documents” regarding all unemployment and disability benefits. These requests are not limited in time or scope and would likely produce information regarding Plaintiff’s private medical history. Defendant has not demonstrated that the discovery of all of this information is directly relevant to the issues within this action for age and national origin discrimination, retaliation, and failure to provide meal periods.

Third, Defendant has not demonstrated that no less intrusive means are available to discover this information regarding the veracity of Plaintiff’s representations to third parties regarding reasons for her employment termination.

The Court DENIES Defendant’s motion to compel further responses to Request for Production Numbers 6 and 7.


Case Number: *******5403 Hearing Date: December 13, 2021 Dept: 34

SUBJECT: Motion to be Relieved as Counsel

Moving Party: John P. LeCrone, Esq and Lindsay Samuel, Esq., counsel for Defendant Diana Torres

Resp. Party: None

Counsel’s motion to be relieved as counsel is GRANTED.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brings this action against Defendants to allege that she was wrongfully terminated and discriminated against based on her age and national origin. (See Complaint, ¶¶ 31, 42-46.)

On October 4, 2019, Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson commenced this action against Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc., Good Source Solutions, Inc., VForce, Inc., and Diana Torres for (1) discrimination; (2) harassment; (3) retaliation; (4) failure to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; (5) declaratory judgment; (6) wrongful termination in violation of public policy; (7) retaliation for disclosing violations of law; (8) failure to pay wages; (9) failure to provide meal and rest periods; (10) failure to provide itemized wage statements; (11) waiting time penalties; and (12) unfair competition.

On March 3, 2020, pursuant to Plaintiff’s request, Defendant VForce, Inc. was dismissed from this action without prejudice.

On November 16, 2021, counsel for Defendant Diana Torres filed the present motion to be relieved as counsel, citing “an irremediable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship.” (Decl. in Support of Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel, ¶ 2.) No opposition has been filed.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Legal Standard

An attorney moving to be relieved as counsel under California Code of Civil Procedure ; 284(2) must meet the requirements set out in California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362. To comply with rule 3.1362, the moving party must submit the following forms: (1) Notice of Motion and Motion to be Relieved as Counsel – Civil; (2) Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to be Relieved as Counsel – Civil; and (3) Order Granting Attorney's Motion to be Relieved as Counsel – Civil. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362(a), (c), (e).) The moving party must serve the forms on the client and all other parties who have appeared in the case. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362(d).) Further, when the client is served by mail, the attorney's declaration must show that the client's address was confirmed within the last 30 days and how it was confirmed. (Id.) Absent a showing of resulting prejudice, an attorney’s request for withdrawal should be granted. (People v. Prince (1968) 268 Cal.App.2d 398, 406.)

B. Discussion

Counsel’s Motion complies with all the requirements of California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1362, in that Counsel provided a notice of motion and motion to be relieved as counsel; order granting attorney’s motion to be relieved as counsel; and declaration in support of the motion to be relieved as counsel. Additionally, the declaration states that Counsel’s client has been personally served and served by mail, and Counsel confirmed by conversation within the past 30 days that the client’s address is current. (See Declaration, No. 3(a) and (b).) Counsel also filed a proof of service that he served all other parties who have appeared in the case.

At oral argument, both Ms. Torres current counsel and counsel for Defendant Employer indicated that Defendant Employer would be paying for new counsel for Defendant Torres. Ms. Torres indicated that she was concerned that her new counsel would be beholden to the Employer and would not represent Ms. Torres’ interests. The Court reminds whoever is retained by Ms. Torres that – regardless of who is paying their attorney's fees – they are counsel for Ms. Torres, not the employer.

The Court GRANTS the motion to be relieved on the condition that the Defendant Employer pay for new counsel for Ms. Torres.

III. CONCLUSION

Counsel’s motion to be relieved as counsel is GRANTED conditioned on the fact that Defendant Employer pays for new counsel for Ms. Torres, as indicated above in section II(B).


Case Number: *******5403 Hearing Date: January 28, 2022 Dept: 34

SUBJECT: Motion for Summary Judgment/ Summary Adjudication

Moving Party: Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc. and Good Source Solutions, Inc. (“Defendants”)

Resp. Party: Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson (“Wilson”)

Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc. and Good Source Solutions, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc. and Good Source Solutions, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Adjudication as to the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Causes of Action of Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson’s Complaint is DENIED.

Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc. and Good Source Solutions, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Adjudication as to the Fifth Cause of Action for Declaratory Judgment is GRANTED.

Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc. and Good Source Solutions, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Adjudication as to the Prayer for Punitive Damages in Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson’s Complaint is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

On October 4, 2019, Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson commenced this action against Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc., Good Source Solutions, Inc., VForce, Inc., and Diana Torres for the following causes of action:

First Discrimination

Second Harassment

Third Retaliation

Fourth Failure to Prevent Discrimination

Fifth Declaratory Judgment

Sixth Wrongful Termination

Seventh Retaliation (Labor Code 1102.5)

Eighth Failure to Pay Wages

Ninth Failure to Provide Meal and Rest Breaks

Tenth Failure to Furnish Wage Statements

Eleventh Waiting Time Penalties

Twelve Unfair Competition

On March 3, 2020, pursuant to Plaintiff’s request, Defendant VForce, Inc. was dismissed from this action without prejudice.

On November 16, 2021, counsel for Defendant Diana Torres filed a motion to be relieved as counsel, citing “an irremediable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship.” (Decl.in Support of Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel, 2.) No opposition has been filed. On December 13, 2021, the Court granted counsel's motion to be relieved as counsel.

On December 23, 2020 Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc. and Good Source Solutions, Inc. moved the Court “for an order granting summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication” as to each of Defendants’ forty-six (46) Noticed Issues related to Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson’s Complaint. On January 6, 2022, Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson filed an opposition to Defendants’ motion for summary judgment/ summary adjudication. On January 14, 2022, Defendants filed a reply to Wilson’s opposition.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Timeliness of Plaintiff’s Opposition

Defendants assert that Plaintiff’s Opposition was due on January 5, 2022, but was filed on January 6, 2022 – one day late, and requests that the Court “disregard” the opposition. (Reply, p. 5:27-28, fn. 2.) Defendants have not alleged any prejudice from the one-day delay in filling the opposition. (Had Defendants requested an extra day to file their Reply, the Court would have granted such a request.) The Court will consider the Opposition and accompanying pleadings.

B. Evidentiary Objections

The Court rules as follows on Plaintiff’s objections to Defendants’ Evidence:

Objection

SUSTAINED

OVERRULED

1

OVERRULED

2

OVERRULED

3

OVERRULED

4

OVERRULED

5

OVERRULED

6

OVERRULED

7

OVERRULED

8

OVERRULED

9

OVERRULED

10

OVERRULED

11

OVERRULED

12

OVERRULED

13

OVERRULED

14

OVERRULED

15

OVERRULED

16

OVERRULED

17

OVERRULED

18

SUSTAINED

19

OVERRULED

20

SUSTAINED

21

SUSTAINED

22

OVERRULED

23

SUSTAINED as to 2nd sentence

OVERRULED as to 1st sentence

24

SUSTAINED as to 2nd sentence only

25

SUSTAINED

26

SUSTAINED

27

OVERRULED

28

OVERRULED

29

OVERRULED

30

OVERRULED

31

OVERRULED

32

OVERRULED

33

OVERRULED

34

OVERRULED

35

OVERRULED

36

OVERRULED

37

OVERRULED

38

OVERRULED

39

OVERRULED

40

OVERRULED

41

OVERRULED

42

OVERRULED

43

OVERRULED

44

OVERRULED

45

OVERRULED

46

OVERRULED

47

OVERRULED

48

OVERRULED

49

OVERRULED

50

OVERRULED

The Court rules as follows on Defendants’ objections to Plaintiff’s evidence:

Objection

SUSTAINED

OVERRULED

1

OVERRULED

2

OVERRULED

3

OVERRULED

4

OVERRULED

5

OVERRULED

6

OVERRULED

7

OVERRULED

8

OVERRULED

9

SUSTAINED as to statements of Ms. Rico-Gamboa

OVERRULED as to statements of Plaintiff

10

OVERRULED

11

OVERRULED

12

SUSTAINED as to “specifically targeted older employees in order to get them fired.”

