This case was last updated from Santa Clara County Superior Courts on 08/07/2019 at 19:11:15 (UTC).

Bieger v. Houzz, Inc.

Case Summary

On 03/28/2018 Bieger filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against Houzz, Inc. This case was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Courts, Downtown Superior Court located in Santa Clara, California. The Judges overseeing this case are Kuhnle, Thomas and Walsh, Brian C. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ******5624

  • Filing Date:

    03/28/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • Court:

    Santa Clara County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Downtown Superior Court

  • County, State:

    Santa Clara, California

Judge Details

Judges

Kuhnle, Thomas

Walsh, Brian C

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Bieger, Jesseca

Defendant

Houzz, Inc.

Other

Superior Court of California

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Myers, Shayla Renee

Soderstrom, Jamin Samuel

Defendant Attorneys

Sorensen, Rodney Brandon

Lewis, Matthew C

Other Attorney

Superior Court of CA, County of Santa Clara

 

Court Documents

Notice

Notice CMC reset from 8-9-19 to 11-15-19: Comment: CMC reset from 8/9/19 to 11/15/19

Proof of Service

Proof of Service: Comment: Proof of Service

Statement: Case Management Conference

Joint CMC Statement: Comment: Case Management Statement

Stipulation and Order

Stipulation and Order Continuing CMC: Comment: Stipulation & Order Continuing CMC - signed/BCW

Notice

Notice CMC reset from 6-7-19 to 8-9-19: Comment: CMC reset from 6/7/19 to 8/9/19

Proof of Service

Proof of Service: Comment: Proof of Service

Notice

Notice CMC reset from 4-5-19 to 6-7-19: Comment: CMC reset from 4/5/19 to 6/7/19

Proof of Service

Proof of Service: Comment: Proof of Service

Statement: Case Management Conference

Joint CMC Statement: Comment: Case Management Statement

Civil Lawsuit Notice

Civil Lawsuit Notice: Comment: 1st CMC set for 8/3/18 at 10am in D5; assigned to Hon. Thomas E. Kuhnle

Stipulation and Order

2018.06.11 Stipulation to file FAC.pdf: Comment: Stipulation and Request to Lift Stay to Let Plaintiff File a First Amended Class Action Complaint (Order signed and entered 6/20/18)

Notice: Appearance

Notice Appearance:

Order

Order Granting PL Peremptory Challenge TEK: Comment: Order Granting Plaintiff's Peremptory Challenge CCP 170.6 against Hon. Thomas E. Kuhnle; matter is reassigned to D1/BCW; CMC is reset to 8/10/18 at 10am in D1 - signed/TEK

Order: Deeming Case Complex

Order Deeming Case Complex and Staying Discovery and Responsive Pleading: Comment: Order Deeming Case Complex and Staying Discovery and Responsive Pleading Deadline signed/TEK

Affidavit: Peremptory Challenge CCP 170.6

Affidavit Peremptory Challenge CCP 170.6: Comment: Affidavit-Peremptory Challenge

Complaint (Unlimited) (Fee Applies)

Complaint (Unlimited) (Fee Applies):

Summons: Issued/Filed

Summons Issued Filed:

Civil Case Cover Sheet

2018.03.27 Civil Case Cover Sheet.pdf: Comment: COMPLEX

20 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/15/2019
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  • Conference: Case Management - Joint CMC Statement: Judicial Officer: Walsh, Brian C; Hearing Time: 10:00 AM; Comment: (3rd CMC) Proposed Class Action * Employment * Discovery and responsive pleading deadline stayed, as of 4/26/18, when the case was deemed complex. Plaintiff's CCP 170.6 against Hon. Thomas E. Kuhnle was filed 4/12/18 and granted 5/3/18; matter is reassigned to D1/BCW. Leave for Plaintiff to File a First Amended Class Action Complaint (by 6/30/18) granted on 6/20/18; First Amended Class Action Complaint filed 6/28/18. Matter is currently in arbitration.

