Case: One Fair Wage v. Darden Restaurants

3:21-cv-02695 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Filed Date: April 15, 2021

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about Darden Restaurants’ cash wage policy of paying employees less than the minimum wage and using tips to cover the difference. On April 15, 2021, One Fair Wage, an advocacy organization focused on eliminating the subminimum cash wage, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff sued Darden Restaurants under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Represented by Gerstein Harrow and the National Legal Advocacy Network, …

This is a case about Darden Restaurants’ cash wage policy of paying employees less than the minimum wage and using tips to cover the difference. On April 15, 2021, One Fair Wage, an advocacy organization focused on eliminating the subminimum cash wage, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff sued Darden Restaurants under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Represented by Gerstein Harrow and the National Legal Advocacy Network, the plaintiff sought declaratory relief and an injunction prohibiting Darden from maintaining its cash wage and tipping policies as well as monetary relief redressing the resources plaintiff diverted because of the policies. First, the plaintiff asserted that the defendant’s cash wage policy of paying tipped employees the lowest legally permissible cash wage caused employees to suffer sexual harassment because employees depended on customers for wages. Second, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s tipping policy of refusing to pool tips among employees or add a standard service charge to all bills caused employees of color to receive less in tips than white employees. The plaintiff filed a charge of sex and race discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and received a right to sue before filing the complaint.

The case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson. But the plaintiff declined to proceed before a magistrate judge and the case was reassigned to Judge Edward M. Chen.

The defendant filed several motions to dismiss on July 20, 2021, including a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue, a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. On September 14, 2021, Judge Chen granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim because the plaintiff was not an employee of Darden and so did not have standing to sue under Title VII. 2021 WL 4170788. Judge Chen denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue and did not reach the question of subject matter jurisdiction. The case was dismissed with prejudice and the plaintiff filed a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit on October 12, 2021. The case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Laura Irei (10/12/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/59824184/parties/one-fair-wage-inc-v-darden-restaurants-inc/


Judge(s)

Chen, Edward Milton (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gerstein, Charles L. (District of Columbia)

Harrow, Jason (California)

Maddali, Sheila (Illinois)

Nelson, Ryan H (Illinois)

Williams, Chris (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Braham, Christopher Anthony (California)

Judge(s)

Chen, Edward Milton (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gerstein, Charles L. (District of Columbia)

Harrow, Jason (California)

Maddali, Sheila (Illinois)

Nelson, Ryan H (Illinois)

Williams, Chris (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Braham, Christopher Anthony (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

One Fair Wage, Inc. v. Darden Restaurants Inc.

Oct. 12, 2021 Docket
1

Complaint

One Fair Wage, Inc v. Darden Restaurants, Inc

April 15, 2021 Complaint
30

Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motions to Dismiss

One Fair Wage, Inc. v. Darden Restaurant Inc.

2021 WL 4170788

Sept. 14, 2021 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Fighting For Restaurant Workers

Jason Harrow

Most people think the minimum wage in America is $7.25 per hour. But it turns out even that low wage has a loophole: tipped workers, like servers and bartenders at most restaurants, can be paid somet… April 15, 2021 https://gerstein-harrow.com/blog/fighting-for-restaurant-workers

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/59824184/one-fair-wage-inc-v-darden-restaurants-inc/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against Darden Restaurants Inc. ( Filing fee $ 402, receipt number 0971-15840836.). Filed byOne Fair Wage, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 4/15/2021) (Entered: 04/15/2021)

April 15, 2021 RECAP
2

Certificate of Interested Entities by One Fair Wage, Inc. (Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 4/15/2021) (Entered: 04/15/2021)

April 15, 2021 PACER
3

Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson. Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at http://cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/caseopening.Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. Counsel is required to send chambers a copy of the initiating documents pursuant to L.R. 5-1(e)(7). A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. Consent/Declination due by 4/29/2021. (mbcS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/15/2021) (Entered: 04/15/2021)

April 15, 2021 PACER

~Util - Case Assigned by Intake

April 15, 2021 PACER
4

Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: This case may fall within the Initial Discovery Protocols for Employment Cases Alleging Adverse Action. See General Order 71. Parties and Counsel are directed to review General Order 71 to determine whether it applies to this case, and to comply with that General Order if applicable. Case Management Statement due by 7/8/2021 . Initial Case Management Conference set for 7/15/2021 10:00 AM in San Francisco, - Videoconference Only. (arkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/16/2021) (Entered: 04/16/2021)