OVERRULED as to rest of statement

13

OVERRULED

14

OVERRULED

15

OVERRULED

16

OVERRULED

17

OVERRULED

18

OVERRULED

19

OVERRULED

20

OVERRULED

21

OVERRULED

22

OVERRULED

23

OVERRULED

24

OVERRULED

25

SUSTAINED

26

SUSTAINED

27

OVERRULED

28

OVERRULED

29

OVERRULED

30

OVERRULED

31

OVERRULED

32

OVERRULED

33

OVERRULED

34

OVERRULED

35

OVERRULED

36

OVERRULED

37

OVERRULED

38

OVERRULED

39

OVERRULED

40

OVERRULED

41

OVERRULED

42

OVERRULED

43

OVERRULED

44

OVERRULED

45

OVERRULED

46

OVERRULED

47

OVERRULED

48

OVERRULED

49

OVERRULED

50

OVERRULED

51

OVERRULED

52

OVERRULED

53

OVERRULED

54

SUSTAINED

55

SUSTAINED

56

OVERRULED

57

OVERRULED

58

SUSTAINED

59

OVERRULED

60

SUSTAINED

61

SUSTAINED

62

OVERRULED

63

OVERRULED

64

OVERRULED

65

OVERRULED

66

OVERRULED

67

OVERRULED

68

OVERRULED

69

OVERRULED

70

OVERRULED

71

OVERRULED

72

OVERRULED

73

OVERRULED

74

OVERRULED

75

OVERRULED

76

OVERRULED

77

OVERRULED

78

OVERRULED

89

OVERRULED

80

OVERRULED

C. Legal Standard

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.) “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1110, 1119.)

“On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.” (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519.) When a plaintiff seeks summary judgment or adjudication, the plaintiff must produce admissible evidence on each element of each cause of action on which judgment is sought. (CCP 437c(p)(1).) The opposing party on a motion for summary judgment is under no evidentiary burden to produce rebuttal evidence until the moving party meets his or her initial movant’s burden. (Binder v. Aetna Life Insurance Company (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 832.) Once the initial movant’s burden is met, then the burden shifts to the opposing party to show, with admissible evidence, that there is a triable issue requiring the weighing procedures of trial. (CCP 437c(p).)

"A party may move for summary adjudication as to one or more causes of action within an action, one or more affirmative defenses, one or more claims for damages, or one or more issues of duty, if the party contends that the cause of action has no merit, that there is no affirmative defense to the cause of action, that there is no merit to an affirmative defense as to any cause of action, that there is no merit to a claim for damages, as specified in Section 3294 of the Civil Code, or that one or more defendants either owed or did not owe a duty to the plaintiff or plaintiffs. A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty." (CCP 437c(f)(1).)

“When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” (Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Medical Center (2008) 159 Cal.App.4th 463, 467; CCP 437c(c).)

“Declarations must show the declarant's personal knowledge and competency to testify, state facts and not just conclusions, and not include inadmissible hearsay or opinion. The declarations in support of a motion for summary judgment should be strictly construed, while the opposing declarations should be liberally construed.” (Fernandez v. Alexander (2019) 31 Cal.App.5th 770, 779, quoting Bozzi v. Nordstrom, Inc. (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 755, 761; see also CCP 437c(d).)

In analyzing motions for summary judgment, courts must apply a three-step analysis: "(1) identify the issues framed by the pleadings; (2) determine whether the moving party has negated the opponent's claims; and (3) determine whether the opposition has demonstrated the existence of a triable, material factual issue." (Hinesley v. Oakshade Town Ctr. (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 289, 294.)

“A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” (CCP 437c(f)(1).) “If a cause of action is not shown to be barred in its entirety, no order for summary judgment — or adjudication — can be entered.” (McCaskey v. California State Automobile Assn. (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 947, 975; Snatchko v. Westfield LLC (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 469, 476; Dunn v. County of Santa Barbara (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 1281, 1290.) “The purpose of the enactment of Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (f) was to stop the practice of piecemeal adjudication of facts that did not completely dispose of a substantive area.” (Catalano v. Superior Court (2000) 82 Cal.App.4th 91, 97.)

D. Discussion

Defendants seek an order granting summary judgment, or in the alternative, summary adjudication as to each of their forty-six Noticed Issues related to Wilson’s Complaint. The Court will address each cause of action and reference Defendants’ Noticed Issues where necessary.

1. First Cause of Action for Discrimination in Violation of Govt. Code 12940 et seq.

Defendants argue that no triable issue of material fact exists as to Wilson’s First through Fifth Causes of Action because Good Source did not employ Wilson. (Motion, Issue No. 1.) Wilson attests that Good Source Solutions’ employees directly supervised Harvest Farms employees, made hiring decisions, assigned tasks to Harvest Farms employees, and directly expressed congratulations to Wilson on her “good numbers” for the company. (Wilson’s Response to Defendants’ UMF No. 5.) The Court finds that a triable issue of material fact exists as to whether Good Source Solutions was Wilson’s employer.