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  • 08/02/2019
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  • Notice - Notice CMC reset from 8-9-19 to 11-15-19: Comment: CMC reset from 8/9/19 to 11/15/19

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  • 08/02/2019
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  • Proof of Service - Proof of Service: Comment: Proof of Service

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  • 08/02/2019
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  • Statement: Case Management Conference - Joint CMC Statement: Comment: Case Management Statement

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  • 05/30/2019
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  • Stipulation and Order - Stipulation and Order Continuing CMC: Comment: Stipulation & Order Continuing CMC - signed/BCW

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  • 05/28/2019
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  • Notice - Notice CMC reset from 6-7-19 to 8-9-19: Comment: CMC reset from 6/7/19 to 8/9/19

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  • 05/23/2019
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  • Proof of Service - Proof of Service: Comment: Proof of Service

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  • 03/08/2019
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  • Notice - Notice CMC reset from 4-5-19 to 6-7-19: Comment: CMC reset from 4/5/19 to 6/7/19

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  • 03/07/2019
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  • Proof of Service - Proof of Service: Comment: Proof of Service

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  • 03/07/2019
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  • Statement: Case Management Conference - Joint CMC Statement: Comment: Case Management Statement

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14 More Docket Entries
  • 06/13/2018
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  • Proof of Service: Mail - 2018.06.13 Proof of service.pdf: Comment: Proof of Service: Mail

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  • 06/13/2018
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  • Stipulation and Order - 2018.06.11 Stipulation to file FAC.pdf: Comment: Stipulation and Request to Lift Stay to Let Plaintiff File a First Amended Class Action Complaint (Order signed and entered 6/20/18)

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  • 05/10/2018
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  • Notice: Appearance - Notice Appearance:

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  • 05/03/2018
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  • Order - Order Granting PL Peremptory Challenge TEK: Comment: Order Granting Plaintiff's Peremptory Challenge CCP 170.6 against Hon. Thomas E. Kuhnle; matter is reassigned to D1/BCW; CMC is reset to 8/10/18 at 10am in D1 - signed/TEK

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  • 04/26/2018
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  • Order: Deeming Case Complex - Order Deeming Case Complex and Staying Discovery and Responsive Pleading: Comment: Order Deeming Case Complex and Staying Discovery and Responsive Pleading Deadline signed/TEK

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  • 04/12/2018
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  • Affidavit: Peremptory Challenge CCP 170.6 - Affidavit Peremptory Challenge CCP 170.6: Comment: Affidavit-Peremptory Challenge

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  • 03/28/2018
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  • Civil Lawsuit Notice - Civil Lawsuit Notice: Comment: 1st CMC set for 8/3/18 at 10am in D5; assigned to Hon. Thomas E. Kuhnle

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  • 03/28/2018
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  • Complaint (Unlimited) (Fee Applies) - Complaint (Unlimited) (Fee Applies):

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  • 03/28/2018
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  • Summons: Issued/Filed - Summons Issued Filed:

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  • 03/28/2018
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  • Civil Case Cover Sheet - 2018.03.27 Civil Case Cover Sheet.pdf: Comment: COMPLEX

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Complaint Information

E-FILED

3/28/2018 9:49 AM

Jamin S. Soderstrom, Bar No. 261054 Clerk of Court

SODERSTROM LAW PC

3 Park Plaza, Suite 100 > Uperior Court of CA, Irvine. California 92614 County of Santa Clara rvine, caiiornia 18CV325624

Tel: (949) 667-4700 Fax: (949) 424-8091 jamin@soderstromlawfirm.com

Reviewed By: R. Walker

Counsel for Plaintiffs and the Proposed Class

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA

JESSECA BIEGER, individually and on behalf | Case Number: 18c V325624 of all others similarly situated,

Plaintiff, CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT V.

HOUZZ INC. and DOES 1 through 25,

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Defendants.

Plaintiff JESSECA BIEGER (“Plaintiff”), brings this action against Defendants HOUZZ INC., and DOES 1 through 25 (collectively, “Defendants’), and alleges as follows:

JURISDICTION & VENUE

1. This action is brought by Plaintiff individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated employees who performed work for Defendants in California during the relevant time periods. The Court has general jurisdiction over this action under Code Civ. Proc., § 410.10. The amounts of wages, damages, and penalties sought by Plaintiff exceed the jurisdictional minimum and will be

established according to proof at trial.

2. Venue 1s proper under Code Civ. Proc., §§ 395 and 395.5, because one or more Defendants resides in this county and because a substantial portion of the events forming the basis of this action occurred in this county.

PARTIES

3. Plaintiff JESSECA BIEGER is a resident of California. Plaintiff worked for Defendants in several nonexempt positions from approximately September 2015 until November 2017.

4. Defendant HOUZZ INC. 1s a corporation doing business in California with its principal place of business in Palo Alto, California.

