United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS
L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is Defendant United Rentals, Inc.'s
(“United Rentals”) motion to dismiss Plaintiff
Ricardo Castillo's class and collective actions claims in
their entirety. (MTD (Dkt. # 16).) The court has considered
the motion, the parties' submissions in support of and in
opposition to the motion to dismiss, the relevant portions of
the record, and the applicable law. No party has requested
oral argument. (See MTD; Resp. (Dkt. # 19).) Being
fully advised, the court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part
United Rentals's motion to dismiss.
Castillo brings a class and collective action on behalf of
current and former employees of United Rentals, asserting
various wage and hour claims under federal and state law.
(See generally Compl. (Dkt. # 1).) United Rentals is
a company that rents various equipment. (Id.
¶¶ 17, 19.) Mr. Castillo, and other putative class
and collective members, worked as Equipment Associates for
United Rentals. (Id. ¶ 16.) Equipment
Associates perform tasks such as taking inventory, preparing
rental equipment for delivery, checking and fixing rental
equipment, loading and unloading rental equipment, and
resolving other customer needs. (Id. ¶ 4.) Mr.
Castillo worked for United Rentals from February 2, 2002,
until December 2016 in Woodinville, Washington.
(Id.) He was classified as a non-exempt, hourly
employee and usually earned around $22.25 per hour.
(Id. ¶ 22.)
Castillo primarily challenges United Rentals's wage and
hour practices. Mr. Castillo alleges that Equipment
Associates were “typically scheduled to work over ten
hours a day, five days per week.” (Id. ¶
23.) He further alleges that they were “often denied
compensation for all hours worked, including overtime for
work in excess of forty hours per week.” (Id.;
see also Id. ¶ 79 (“United Rentals
regularly required [employees] to work in excess of forty
hours per week, but did not compensate them at an overtime
rate.”).) Employees purportedly received
“incorrect wage statements” that did not
accurately reflect the hours they worked. (Id.
¶ 29.) Moreover, United Rentals often required employees
to work off-the-clock, which increased the amount of overtime
compensation that employees did not receive. (Id.
Castillo also brings claims pertaining to United
Rentals's denial of meal or rest breaks. United Rentals
allegedly required employees to “perform significant
work off-the-clock and without compensation during meal
periods.” (Id. ¶ 24; see also
Id. ¶ 89 (“[Employees] are routinely required
to work through rest and meal periods to assist customers and
managers with work-related inquiries.”).) Moreover,
United Rentals purportedly “deducts thirty minutes per
workday for meal periods, or alters the timekeeping records
to show a thirty-minute meal period, despite the fact that
work is too demanding to allow [employees] to take full,
legally compliant thirty-minute meal periods.”
(Id.) Thus, employees work off-the-clock and without
compensation through their lunch period. (Id.) Even
when employees are able to take a break, Mr. Castillo asserts
that the breaks are “often interrupted and less than
thirty minutes” because United Rentals requires them to
abandon their breaks to assist customers who call or arrive
at the store. (Id. ¶ 25.) This time that the
employees work allegedly goes “unrecorded and
uncompensated.” (Id. ¶ 28.)
on these practices, Mr. Castillo brings both an opt-in
collective action asserting violations of the Fair Labor
Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 216(b),
and an opt-out class action asserting violations of
Washington state law pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 23. (Id. ¶¶ 32, 40.)
Specifically, Mr. Castillo alleges that United Rentals: (1)
failed to compensate employees with minimum and overtime
wages as required by the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201,
et seq.; (2) failed to pay employees minimum wage as
required by the Washington Minimum Wage Act
(“WMWA”), RCW §§ 49.46, et
seq.; (3) failed to pay employees overtime wages as
required by the WMWA; (4) failed to permit employees to take
meal and rest breaks; (5) failed to pay all wages due upon
termination in violation of RCW 49.46.090; (6) willfully
refused to pay wages owed in violation of RCW 49.52.050; and
(7) violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act
(“CPA”), RCW §§ 19.86, et
seq., through its unfair and deceptive wage practices.
(Compl. ¶ 3.) United Rentals moves to dismiss all of Mr.
Castillo's claims for failure to state a claim.
(See MTD.) The court now addresses the motion.
Rentals moves to dismiss all of Mr. Castillo's claims for
three reasons. (MTD at 1.) First, United Rentals argues that
Mr. Castillo's FLSA and state law claims regarding
minimum wage and overtime pay violations consist entirely of
conclusory allegations and thus fail to meet the pleading
standard set by the Ninth Circuit in Landers v. Quality
Communications, Inc., 771 F.3d 638 (9th Cir. 2014).