The elements of a prima facie case for age discrimination involve a plaintiff who was (1) a member of a protected class (over 40), (2) qualified or competent for the position sought or performed (3) that suffered an adverse employment action, and (4) some other circumstance that suggests a discriminatory motive. (Guz v. Bechtel Nat. Inc. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 317, 355; Sandell v. Taylor-Listug, Inc. (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 297, 323.)

Defendants contend that there is no triable issue of material fact to support Wilson’s age discrimination claim because: circumstances that suggest discriminatory motive do not exist (Motion, Issue No. 2), no causal connection links any adverse employment action and Wilson’s age (Motion, Issue No. 3), Wilson was not replaced by a significantly younger person (Motion, Issue No. 4) and there was no evidence that the “legitimate non-discriminatory reason for taking an alleged adverse employment action was pretextual” (Motion, Issue No. 5.) Wilson claims that a prima facie age discrimination case exists because she is over age forty (Plaintiff’s Separate Statement (“PSS”) 40), was terminated from her position following comments that referenced her age (PSS 29-56), she performed effectively in her position (PSS 2-9) was replaced by a significantly younger person (PSS 49) and suffered harm (PSS 85). (Opposition, p. 15:1-3.)

Wilson has established the elements of an age discrimination claim. The Court finds Wilson has produced sufficient evidence to establish triable issue of material fact on her age discrimination claims.

Defendants contend that Wilson’s First Cause of Action for National Origin Discrimination claims fail because no circumstances that suggest discriminatory motive exist (Motion, Issue No. 6), no causal connection between adverse employment actions and Wilson’s national origin exists (Motion, Issue No. 7) and there is no evidence that the legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the alleged adverse employment action was pretextual (Motion, Issue No. 8). Wilson maintains that Diana Torres’ statement to Wilson that she would be fired if she did not adopt English-only speech and the lack of reasonable justification for an English-only speech code support her claim that the elements of national origin discrimination have been met. (Opposition, p. 17:14-27; PSS 51-54.)

Wilson has established the elements of a national origin discrimination claim. The Court finds Wilson has produced sufficient evidence to establish triable issue of material fact on her national origin discrimination claims.

The elements of disability-based associational discrimination include (1) that defendant was an employer, (2) that plaintiff was an employee of defendant, (3) that plaintiff was associated with a disabled person with a disability, (4) that the disabled person's condition was costly to defendants because a reason was covered under plaintiff's employer-provided health care plan, (5) that plaintiff could perform essential job duties, (6) that defendant discharged plaintiff/ subjected plaintiff to an adverse employment action, (7) that plaintiff's association with a disabled person was a substantial motivating reason for defendant's decision to discharge plaintiff, (8) that plaintiff was harmed, and (9) that defendant's conduct was a substantial factor in causing plaintiff's harm.

Defendants claim that Wilson’s First Cause of Action for Discrimination based on an Association with a Member of a Protected Class fails because Wilson did not state her association with membership in a protected class (Motion, Issue No. 9), because no showing exists that connects any adverse employment action and Wilson’s association (Motion, Issue No. 10.), because no circumstances show discriminatory motive exists (Motion, Issue No. 11), and that there is no evidence that the corporate reason for taking an alleged adverse employment action was pretextual exists (Motion, Issue No. 12). Wilson argues that she was associated with Ms. Rico-Gamboa during her injury because she was Wilson’s subordinate. (Opposition, p. 18:6-7.) Wilson notes that Ms. Rico-Gamboa’s injury proved costly to Defendants “because she filed a lawsuit in January 2018, which settled for $25,000 paid by Defendants.” (Opposition, p. 18:7-8; PSS 12-27.)

Wilson has established the elements of an associational discrimination claim. The Court finds Wilson has produced sufficient evidence to establish triable issue of material fact on her associational discrimination claims.

2. Second Cause of Action for Harassment in Violation of Govt. Code 12940 et seq.

When (1) an employer harasses an employee (2) on the basis of race, sex, or other grounds specified in Govt. Code 12940(h), and the harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter employment conditions, the elements of harassment have been met. (Etter v. Veriflo Corp. (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 457, 465.) “In determining what constitutes ‘sufficiently pervasive’ harassment, the courts have held that acts of harassment cannot be occasional, isolated, sporadic, or trivial, rather the plaintiff must show a concerted pattern of harassment of a repeated, routine or a generalized nature.” (Id.)