5. Plaintiff does not know the true names or capacities, whether individual or corporate, of defendants sued as DOES 1 through 25 and, for that reason, sues such defendants under fictitious names. Plaintiff 1s informed and believe that each DOE defendant was responsible in some respect for the violations alleged herein and proximately caused Plaintiff and other similarly situated employees to be subject to illegal employment practices and to suffer harm, and that each DOE defendant controlled their work and was a joint employer. Plaintiff will seek leave to amend as and when the true names and capacities of each DOE defendant become known.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

6. Defendants do business in California. Their business is focused on operating an online platform for home remodeling and design services.

7. Plaintiff 1s a female who worked for Defendants in California in several nonexempt positions from September 2015 to November 2017. Plaintiff’s positions included account coordinator, customer service coordinator, support specialist, and sales representative. Plaintiff worked primarily out of Defendants’ offices in Orange County, California. During her employment, Plaintiff worked with numerous other nonexempt and exempt employees. Plaintiff’s working experience gave her a thorough understanding of Defendants’ employment policies and practices.

8. Plaintiff personally experienced and witnessed Defendants engaging in unlawful and unfair business practices and routinely denying her and other similarly situated employees the basic rights guaranteed by the California Labor Code. Defendants continue to commit these unlawful and unfair business practices to this day.

0. Failure to Pay Minimum and Overtime Wages. Defendants fail to accurately calculate and pay minimum and overtime wages for all hours worked by Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees. Defendants regularly caused Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees to miss or shorten meal periods, but Defendants still required them to record a 30-minute unpaid meal period in their time records. Defendants never paid minimum wages for the time worked during the unpaid meal period, and Defendants never paid overtime wages that would have been earned had such working time been properly recorded. Defendants caused Plaintiff to work all or part of numerous unpaid meal periods she was required to record, but Defendants never calculated or paid Plaintiff minimum or overtime wages for such working time.

10. Failure to Provide Compliant Meal Periods. Defendants fail to provide Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees timely, uninterrupted, off-duty meal periods of at least 30 minutes, and Defendants fail to pay one additional hour of pay at the employees’ regular rates of pay for meal periods that are not provided or are late, interrupted, shortened, or on-duty. Instead of providing Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees with compliant meal periods, Defendants required them to record a complete 30-minute unpaid meal period every work day regardless of whether a compliant meal period was actually provided that work day. On work days where Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees were unable to take a timely, uninterrupted, off-duty 30-minute meal period, Defendants told Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees to try to make up for it by taking a longer break or an untimely meal

period later in the day, if doing so was possible. Often, it was impossible to “make up for it” by taking a longer rest break or untimely meal period later in the day, and, regardless, Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees still were not provided a compliant meal period.

11. Defendants regularly caused Plaintiff to miss or have a shortened, interrupted, or late meal period to attend mandatory meetings or to ensure she could keep up with a heavy work load. Yet Defendants never asked or required Plaintiff to indicate in her time records that she was not provided a full 30-minute meal period. Instead, Defendants required her to record that a full 30-minute meal period was provided and instructed her to try to make up for the missed, shortened, interrupted, or on duty meal period later in the day, if possible. Defendants also failed to provide Plaintiff a timely meal period on many work days, yet even when her time records clearly showed dozens of untimely meal periods, Defendants never noted the late meal period and never provided her with an additional hour of pay at her regular rate of pay. In fact, Defendants never paid Plaintiff any premium wages during her entire employment for any meal periods that were not timely provided or were missed, interrupted, shortened, or on-duty, even though Defendants knew compliant meal periods had not been provided.

12. Failure to Provide Compliant Rest Breaks. Defendants fail to provide nonexempt employees timely, uninterrupted, off-duty rest breaks of at least 10 minutes for every four hours worked or major fraction thereof, and Defendants fail to pay one additional hour of pay at the employees’ regular rate of pay for rest breaks that are not provided or are untimely, interrupted, shortened, or on-duty. Similar to meal periods, Defendants regularly caused Plaintiff to miss or have shortened, interrupted, untimely, or on-duty rest breaks to attend mandatory meetings or to ensure she could keep up with a heavy work load. Defendants’ records never noted any missed, shortened, interrupted, untimely, or on- duty rest breaks during Plaintiff’s employment even though they occurred regularly with Defendants’ knowledge, and Defendants never provided Plaintiff with an additional hour of pay at her regular rate of pay even though Defendants knew compliant rest breaks had not been provided.