April 16, 2021 PACER
5

CLERK'S NOTICE: Reminder to submit proposed summons for defendant(s) to be served. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (arkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/16/2021) (Entered: 04/16/2021)

April 16, 2021 PACER
6

Proposed Summons. (Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 4/16/2021) (Entered: 04/16/2021)

April 16, 2021 PACER

Clerk's Notice

April 16, 2021 PACER
7

Summons Issued as to Darden Restaurants Inc. (arkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/19/2021) (Entered: 04/19/2021)

April 19, 2021 PACER
8

CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by One Fair Wage, Inc... (Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 4/20/2021) (Entered: 04/20/2021)

April 20, 2021 PACER
9

CLERK'S NOTICE OF IMPENDING REASSIGNMENT TO A U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Clerk of this Court will now randomly reassign this case to a District Judge because either (1) a party has not consented to the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge, or (2) time is of the essence in deciding a pending judicial action for which the necessary consents to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction have not been secured. You will be informed by separate notice of the district judge to whom this case is reassigned. ALL HEARING DATES PRESENTLY SCHEDULED BEFORE THE CURRENT MAGISTRATE JUDGE ARE VACATED AND SHOULD BE RE-NOTICED FOR HEARING BEFORE THE JUDGE TO WHOM THIS CASE IS REASSIGNED. This is a text only docket entry; there is no document associated with this notice. (rmm2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/20/2021) (Entered: 04/20/2021)

April 20, 2021 PACER

Clerk's Notice of Impending Reassignment - Text Only

April 20, 2021 PACER
10

ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned using a proportionate, random, and blind system pursuant to General Order No. 44 to Judge Edward M. Chen for all further proceedings. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson no longer assigned to case, Notice: The assigned judge participates in the Cameras in the Courtroom Pilot Project. See General Order No. 65 and http://cand.uscourts.gov/cameras.. Signed by The Clerk on 4/21/21. (Attachments: # 1 Notice of Eligibility for Video Recording)(haS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/21/2021) (Entered: 04/21/2021)

April 21, 2021 PACER
11

CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE ORDER IN REASSIGNED CASE: Initial Case Management Conference set for 7/1/2021 09:30 AM in San Francisco, - Videoconference Only. Joint Case Management Statement due by 6/24/2021. Signed by Judge Edward M. Chen on 4/30/2021. (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/30/2021) (Entered: 05/02/2021)

April 30, 2021 PACER
12

CLERK'S NOTICE RESCHEDULING INITIAL CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE FROM 7/1/2021 TO 9/7/2021 AT 9:30AM: Initial Case Management Conference set for 7/1/2021 is vacated and rescheduled for 9/7/2021 09:30 AM in San Francisco, - Videoconference Only. This proceeding will be held via a Zoom webinar. Joint Case Management Statement due by 8/31/2021. Webinar Access: All counsel, members of the public, and media may access the webinar information at https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/emcGeneral Order 58. Persons granted access to court proceedings held by telephone or videoconference are reminded that photographing, recording, and rebroadcasting of court proceedings, including screenshots or other visual copying of a hearing, is absolutely prohibited.Zoom Guidance and Setup: https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/zoom/. Case Management Statement due by 8/31/2021. Initial Case Management Conference set for 9/7/2021 09:30 AM in San Francisco, - Videoconference Only. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.)(afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/25/2021) (Entered: 06/25/2021)

June 25, 2021 PACER

~Util - Teleconference Zoom AND Clerk's Notice

June 25, 2021 PACER
13

SUMMONS Returned Executed by One Fair Wage, Inc.. Darden Restaurants Inc. served on 6/29/2021, answer due 7/20/2021. (Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 6/29/2021) (Entered: 06/29/2021)

June 29, 2021 PACER
14

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by One Fair Wage, Inc. For Standing Orders (Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 6/29/2021) (Entered: 06/29/2021)

June 29, 2021 PACER
15

MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Personal) And Improper Venue and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities In Support Thereof filed by Darden Restaurants Inc.. Motion Hearing set for 8/26/2021 01:30 PM in San Francisco, Courtroom G, 15th Floor before Judge Edward M. Chen. Responses due by 8/3/2021. Replies due by 8/10/2021. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Braham, Christopher) (Filed on 7/20/2021) (Entered: 07/20/2021)