Defendants claim that no triable issue of material fact exist to support Wilson’s Second Cause of Action for Harassment because Wilson was not subjected to unlawful harassing conduct (Motion, Issue No. 13), because the alleged conduct was not based on her protected status (Motion, Issue No. 14), because the alleged conduct was insufficiently severe or persuasive to alter Wilson’s working conditions or create an offensive working environment (Motion, Issue No. 15), and because Defendants contend that Wilson can’t present evidence that Defendants knew or should have known of Diana Torres’ alleged harassment and that corrective action was not taken (Motion, Issue No. 16).

Wilson argues that Defendants are strictly liable for Diana Torres’ conduct because she was a supervisory employee, that evidence used to support discrimination clams may also support harassment claims, and that Defendants were aware of Ms. Torres’ alleged harassment given multiple reports from Wilson and others, though they allegedly failed to take corrective action. (Opposition, p. 18:16-21; PSS 32, 38, 43, 54.)

The Court finds triable issues of material fact as to Wilson’s harassment claims because Wilson produces evidence to show a pattern of harassment as to her age and national origin from Ms. Torres. Further, conflicting reports as to Diana Torres’ employment by Defendants add to the triable issues pertinent to Wilson’s Second Cause of Action for Harassment.

3. Third Cause of Action for Retaliation in Violation of Govt. Code 12940 et seq.

Where a plaintiff engaged in a protected activity as an employee, the employer subjected the plaintiff to an adverse employment action, and a causal link between the protected activity and the employer’s action exists, retaliation has occurred. (Thompson v. City of Monrovia (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 860, 874.) “In Gunnell v. Utah Valley State College (10th Cir. 1998) 152 F.3d 1253, the court held that “an employer can only be liable for co-workers' retaliatory harassment where its supervisory or management personnel either (1) orchestrate the harassment or (2) know about the harassment and acquiesce in it in such a manner as to condone and encourage the co-workers' actions.... An employer may not be held liable for the retaliatory acts of co-workers if none of its supervisory or management-level personnel orchestrated, condoned, or encouraged the co-workers' actions, and no such management participation could occur if the supervisory or management-level personnel did not actually know of the co-workers' retaliation.” (Kelley v. The Conco Companies (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 191, 213.)

Defendants assert that no triable issues of material fact exist to support Wilson’s Third Cause of Action for Retaliation because Wilson did not engage in protected activity (Motion, Issue No. 17), lacks a causal connection between an adverse employment action and any protected activity (Motion, Issue No. 18), and lacks evidence of a pretextual non-retaliatory reason for the alleged adverse employment action (Motion, Issue No. 19).

Wilson counters that she complained about discrimination and harassment and was terminated shortly thereafter. (Opposition, p. 18:23-27; PSS 32, 38, 43, 54, 55-60.)

Wilson has established the elements of a retaliation claim. The Court finds Wilson has produced sufficient evidence to establish triable issue of material fact on her retaliation claim.

4. Fourth Cause of Action for Failure to Prevent Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation in Violation of Govt. Code 12940(k).

Elements for failure to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation include (1) actionable discrimination or harassment by employees or non-employees, (2) defendant’s legal duty of care toward plaintiff (defendant is plaintiff’s employer), (3) breach of duty (failure to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring), (4) legal causation, and (5) damages to plaintiff. (Trujillo v. North County Transit Dist. (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 280, 289; Carter v. California Dept. of Veterans Affairs (2006) 38 Cal.4th 914, 931; Carter; Gov. C. 12940(k).)

Defendants argue that Wilson cannot establish that she was subject to any unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. (Motion, Issue No. 20.) Wilson maintains that she was subjected to age and national origin discrimination, complained to superiors about this treatment, and Defendants fired her without any other remedial action. (Opposition, p. 19:8-12.)

Both parties recognize that this cause of action is a derivative claim; if a jury finds discrimination, harassment or retaliation it will also find a failure to prevent such discrimination, harassment or retaliation. Conversely, if the jury does not find such underlying liability, it cannot find liability on the failure to prevent claim. Both parties also recognize that this claim adds nothing to Plaintiff’s case and does not increase Defendants’ potential liability at all. The Court has no idea why Plaintiff has chosen to include this cause of action – or why Defendants have chosen to spend time and effort to summarily adjudicate this action – this this cause of action neither helps nor hurts any party.

Nonetheless, as indicated above, the Court finds that prima facie cases of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation exist. Therefore, the Fourth Cause of Action is not susceptible to summary adjudication.