13. Secret Underpayment of Contract Wages. When Defendants offered Plaintiff the position of support specialist, they told her in writing that she would “earn an hourly rate of $23.08 per hour ($50,000 when annualized), less all applicable withholdings and deductions.” Plaintiff reasonably believed that she would be making $50,000 annually in her full-time position and budgeted for and based her lifestyle on that expected annual compensation for full-time work. She worked in the support specialist position for more than one year. Only after working in that position did she learn that the $23.08 hourly rate equaled only $48,006.40 in annualized compensation (a difference of approximately 4% 1n Defendants’ favor). By representing Plaintiff would be compensated at a higher annualized rate than they actually paid her, Defendants secretly underpaid Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees who were offered an hourly rate of pay that was less than the annualized compensation Defendants promised them.

14. Willful Failure to Pay All Wages Earned Upon Termination. Defendants willfully fail to timely and accurately pay all wages earned to Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees upon the termination of their employment. Defendants’ failure to pay final wages due 1s based on their related failures to (1) pay minimum and overtime wages for all hours worked, (i1) pay premium wages for untimely, missed, interrupted, shortened, or on-duty meal periods and rest breaks, and (ii1) pay wages at the proper annualized rate promised to employees. Defendants’ failures caused them to systematically underpay Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees upon termination. Defendants also never paid Plaintiff or other nonexempt employees any waiting time penalties.

15. Willful Failure to Provide Accurate Wage Statements. Defendants willfully fail to provide nonexempt employees with accurate wage statements. Instead, Defendants regularly provided Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees with wage statements that did not accurately reflect (1) the employees’ gross and net wages earned, (i1) the employees’ total hours worked, (ii1) the inclusive dates of each pay period, and (iv) all applicable hourly rates. None of Plaintiff’s wage statements ever accurately recorded her total hours worked for days where she was not provided a full, timely meal period. None of Plaintiff’s wage statements ever accurately recorded her wages earned during pay periods where she was entitled to premium wages. None of Plaintiff’s wage statements accurately recorded the wages she should have been paid based on a $50,000 annualized rate, or noted the appropriate hourly rates based on such annualized compensation. And several of Plaintiff’s wage statements failed to include the inclusive dates of the pay period.

16. Unequal Pay Based on Sex. During her employment Plaintiff learned that she and other female employees were being paid at a lower hourly rate than their male counterparts who held the same or substantially similar positions. Plaintiff complained of the unequal pay based on her sex during her employment, but Defendants never corrected the unequal pay. Plaintiff was entitled to be paid the same wage rate as her male colleagues, and Defendants knowingly paid Plaintiff and other female nonexempt employees wage rates that were lower than the wage rates paid to male employees for substantially similar work. 17. Untimely Copy of Personnel Records. In a letter from her representative dated January 29, 2018, Plaintiff requested from Defendants a copy of her personnel records for her inspection. Defendants failed to provide Plaintiff or her representative with a complete copy of her personnel records within 30 days of receipt of the written request. Specifically, but without limitation, Defendants failed to timely provide Plaintiff with copies of any offers or policies related to her employment, or with documents related to the termination of her employment. Defendants untimely produced parts of Plaintiff’s personnel file more than 40 days after they received Plaintiff’s written request.

CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS

18. Plaintiff brings this action as a class action under Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 382 on behalf of all nonexempt employees who worked for Defendants in California within four years from the date this action was filed. 19. The members of the class are so numerous that joinder of all class members is impracticable. Plaintiff estimates that there are over 1,000 members of the putative class. 20. Plaintiff reserves the right to amend the following class and subclass definitions before the Court determines whether class certification 1s appropriate, or thereafter upon leave of Court: Proposed Nonexempt Employee Class All persons employed by Defendants as a nonexempt employee in California during the relevant time period. Proposed Termination Pay Subclass All persons employed by Defendants as a nonexempt employee in California during the relevant time period whose employment was terminated.

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All persons employed by Defendants as a nonexempt employee in

California during the relevant time period who were paid an hourly rate of

pay that did not equal the annualized compensation Defendants promised.

Proposed Unequal Pay Subclass

All female persons employed by Defendants as a nonexempt employee in

California during the relevant time period who were paid an hourly rate of

pay less than male employees who performed substantially similar work.