(Id. at 5-8.) Second, United Rentals contends that
Mr. Castillo's CPA claim independently fails as a matter
of law, as a CPA claim cannot rest solely on alleged
wage-and-hour violations. (Id. at 8-10.) Third,
United Rentals argues that Mr. Castillo's requests for
injunctive and declaratory relief must be dismissed because
he, as a former employee, lacks standing to seek such relief.
(Id. at 10-11.)
response, Mr. Castillo concedes that he cannot seek
injunctive or declaratory relief and agrees that these
requested remedies must be dismissed. (Resp. at 1 n.1.) Thus,
the court dismisses Mr. Castillo's requests for
injunctive and declaratory relief. However, Mr. Castillo
maintains that he has adequately stated a claim for which
relief can be granted. (See generally Resp.) The
court reviews the relevant legal standard on a motion to
dismiss before turning to the adequacy of Mr. Castillo's
for failure to state a claim “is proper if there is a
lack of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of
sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal
theory.” Conservation Force v. Salazar, 646
F.3d 1240, 1242 (9th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks
omitted). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
Although the standard “asks for more than sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully, ” it
is not “akin to a probability requirement.”
Id. Thus, the plausibility requirement “simply
calls for enough fact[s] to raise a reasonable expectation
that discovery will reveal” liability for the alleged
misconduct. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.
considering a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), the court construes the complaint in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Livid
Holdings Ltd. v. Salomon Smith Barney, Inc., 416 F.3d
940, 946 (9th Cir. 2005). The court must accept all
well-pleaded facts as true and draw all reasonable inferences
in favor of the plaintiff. Wyler Summit P'ship v.
Turner Broad. Sys., Inc., 135 F.3d 658, 661 (9th Cir.
1998). “Mere conclusory statements” or
“formulaic recitation[s] of the elements of a cause of
action, ” however, “are not entitled to the
presumption of truth.” Chavez v. United
States, 683 F.3d 1102, 1108 (9th Cir. 2012) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). On a motion to dismiss,
the court may consider the pleadings, documents attached to
the pleadings, documents incorporated therein, or matters of
judicial notice. United States v. Ritchie, 342 F.3d
903, 908 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Van Buskirk v. Cable
News Network, Inc., 284 F.3d 977, 980 (9th Cir. 2002)).
Landers v. Quality Communications, Inc., the Ninth
Circuit specifically addressed the pleading standard for wage
and hour claims. 771 F.3d at 641-42. Landers noted
that “[p]re-Twombly and Iqbal, a
complaint under the FLSA for minimum wages or overtime wages
merely had to allege that the employer failed to pay the
employee minimum wages or overtime wages.” Id.
at 641. Post-Twombly and Iqbal, “at a
minimum, a plaintiff asserting a violation of the FLSA
overtime provisions must allege that she worked more than
forty hours in a given workweek without being compensated for
the hours worked in excess of forty hours during that
week.” Id. at 645. The Ninth Circuit
acknowledged that plaintiffs “cannot be expected to
allege ‘with mathematical precision, ' the amount
of overtime compensation owed” because information
regarding compensation and scheduling are often “in the
control of the defendants.” Id. Nonetheless,
the plaintiff “should be able to allege facts . . .
[regarding] at least one workweek, ” and thus, the
complaint must contain “detail regarding a given
workweek when [the plaintiff] worked in excess of forty hours
and was not paid overtime for that given workweek and/or was
not paid minimum wages.” Id. at 646.
Mr. Castillo's Claims
Castillo pursues seven claims. The first three claims involve
minimum wage and overtime violations under federal and state
law. (See Compl. ¶ 3.) The fourth claim alleges
violations of meal and rest break requirements.
(Id.) The fifth and sixth claims assert other state
law violations derivative of his first four claims. (See
Id. ¶¶ 92-102.) The seventh claim alleges a
CPA violation. The court addresses the claims in turn.
Minimum Wage and Overtime Claims
Castillos brings three claims concerning United Rentals's
alleged violations of minimum wage and overtime pay laws: one
under the FLSA and two under Washington state
The parties sharply disagree on whether Landers
requires Mr. Castillo to identify a specific calendar week
when a violation occurred. (Compare MTD at 5-6,
with Resp. at 5.) United Rentals argues that Mr.
Castillo fails his burden of alleging even a single week
during which he was entitled to, but denied, minimum wage or
overtime pay. (MTD at 5; see also Reply (Dkt. # 25)
at 3.) Mr. Castillo, on the other hand, asserts that United