5. Fifth Cause of Action for Declaratory Judgment

The elements of declaratory judgment include (1) any person interested under a written instrument or a contract, or (2) a declaration of his or her rights or duties with respect to another, or in respect to, in, over or upon property, and (3) an actual controversy. (CCP 1060.) Declaratory relief is an equitable remedy, not an independent cause of action. (Batt v. City and County of San Francisco (2007) 155 Cal.App.4th 65, 82.)

Defendants argue that the Fifth Cause of Action for Declaratory Judgment is derivative of other claims. (Motion, Issue No. 21.) The Court finds this accurate. The Court also notes that Plaintiff has only addressed this issue in a footnote, without any citation to authority. Plaintiff’s entire opposition on this issue is “Additionally, Plaintiff’s declaratory judgment claim survives because is improper to dispose of the declaratory judgment claim on summary judgment so long as any one claim survives since an actual controversy will exist.” (Opposition, p. 19:27-28, fn. 6.)

Defendants Motion for Summary Adjudication as to the Fifth cause of action for declaratory relief is GRANTED.

6. Sixth Cause of Action for Wrongful Termination in Violation of the Public Policy of the State of California

“ ‘The elements of a claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy are (1) an employer-employee relationship, (2) the employer terminated the plaintiff's employment, (3) the termination was substantially motivated by a violation of public policy, and (4) the discharge caused the plaintiff harm.’ (Yau v. Allen (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 144, 154.) It is well established that a termination premised on an employee's refusal to violate either a statute or an administrative regulation may support a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy.” (Nosal-Tabor v. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 1224, 1234–1235.)

Defendants allege that Plaintiff’s Sixth Cause of Action for Wrongful Termination fails because Good Source did not employ Plaintiff (Motion, Issue No. 22), because it is derivative of Wilson’s discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims (Motion, Issue No. 23.), and because Wilson lacks evidence that Defendants’ adverse employment action was pretextual (Motion, Issue No. 24). Wilson raises the multiple comments on her age, national origin, and native speech as evidence of triable issues of material fact to support her wrongful termination claims. (Opposition, p. 19:14-22; PSS 29-54.)

As indicated above, Wilson offers sufficient evidence of prima facie cases of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Further, unlike the fourth cause of action for failure to prevent discrimination, a wrongful termination claim is not derivative of the discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims. The Court finds triable issues of material fact as to Wilson’s wrongful termination claim.

7. Seventh Cause of Action for Retaliation for Disclosing Violations of Law Labor Code 1102.5, 1102.6

"The elements of a section 1102.5(b) retaliation cause of action require that (1) the plaintiff establish a prima facie case of retaliation, (2) the defendant provide a legitimate, nonretaliatory explanation for its acts, and (3) the plaintiff show this explanation is merely a pretext for the retaliation. [Citations.] We are concerned here with the first element of a section 1102.5(b) retaliation claim, establishing a prima facie case of retaliation. To do that, a plaintiff must show (1) she engaged in a protected activity, (2) her employer subjected her to an adverse employment action, and (3) there is a causal link between the two." (Patten v. Grant Joint Union High School Dist. (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 1378, 1384.)

Defendants argue that Wilson’s Seventh Cause of Action for Retaliation fails because Wilson did not engage in protected activity (Motion, Issue No. 25), because Wilson lacks a link between any protected activity and an adverse employment action (Motion, Issue No. 26), because Wilson does not possess evidence that the adverse employment action’s justification was pretextual (Motion, Issue No. 27) and because Good Source did not employ Wilson (Motion, Issue No. 28). Wilson confirms that she “disclosed to HR that Ms. Rico Gamboa did not want to go to the doctor after a serious injury, which Plaintiff even stated violated the law.” (Opposition, p. 19:4-6; PSS 12-27.)

Wilson’s evidence concerning the Rico Gamboa incident directly establishes elements two and three of Labor Code 1102.5, and Wilson’s prima facie retaliation case established above completes the first element. Wilson offers sufficient evidence to establish triable issues of material fact to support her Seventh Cause of Action for Retaliation under Labor Code 1102.5 and 1102.6.

8. Eighth Cause of Action for Failure to Pay Wages Due Labor Code 201, 1182.12, 1194, 1194.2

“If an employer discharges an employee, the wages earned and unpaid at the time of discharge are due and payable immediately.” (Labor Code, 201(a.)

“Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, on and after July 1, 2014, the minimum wage for all industries shall be not less than nine dollars ($9) per hour, and on and after January 1, 2016, the minimum wage for all industries shall be not less than ten dollars ($10) per hour.” (Labor Code, 1182.12(a).)