21. Common questions of law and fact exist include, but are not limited to:

a.

whether Defendants accurately kept track of Plaintiff’s and class members’

working hours;

b. whether Defendants required Plaintiff and class members to record compliant meal periods regardless of whether compliant meal periods were provided;

C. whether Defendants provided Plaintiff and class members off-duty, uninterrupted, timely meal periods and rest breaks;

d. whether Defendants paid premium wages when compliant meal periods and rest breaks were not provided;

c. whether Defendants contracted to pay Plaintiff and class members an annualized amount of compensation and then failed to pay an hourly rate that equaled the annualized compensation that Defendants promised;

f. whether Defendants timely paid all wages due to terminated employees; and

g. whether Defendants paid Plaintiff and female class members rates of pay that were equal to the rates of pay offered to male employees who performed substantially similar work.

22. Plaintiff 1s a member of each of the classes and subclasses she seeks to represent and

Plaintiff suffered harm and damages as a result of Defendants’ conduct alleged herein.

23. Plaintiff’s claims are typical of the claims of other class members and Plaintiff has the

same interests as the other members of the class. 24, Plaintiff will fairly and adequately represent and protect the interests of the class. Plaintiff has retained able counsel experienced in employment and class action litigation. Plaintiff’s interests are not antagonistic to the interests of other class members.

25. The questions of fact and law common to Plamntiff and members of the class and subclasses predominate over any questions affecting only individual members.

26. Aclassaction is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of this controversy because joinder of all class members is impractical. Moreover, since the damages suffered by individual class members may be relatively small, the expense and burden of individual litigation makes 1t practically impossible for the class members to individually redress the wrongs committed against them.

27. The class and appropriate subclasses are readily definable and prosecution of this action as a class action will eliminate the possibility of repetitive litigation. There will be no difficulty in the management of this action as a class action.

CAUSES OF ACTION

First Cause of Action Failure to Pay Minimum Wages for All Hours Worked

28. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs.

29. Labor Code sections 1182.12, 1194, and 1197 requires employers to pay at least the legal minimum wage for all hours worked by nonexempt employees in California.

30. Defendants have failed to pay Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees in California all of the minimum wages they are due. Defendants required Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees to record a 30-minute unpaid meal period each work day regardless of whether Defendants actually provided an off-duty, uninterrupted 30-minute meal period that work day. Defendants never paid Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees any minimum wages for the time they worked during meal periods that were recorded but were actually missed, shortened, interrupted, or on-duty.

31. Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees have been deprived of the minimum wages

they were owed as a direct result of Defendants’ failure and refusal to keep track of the time the employees worked during missed, shortened, interrupted, or on-duty meal periods and to pay at least the minimum wage for such time worked.

32. Defendants have violated Labor Code sections 1182.12, 1194, and 1197, and under Labor Code section 1194.2, Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees seek and are entitled to recover unpaid minimum wages, liquidated damages, interest, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Second Cause of Action Failure to Pay Overtime Wages for All Overtime Hours Worked

33. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs.

34. Labor Code section 510 requires employers to compensate all nonexempt employees at 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked over 8 hours in a day and over 40 hours in a week, and two times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked over 12 hours in a day or over 8 hours on the seventh day of the week.

35. Defendants have failed to pay Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees in California all of the overtime wages they are owed for the time worked over 8 hours in a day and over 40 hours in a week. Defendants required Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees to record a 30-minute unpaid meal period each work day regardless of whether Defendants actually provided an off-duty, uninterrupted 30- minute meal period on that work day. Defendants never paid Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees any wages for the time they worked during meal periods that were recorded but were actually missed, shortened, interrupted, or on-duty and Defendants never calculated or paid Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees any overtime wages that would have been paid had Defendants kept track of all time worked during the recorded but unpaid meal periods.

36. Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees have been deprived of the overtime wages they were owed for all hours worked as a result of Defendants’ failure and refusal to keep track of the time they worked during missed, shortened, interrupted, or on-duty meal periods and to pay overtime wages for such time worked.

37. Defendants have violated Labor Code sections 510 and 1197, and Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees are entitled to recover unpaid overtime wages, interest, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees. Third Cause of Action Failure to Provide Meal Periods or Pay Premium Wages In Lieu Thereof

38. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs.

39. Labor Code section 512 requires employers to provide an off-duty, uninterrupted 30- minute meal period if the employee works more than five hours in a day, and a second meal period if the employee works more than 10 hours in a day. These meal periods must be free of all work duties.

