SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge has dismissed part of a former Francesca's Collections store manager's complaint that she is still owed for unpaid overtime accrued during almost four years of working for the retailer.
Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. of the U.S. District Court for California's Northern District dismissed with leave to amend portions of Mie Yang's complaint that Francesca's Collections failed to provide rest periods and failed to provide accurate wage statements, according to the court's 15-page order issued Feb. 20. Gilliam dismissed without prejudice Yang's claim for disgorgement of profits and dismissed with prejudice her claim for injunctive relief, according to the order.
Gilliam denied portions of Francesca's Collections' motion concerning Yang's wage claim and the waiting time penalty allowed under California Law, according to the order.
Yang has 28 days from the date of the order to amend her complaint, according to the order.
The case stems from a September 2013 "oral employment agreement" between Yang and Francesca's Collections when Yang began working as a store manager and the only full-time employee in the shop's retail location at Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, according to the background portion of the district court's order. Yang initially earned $19 per hour, but that eventually was raised to $28.13 per hour, according to the order.
Yang was required to arrive at the shop a half hour before opening and to remain 90 minutes after closing each day, and she was required to fill any open shifts, according to the order. Yang alleged that she "generally worked" 50- to 60-hour weeks, but that she was not compensated for all overtime worked "due in part to the method by which (Francesca's Collections) coded its training time separate from regular hours worked," the order said.
Last June, Yang resigned, but she alleges Francesca's Collections still owes her wages for unpaid overtime, according to the order. She filed her first amended complaint the following November alleging five causes of action, according to the order. Those allegations are a failure to pay wages, waiting time penalties, failure to provide rest periods, wage statement violations and unfair business practices, according to the order. Yang is seeking compensatory damages, penalties, injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits, and attorney's fees and costs, according to the order.
A few weeks after Yang filed her complaint, Francesca's Collections filed its motion to dismiss, claiming Yang lacked standing "because she cannot claim overtime for ‘training’ hours that she did not actually work," the order said. Francesca's Collections also maintained that Yang failed to state a claim for rest period violations and wage statement, and that she is barred from seeking injunctive relief, according to the order.
Gilliam disagreed about whether Yang could seek injunctive relief, referring to a Ninth Circuit ruling that a plaintiff claiming such a Fair Labor Standards Act violation much show she or he worked more than 40 hours per week without receiving overtime pay. Yang has done that, Gilliam said in his order.
"The Court is also satisfied that at this stage she has sufficiently pled a claim for unfair business practices under the (California Unfair Competition Law), given that her claim is both 'tethered to' section 1194 of the Labor Code and that the failure to pay wages rightfully owed to an employee is 'unethical'," the order said.