United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
KURT SKAU, on behalf of himself and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
JBS CARRIERS, INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendant.
Honorable Richard A. Jones, United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on the motion for judgment on the
pleadings filed by Defendant JBS Carrier's Inc.
(“JBS”) and the motion to intervene filed by
Interested Parties Washington State Attorney General,
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (the
“State”). Dkt. ## 23, 24. For the reasons below,
the Court DENIES JBS's motion and
GRANTS the State's motion.
2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(“FMCSA”) issued a final rule mandating breaks
for commercial motor vehicle drivers. See 49 C.F.R.
395.3(a)(3)(ii) (effective July 1, 2013). On December 21,
2018, the FMCSA issued an Order determining that
California's meal and rest break rules were preempted by
federal law and hours of service regulations.
California's Meal and Rest Break Rules for Commercial
Motor Vehicle Drivers; Petition for Determination of
Preemption (“2018 Decision”), 83 Fed. Reg. 67470,
67470 (Dec. 28, 2018). The State of California has sought
review of the FMCSA's 2018 Decision in the Ninth Circuit.
See Labor Commissioner for the State of California v.
Fed. Motor Carrier Safety Admin., No. 19-70329, (9th
Cir. May 30, 2019).
moves for judgment on the pleadings and dismissal of
Plaintiff's claims for failure to provide paid rest
periods and overtime pay under Washington law. Dkt. # 23. JBS
argues that Washington's meal and rest break requirements
are preempted given FMCSA's 2018 Decision and that RCW
49.46.130(2)(g)(ii) exempts JBS from paying Plaintiff's
overtime wages. Id. The State seeks to intervene to
address JBS's arguments concerning its meal and rest
break requirements. Dkt. # 24.
The State's Motion to Intervene
motion, the State claims that Rule 5.1(c) provides it with a
mandatory right to intervene if a constitutional question is
presented. Dkt. # 24. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.1
(permitting state attorney general to intervene where
pleading draws the constitutionality of a state statute into
question). The State claims that because JBS argues the
Federal Motor Carrier Act, 49 U.S.C. § 31501 et
seq., and its hours of service regulations preempt
Washington's rest break laws, a constitutional question
is presented and Rule 5.1(c) is triggered. Additionally, the
State claims a mandatory right to intervene under Rule
24(a)(1) and 28 U.S.C. § 2403. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2403 (permitting state attorney general to intervene
where constitutionality of state statute affecting the public
interest is drawn into question); Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a)(1)
(permitting intervention where one is given an unconditional
right to intervene under a federal statute). Alternatively,
the State claims it has a permissive right to intervene under
Rule 24(a)(2) and (b)(2).
Court finds that the State does not have a mandatory right to
intervene because preemption in this context is not a
constitutional issue. The Ninth Circuit has said that
“although preemption has its doctrinal base in the
Constitution, the question is largely one of determining the
compatibility of a state and federal statutory scheme. No.
constitutional issues of substance are presented.”
Knudsen Corp. v. Nevada State Dairy Comm'n, 676
F.2d 374, 377 (9th Cir. 1982); see also Hotel Employees
and Restaurant Employees Int'l Union v. Nevada Gaming
Comm'n, 984 F.2d 1507, 1512 (9th Cir. 1993)
(“[P]reemption is not a constitutional issue.”).
24(b) authorizes the permissive intervention of a government
agency where a party's claim or defense is based on a
statute administered by the agency. Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b)(2).
Here, the State administers the statute at issue and enforces
rest break requirements under which Plaintiff brings his
claim. See RCW § 49.12.020; RCW §
43.22.270; WAC 296-126-092(4). Moreover, the Court finds that
the State's intervention at this junction does not cause
unduly delay or prejudice in the adjudication of the
parties' rights. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(b)(3).
The motion to intervene is GRANTED.
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
will not be granted unless the movant clearly establishes
there are no material issues of fact, and he is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. McSherry v. City of Long
Beach, 423 F.3d 1015, 1021 (9th Cir. 2005). In
considering a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the Court
must accept as true all facts presented in the complaint and
answer and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
non-moving party. Barker v. Riverside Cty. Office of
Educ., 584 F.3d 821, 824 (9th Cir. 2009); see also
Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1192
(9th Cir. 1989).