40. Defendants fail to provide Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees timely, off-duty, uninterrupted meal periods of at least 30 minutes on days on which they work at least five hours. Instead, Defendants required Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees to record an unpaid 30-minute meal period every work day regardless of whether a compliant meal period was provided. Defendants regularly failed to provide a timely, off-duty, uninterrupted 30-minute meal period by requiring Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees to attend meetings during their meal periods and to keep up with a heavy work load that did not allow for a full meal period to be taken. Defendants had knowledge that compliant meal periods were not provided. Yet Defendants required that the time records show a full 30-minute meal period free from all work duties was provided, and Defendants then instructed Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees simply to try to “make up for it” later in the day by taking an untimely meal period or a longer rest break, if doing so was possible.

41. Defendants never paid Plaintiff any premium wages for meal periods that were untimely or that were missed, shortened, interrupted, or on-duty, even when Plaintiff’s time records clearly showed a meal period that was untimely.

42. Defendants have violated Labor Code sections 512 and 226.7, and Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees are entitled to recover premium wages in the amount of one additional hour of pay at the employees’ regular rates of pay for each violation, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Fourth Cause of Action Failure to Provide Rest Breaks or Pay Premium Wages In Lieu Thereof

43. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs.

44, Labor Code section 226.7 requires employers to provide a rest period mandated by 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. Under paragraph 12 of the governing Industrial Wage Order, employers must permit nonexempt employees to take 10 minutes of rest for every four hours worked, taken in the middle of the work period unless impracticable. Under Labor Code section 226.7 and paragraph 12 of the governing Industrial Wage Order, when employers do not provide compliant rest breaks, they must pay employees an additional hour of pay at the employees’ regular rate of pay for each violation.

45. Defendants fail to provide Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees uninterrupted, off- duty rest breaks of at least 10 minutes in the middle of their work periods. Defendants regularly failed to provide a compliant rest break by requiring Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees to attend meetings during their meal periods and to keep up with a heavy work load that did not allow for a full rest break (or, at times, any rest break) to be taken. Defendants had knowledge that compliant rest breaks were not provided. Yet instead of having Plaintiffs record that a compliant rest break was not provided, Defendants instructed Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees simply to try to “make up for it” later in the day, if doing so was possible.

46. Defendants never paid Plaintiff any premium wages for rest breaks that were untimely or were missed, shortened, interrupted, or on-duty.

47. Defendants have violated Labor Code section 226.7, and Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees are entitled to recover premium wages in the amount of one additional hour of pay at the employees’ regular rates of pay for each violation, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Fifth Cause of Action Secret Underpayment of Contract Wage

48. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs.

49, Labor Code section 223 states: “Where any statute or contract requires an employer to maintain the designated wage scale, it shall be unlawful to secretly pay a lower wage while purporting to pay the wage designated by statute or by contract.”

50. Defendants offered Plaintiff the position of support specialist and promised in writing that she would “earn an hourly rate of $23.08 per hour ($50,000 when annualized), less all applicable withholdings and deductions.” However, Defendants secretly paid a lower wage than $50,000 when annualized; instead, the hourly rate worked out to $48.006.40 annually for full-time work (a difference of approximately 4% in Defendants’ favor). Defendants also promised other nonexempt employees an annualized rate that was less than they were actually paid.

51. Plamntiff and other nonexempt employees have been deprived of the contracted annualized rate they were promised and that they relied on, and they were harmed by Defendants’ misrepresentation that their wages would equal $50,000 annually for full-time work.

52. Defendants have violated Labor Code section 223, and Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees are entitled to recover the difference between the promised annual rate and the rate actually paid, interest, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Sixth Cause of Action Failure to Provide Accurate Wage Statements

53. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs.

54, Labor Code section 226 provides that employers shall furnish their employees with accurate itemized statements in writing showing gross wages earned, total hours worked, all deductions, net wages earned, all applicable hourly rates and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate, and the inclusive dates of all pay periods.

55. Defendants knowingly and willfully violated Labor Code section 226 by failing to provide Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees with complete and accurate wage statements. Defendants provided Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees with wage statements that routinely failed to report or inaccurately reported their gross wages earned, total hours worked, net wages earned, all applicable hourly rates and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate, and the inclusive dates of the pay period.

56. Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees are entitled to recover the greater of their actual damages or statutory penalties, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Seventh Cause of Action Failure to Pay All Wages Owed Upon Termination

57. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs. 58. Labor Code section 201 provides that discharged employees are entitled to be paid all wages due at the time of discharge, and Labor Code section 202 provides that employees who quit without at least 72 hours’ notice are entitled to be paid all wages due within 72 hours of quitting. Under Labor Code section 203, willful failure to timely pay discharged and quitting employees all wages due requires employers to pay waiting time penalties in the amount of one day’s compensation at the employees’ regular rates of pay for each day the wages are not paid, up to 30 days.

59. Defendants knowingly and willfully violated Labor Code sections 201 and 202 by failing to timely pay Plaintiff and other terminated class members all minimum, overtime, and premium wages owed when their employment was terminated or when they quit. Defendants also violated Labor Code section 203 by failing to pay waiting time penalties.

60. Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees whose employment has terminated are entitled to recover waiting time penalties, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Eighth Cause of Action Unequal Pay Based on Sex

61. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs.

62. Labor Code section 1197.5 prohibits employers from paying its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work.

63. Plaintiff learned during her employment that she and other female employees were being paid less per hour than their male counterparts who held the same or similar positions and performed substantially similar work. Defendants failed to equalize her or other female employees’ wage rates after she complained of the wage disparity.

64. Defendants knowingly and willfully violated Labor Code section 1197.5 by paying Plaintiff and other nonexempt female employees a wage that was less than the wage Defendants paid to male employees for substantially similar work.

635. Plaintiff and other nonexempt female employees are entitled to recover the amount of wages they were underpaid, liquidated damages, interest, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

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66. Plaintiffs incorporate all prior paragraphs.

67. California Business and Professions Code section 17200 (“UCL”) defines unfair competition as an “unlawful” or “unfair” business act or practice.

68. Defendants are each a “person” under UCL section 17021.

69. Defendants have engaged and continue to engage in business practices that are both unlawful and unfair and therefore violate the UCL.

70. Defendants’ failures described above—including their failures to pay all minimum and overtime wages, provide compliant meal periods and rest breaks or pay premium wages in lieu thereof, and provide complete and accurate wage statements, and their separate failure to pay the contracted annualized rate of compensation and failure to pay female employees the same wage rate as male employees for substantially similar work—all constitute unlawful acts and practices prohibited by the Labor Code and UCL. These failures also independently constitute unfair acts and practices under the UCL.

71. As a result of their unlawful and unfair acts and practices, Defendants have reaped and continue to reap unfair benefits and illegal profits at the expense of Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees.

72. Defendants should be made to disgorge their 1ll-gotten gains and restore to Plaintiffs and class members as restitution the wrongfully withheld wages to which they are entitled, as well as interest on such wages.

73. Plaintiff and other nonexempt employees also seek and are entitled to individual, representative, and public injunctive and declaratory relief that compels Defendants to stop their unlawful and unfair practices and fix their broken timekeeping, recordkeeping, and wage payment systems and practices.

74. This action 1s designed to ensure the enforcement of important rights affecting the public interest generally and the interests of a large number of employees. The necessity and financial burden of private enforcement 1s great, and the risks to the named Plaintiff for stepping forward are also significant. Plaintiff 1s thus entitled to recover her reasonable attorneys’ fees upon prevailing, and, in the interest of justice, such fees should not be paid out of the recovery.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, individually and on behalf of all of Defendants’ nonexempt employees

in California, pray for the following relief:

A. Certification of this action as a class action;

B. Designation of Plaintiff as a class representative and counsel for Plaintiffs as class counsel;

C. An award of all unpaid or underpaid wages, with interest;

D. An award of actual and liquidated damages;

E. Individual, representative, and public equitable, injunctive, and declaratory relief to

remedy Defendants’ violations of California law, including but not limited to an order enjoining Defendants from continuing their unlawful and unfair timekeeping, recordkeeping, wage payment, and

related practices;

F. Statutory penalties;

G. Restitution and disgorgement;

H. Pre-judgment and post-judgment interest as allowed by law;

I. Reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs under the Labor Code and/or under Cal. Code Civ.

Proc. § 1021.5; and

J. Such additional and further relief as this Court may deem just and proper.

Dated: March 27, 2018 SODERSTROM LAW PC By: /s/ Jamin S. Soderstrom

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

Plaintiff demands a trial by jury of all issues triable by jury.

Dated: March 27, 2018 SODERSTROM LAW PC By: /s/ Jamin S. Soderstrom