“Notwithstanding any agreement to work for a lesser wage, any employee receiving less than the legal minimum wage or the legal overtime compensation applicable to the employee is entitled to recover in a civil action the unpaid balance of the full amount of this minimum wage or overtime compensation, including interest thereon, reasonable attorney's fees, and costs of suit.” (Labor Code, 1194(a).)

“In any action under Section 98, 1193.6, 1194, or 1197.1 to recover wages because of the payment of a wage less than the minimum wage fixed by an order of the commission or by statute, an employee shall be entitled to recover liquidated damages in an amount equal to the wages unlawfully unpaid and interest thereon.” (Labor Code, 1194.2(a).)

Defendants contend that Wilson’s Eighth Cause of Action fails because it is derivative of other causes of action for failure to provide meal periods and permit rest periods (Motion, Issue No. 29), and because Good Source did not employ Wilson (Motion, Issue No. 30). Wilson notes that Harvest Farms and Good Source employees are interchangeable, and though wage claims may provide for both damages and penalties, Wilson claims actual damages. (PSS 2-9; Panosian Decl., 11, Ex. 10; Complaint 114-128, 130-136, and Prayer.)

The Court finds that there are triable issues of material fact as to this cause of action. Further, the Court does not find the wage claims of the Eighth Cause of Action derivative of other claims.

9. Ninth Cause of Action for Failure to Provide Meal and Rest Periods Labor Code 226.7, 512

“An employer shall not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that if the total work period per day of the employee is no more than six hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee. An employer shall not employ an employee for a work period of more than 10 hours per day without providing the employee with a second meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and the employee only if the first meal period was not waived.” (Labor Code 512(a).)

“An employer shall not require an employee to work during a meal or rest or recovery period mandated pursuant to an applicable statute, or applicable regulation, standard, or order of the Industrial Welfare Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, or the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.” (Labor Code 226.7(b).)

Defendants argue that Wilson’s Ninth Cause of Action fails because Wilson was authorized and permitted rest periods and provided meal periods in accordance with California law (Motion, Issue Nos. 31 and 32), because no one informed her that she could not take a meal or rest period or prevented her from taking a meal or rest period (Motion, Issue No. 33), because Wilson did not complain about non-compliant meal or rest periods (Motion, Issue No. 34), and because Good Source did not employ Plaintiff (Motion, Issue No. 35). Wilson offers evidence that neither she nor other workers “received uninterrupted meal or rest breaks, nor did Defendants have any practices they followed in place.” (Opposition, p. 20:25-26; PSS 79-84.)

Wilson presents sufficient evidence to raise a triable issue of material fact as to her Ninth Cause of Action for Failure to Provide Meal and Rest Periods.

10. Tenth Cause of Action for Failure to Furnish Wage and Hour Statements Labor Code 226 et seq.

“Every person employing labor in this state shall . . . [ ]

Keep, at a central location in the state or at the plants or establishments at which employees are employed, payroll records showing the hours worked daily by and the wages paid to, and the number of piece-rate units earned by, and any applicable piece rate paid to, employees employed at the respective plants or establishments. These records shall be kept in accordance with rules established for this purpose by the commission, but in any case, shall be kept on file for not less than three years. An employer shall not prohibit an employee from maintaining a personal record of hours worked, or, if paid on a piece-rate basis, piece-rate units earned. (Labor Code 1174(d).)

Defendants argue that Wilson’s Tenth Cause of Action is time-barred (Motion, Issue No. 36), lacks proof of any alleged injury (Motion, Issue No. 37), is founded upon her meal and rest period claim even though Labor Code 226 precludes recovery based on meal and rest period violations (Motion, Issue No. 38), and fails because Good Source did not employ Wilson (Motion, Issue No. 39). Wilson counters that the three-year statute of limitations applies because the additional hour of premium pay required under Labor Code 226.7 for failure to provide a meal period constitutes wages under Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 1094, 1102-1114. (Opposition, p. 20:12-16.) Further, under California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 11040(7)(A)(3), it is the employer’s responsibility to keep accurate information regarding employee meal and rest periods. (Opposition, p. 21:2-4.) Wilson argues that since her meal and rest periods were frequently interrupted, her Labor Code claims survive. (Opposition, p. 21:8-10; PSS 79-84.)

Evidence of triable issues of material fact exist to support Wilson’s Tenth Cause of Action.