July 20, 2021 PACER
16

MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim Upon Which Relief Can be Granted and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof filed by Darden Restaurants Inc.. Motion Hearing set for 8/26/2021 01:30 PM in San Francisco, Courtroom G, 15th Floor before Judge Edward M. Chen. Responses due by 8/3/2021. Replies due by 8/10/2021. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Braham, Christopher) (Filed on 7/20/2021) (Entered: 07/20/2021)

July 20, 2021 PACER
17

MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Subject Matter) and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof filed by Darden Restaurants Inc.. Motion Hearing set for 8/26/2021 01:30 PM in San Francisco, Courtroom G, 15th Floor before Judge Edward M. Chen. Responses due by 8/3/2021. Replies due by 8/10/2021. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Braham, Christopher) (Filed on 7/20/2021) (Entered: 07/20/2021)

July 20, 2021 PACER
18

OPPOSITION/RESPONSE (re 16 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim Upon Which Relief Can be Granted and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof, 17 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Subject Matter) and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof, 15 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Personal) And Improper Venue and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities In Support Thereof ) filed byOne Fair Wage, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 8/3/2021) (Entered: 08/03/2021)

Aug. 3, 2021 PACER
19

MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice for Ryan Nelson, Esq. ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number 0971-16246583.) filed by One Fair Wage, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing)(Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 8/3/2021) (Entered: 08/03/2021)

Aug. 3, 2021 PACER
20

ORDER by Judge Edward M. Chen granting 19 Motion for Pro Hac Vice. (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/4/2021) (Entered: 08/04/2021)

Aug. 4, 2021 PACER
21

NOTICE of Appearance by Ryan Heath Nelson (Nelson, Ryan) (Filed on 8/4/2021) (Entered: 08/04/2021)

Aug. 4, 2021 PACER
22

REPLY (re 16 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim Upon Which Relief Can be Granted and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof, 17 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Subject Matter) and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof, 15 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Personal) And Improper Venue and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities In Support Thereof ) filed byDarden Restaurants Inc.. (Braham, Christopher) (Filed on 8/10/2021) (Entered: 08/10/2021)

Aug. 10, 2021 PACER
23

Request for Judicial Notice re 22 Reply to Opposition/Response,, filed byDarden Restaurants Inc.. (Related document(s) 22 ) (Braham, Christopher) (Filed on 8/10/2021) (Entered: 08/10/2021)

Aug. 10, 2021 PACER
24

MOTION for Leave to File Surreply Brief filed by One Fair Wage, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Surreply Brief, # 2 Exhibit Email Exchange, # 3 Proposed Order)(Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 8/12/2021) (Entered: 08/12/2021)

1 Surreply Brief

View on RECAP

2 Exhibit Email Exchange

View on RECAP

3 Proposed Order

View on RECAP

Aug. 12, 2021 RECAP
25

OPPOSITION/RESPONSE (re 24 MOTION for Leave to File Surreply Brief ) filed byDarden Restaurants Inc.. (Braham, Christopher) (Filed on 8/16/2021) (Entered: 08/16/2021)

Aug. 16, 2021 PACER
26

STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER re 12 Clerk's Notice,,,,,, Util - Teleconference Zoom,,,,, To Continue Initial Case Management Conference filed by Darden Restaurants Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Braham, Christopher) (Filed on 8/18/2021) (Entered: 08/18/2021)

Aug. 18, 2021 PACER
27

ORDER GRANTING 26 STIPULATION OF ALL PARTIES TO CONTINUE INITIAL CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE. Joint Case Management Statement due by 11/2/2021. Initial Case Management Conference set for 11/9/2021 01:30 PM in San Francisco, - Videoconference Only. Signed by Judge Edward M. Chen on 8/18/2021.(afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/18/2021) (Entered: 08/18/2021)

Aug. 18, 2021 PACER
28

CLERKS NOTICE SETTING ZOOM HEARING. Motion Hearing set for 8/26/2021 01:30 PM in San Francisco, - Videoconference Only before Judge Edward M. Chen. This proceeding will be held via a Zoom webinar.Webinar Access: All counsel, members of the public, and media may access the webinar information at https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/emcGeneral Order 58. Persons granted access to court proceedings held by tel ephone or videoconference are reminded that photographing, recording, and rebroadcasting of court proceedings, including screenshots or other visual copying of a hearing, is absolutely prohibited.Zoom Guidance and Setup: https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/zoom/. 16 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim Upon Which Relief Can be Granted and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof, 17 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Subject Matter) and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof, 15 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Personal) And Improper Venue and the Memorandum of Points and Authorities In Support Thereof. Motion Hearing set for 8/26/2021 01:30 PM in San Francisco, - Videoconference Only before Judge Edward M. Chen. (Related documents(s) 16, 17, 15 ) (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/21/2021) (Entered: 08/21/2021)

