Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Medrano v. Flowers Food, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

September 28, 2018

PAUL MEDRANO, on his own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
FLOWERS FOODS, INC., and FLOWERS BAKING CO. OF EL PASO, LLC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint [Doc. 67], as well as Defendants' Opposed Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, to Compel Individual Arbitration [Doc. 75]. The Court has reviewed all the briefs and arguments submitted by the parties with respect to both motions and concludes that while the motion for leave to file an amended complaint should be denied, the motion to dismiss should be granted.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Flowers Foods, Inc. is a Georgia corporation that develops and markets bakery products for national sale through a network of subsidiary bakeries. One of these is Flowers Baking Co. of El Paso (“Flowers El Paso”), which operates thirteen warehouses throughout New Mexico and ten warehouses in Texas. Like the other subsidiaries, Flowers El Paso is responsible for distributing baked goods in a specific geographical area and operating Flowers Foods' local sales and distribution operations. Individual distributors such as Plaintiff are hired to sell and distribute the products to Defendants' customers.

         In this case, Plaintiffs claim that Flowers Foods and Flowers El Paso violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., by misclassifying lead Plaintiff Paul Medrano and the opt-in plaintiffs, who are bakery distributor drivers, as independent contractors. This misclassification, Medrano claims, has deprived them of overtime pay to which they are entitled.

         On April 27, 2016, Medrano filed his Complaint [Doc. 1] in this judicial district asserting claims that Defendants had improperly characterized him (and those similarly situated) as independent contractors in order to escape their obligation to pay overtime, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., and the New Mexico Minimum Wage Act (“NMMWA”), N.M. Stat. Ann. § 50-4-22 et seq. On May 23, 2016, Defendants filed their answer. [Doc. 7]. Subsequently, numerous other distributors have filed their consents to become named plaintiffs in this case.

         On July 1, 2016, only weeks after Medrano filed suit, the parties submitted to the Court a Joint Status Report and Provisional Discovery Plan proposing a September 1, 2016 deadline for amending pleadings and joining parties. Doc. 15 at 2. On July 12, 2016, the Court adopted the parties' proposed September 1, 2016 deadline to amend pleadings and join parties. Doc. 17 at 2. The July 12, 2016 Order also required the parties, following the Court's ruling regarding conditional collective action certification, to submit a new, proposed case management order. Id. On October 14, 2016, the parties filed a Joint Motion to Amend/Correct the July 12, 2016 Order (“Joint Motion to Amend/Correct”). Doc. 27. Notably, the parties did not propose new deadlines regarding pleading amendments and joinder of parties. Five days later, the Court granted the Joint Motion to Amend/Correct. Doc. 30.

         On July 3, 2017, the Court conditionally certified Medrano's FLSA claims as a collective action, but denied conditional certification of his NMMWA claims, concluding that “if the Plaintiffs wish to pursue their NMMWA claim as a collective action, they must seek class certification under Rule 23.” Doc. 43 at 13.

         On October 2, 2017, the opt-in period for those distributors wishing to join the FLSA collective action expired.

         On October 3, 2017, the parties submitted a Joint Motion to Further Amend the Joint Amended Provisional Discovery Plan and to Amend Case Management Deadlines (“October 2017 Joint Motion to Amend”). See Docs 53, 53-1. Once again, the parties did not propose another deadline to amend pleadings or join parties. See id. The next day, the Court granted that motion. Doc. 66.

         On October 20, 2017, Medrano filed the present motion for leave to amend his complaint. In his proposed amended complaint, Medrano seeks to add nine[1] individuals as named plaintiffs (all of whom are already opt-in plaintiffs with regard to the FLSA collective action) for the purpose of asserting their individual claims under the NMMWA. The proposed amended complaint would also add the individual retaliation claim of David Salas (one of the nine) under the NMMWA.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Motion for Leave to Amend

         Plaintiff moves the Court for leave to amend the complaint to add ten Plaintiffs' individual claims for violation of the NMMWA. Defendants oppose the amendment on the grounds that the request is untimely and Medrano has not shown good cause for his failure to act in a timely manner.

         A. Le ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.