11. Eleventh Cause of Action for Waiting Time Penalties Labor Code 201-203

“If an employee not having a written contract for a definite period quits his or her employment, his or her wages shall become due and payable not later than 72 hours thereafter, unless the employee has given 72 hours previous notice of his or her intention to quit, in which case the employee is entitled to his or her wages at the time of quitting.” (Labor Code 202(a).)

“If an employer willfully fails to pay, without abatement or reduction, in accordance with Sections 201, 201.3, 201.5, 201.6, 201.8, 201.9, 202, and 205.5, any wages of an employee who is discharged or who quits, the wages of the employee shall continue as a penalty from the due date thereof at the same rate until paid or until an action therefor is commenced; but the wages shall not continue for more than 30 days.” (Labor Code 203(a).)

Defendants allege that Wilson’s Eleventh Cause of Action for Waiting Time Penalties fails because it is founded upon her meal and rest period claim even though Labor Code 203 precludes recovery based on meal and rest period violations (Motion, Issue No. 40), because Wilson cannot prove willfulness in any untimely failure to pay (Motion, Issue No. 41), and because Good Source did not employ Wilson (Motion, Issue No. 42). Wilson argues that since her meal and rest periods were frequently interrupted, her Labor Code claims survive, or in the alternative allow for a factual dispute. (Opposition, p. 21:8-10; PSS 79-84.)

Evidence of triable issues of material fact exist to support Wilson’s Eleventh Cause of Action because Wilson’s claims in this regard revolve around Defendants’ failure to itemize and report Wilson’s time accurately, not her meal and rest period claims.

12. Twelfth Cause of Action for Unfair Competition Bus. & Prof. Code 17200, et seq.

“As used in this chapter, unfair competition shall mean and include any unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue, or misleading advertising and any act prohibited by Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17500) of Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code.” (Bus. & Prof. Code, 17200.)

“Any person who engages, has engaged, or proposes to engage in unfair competition shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for each violation, . . . . (Bus. & Prof. Code, 17206(a).)

Defendants state that Wilson’s Twelfth Cause of Action for Unfair Business Practices fails because it is derivative, and because Wilson cannot establish her claims for failure to pay wages, failure to provide meal and rest periods, failure to furnish wage statements and waiting time penalties (Motion, Issue No. 43), and because Good Source did not employ Wilson (Motion, Issue No. 44).

As indicated above, the court is denying the Motion for Summary Adjudication as to Plaintiff’s claims for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, as well as her claims of for failure to pay wages, failure to provide meal and rest periods, failure to furnish wage statements and waiting time penalties. As Defendant states, the UCL claim is derivative of these other claims; since the court is denying summary adjudication on these other claims, it must also deny summary adjudication as to Wilson’s Twelfth Cause of Action for Unfair Business Practices.

13. Punitive Damages

Defendants argue that Wilson’s claim for punitive damages fails because she can’t establish that an officer, director, or managing agent for Defendants “committed, authorized, or ratified an act of oppression, fraud, or malice.” (Motion, Issue No. 45.) Wilson counters that evidence of discriminatory intent and pretext can provide “a sufficient basis for a jury to find malice or oppression” under Cloud v. Casey (1999) 76 Cal.App.4th 895, 911., and that she offers such evidence in the present case. (Opposition, p. 20:2-6.) Further, Wilson offers evidence that Diana Torres, and managing agents Shelby Reynolds and Brandon Marvin made discriminatory comments that allow for punitive damages. (Opposition, p. 19:25—20:2; PSS 41, 42.)

The Court finds sufficient evidence for triable issues of material fact as to punitive damages in the present case.

14. Claims Against Good Source

Defendants argue that Wilson’s claims against Good Source fail for the same reasons as they fail against Harvest Farms. As stated above, the Court finds that the relationship between Harvest Farms and Good Source raises triable issues of material fact. (PSS 2-9.) Summary adjudication is denied against Good Source for the same reasons as it has been denied against Harvest Farms.

III. CONCLUSION

Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc. and Good Source Solutions, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc. and Good Source Solutions, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Adjudication as to the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Causes of Action of Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson’s Complaint is DENIED.

Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc. and Good Source Solutions, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Adjudication as to the Fifth Cause of Action for Declaratory Judgment is GRANTED.

Defendants Harvest Farms, Inc. and Good Source Solutions, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Adjudication as to the Prayer for Punitive Damages in Plaintiff Rosalina Wilson’s Complaint is DENIED.


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