Aug. 21, 2021 PACER

~Util - Set Motion and Deadlines/Hearings AND Clerk's Notice Setting Zoom Hearing

Aug. 21, 2021 PACER
29

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Edward M. Chen: Motion Hearing held on 8/26/2021; taking under submission 15 Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction; 16 Motion to Dismiss; 17 Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. Order to issue. Total Time in Court: 35 Minutes. Court Reporter: Debra Pas. Plaintiff Attorney: Ryan Nelson. Defendant Attorney: Chris Braham. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Date Filed: 8/26/2021) (Entered: 08/29/2021)

Aug. 26, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Order on Motion to Dismiss AND Order on Motion for Leave to File AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Motion Hearing

Aug. 29, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Order on Motion for Leave to File AND Order on Motion to Dismiss AND Motion Hearing AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction

Aug. 29, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion for Leave to File AND Motion Hearing AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Order on Motion to Dismiss AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction

Aug. 29, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Order on Motion to Dismiss AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Order on Motion for Leave to File AND Motion Hearing

Aug. 29, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion for Leave to File AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Motion Hearing AND Order on Motion to Dismiss AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction

Aug. 29, 2021 PACER

Motion Hearing AND Order on Motion to Dismiss AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Order on Motion for Leave to File

Aug. 29, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Order on Motion to Dismiss AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Motion Hearing AND Order on Motion for Leave to File

Aug. 29, 2021 PACER
30

ORDER by Judge Edward M. Chen Granting in Part and Denying in Part 15 16 17 Defendant's Motions to Dismiss. (emcsec, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/14/2021) (Entered: 09/14/2021)

Sept. 14, 2021 RECAP
31

JUDGMENT. Signed by Judge Edward M. Chen on 9/14/2021. (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/14/2021) (Entered: 09/14/2021)

Sept. 14, 2021 RECAP
32

NOTICE OF APPEAL to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals filed by One Fair Wage, Inc.. Appeal of Judgment 31, Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction,,, Order on Motion for Leave to File 30 (Appeal fee of $505 receipt number 0971-16488704 paid.) (Attachments: # 1 Supplement Form 6)(Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 10/12/2021) Appeal Case No. 21-16691 Modified on 10/13/2021 (wsnS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 10/12/2021)

Oct. 12, 2021 PACER
33

USCA Case Number 21-16691 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for 32 Notice of Appeal to the Ninth Circuit, filed by One Fair Wage, Inc. (wsnS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/13/2021) (Entered: 10/13/2021)

Oct. 13, 2021 PACER
34

TRANSCRIPT ORDER for proceedings held on August 26, 2021 before Judge Edward M. Chen by One Fair Wage, Inc., for Court Reporter Debra Pas. (Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 10/18/2021) (Entered: 10/18/2021)

Oct. 18, 2021 PACER
35

Transcript Designation Form for proceedings held on August 26, 2021 before Judge Edward M. Chen, re 32 Notice of Appeal to the Ninth Circuit, Transcript due by 12/13/2021. (Harrow, Jason) (Filed on 10/18/2021) (Entered: 10/18/2021)

Oct. 18, 2021 PACER
36

Transcript of Zoom Video Conference Proceedings held on 8-26-2021, before Judge Edward M. Chen. Court Reporter/Transcriber Debra L. Pas, CRR, telephone number (415) 431-1477/Email: Debra_Pas@cand.uscourts.gov. Per General Order No. 59 and Judicial Conference policy, this transcript may be viewed only at the Clerk's Office public terminal or may be purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber until the deadline for the Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Any Notice of Intent to Request Redaction, if required, is due no later than 5 business days from date of this filing. (Re 34 Transcript Order ) Release of Transcript Restriction set for 3/21/2022. (Related documents(s) 34 ) (Pas, Debra) (Filed on 12/19/2021) (Entered: 12/19/2021)

Dec. 19, 2021 PACER

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 15, 2021

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

An advocacy organization focused on eliminating the subminimum cash wage.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Darden Restaurants (Orlando), Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Discrimination-area:

Harassment / Hostile Work Environment

Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)

Pay / Benefits

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Sex discrimination

Race:

Black

Race, unspecified

Affected Gender:

Female

EEOC-centric:

Direct Suit on Merits