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Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division One
October 8, 2019, Opinion Filed
[**740] SANCHEZ, J.—Plaintiff and appellant Billy R. Henderson brought a civil action for wage and hour violations against defendant and respondent Equilon Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Shell Oil Products US (Shell), under a “joint employer” theory of liability. Henderson's causes of action consisted of failure to pay overtime compensation, failure to pay for missed break periods, and unfair business practices (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200). The trial court found Shell was not Henderson's joint employer and granted Shell's motion for summary judgment. We affirm the judgment.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
A. Procedural History
Henderson commenced this lawsuit as a class action in July 2010. The trial court stayed the action under the common law [**741] doctrine of exclusive concurrent jurisdiction due to the earlier filing of a related [***2] class action lawsuit. In April 2016, Henderson filed a second amended complaint removing the class action allegations and stating individual claims for unpaid wages, statutory wage and record-keeping penalties and interest, as well as restitution, injunctive, and declaratory relief under Business and Professions Code section 17200 et seq. Henderson alleged he had been employed as the station manager of several Shell-owned gasoline stations operated by Danville Petroleum, Inc. (Danville). He claimed he worked overtime and missed off-duty meal and rest breaks without receiving compensation. He further alleged that while he had been hired by Danville, Shell was liable as his “joint employer” because Shell “both directly and indirectly controlled the wages, hours or working conditions” of Danville's employees.
Shell moved for summary judgment, asserting it could not be held liable because Danville was Henderson's sole employer. (See Martinez v. Combs (2010) 49 Cal.4th 35, 49 [109 Cal. Rptr. 3d 514, 231 P.3d 259] (Martinez) [“only an employer can be liable”].) Henderson settled his claims against Danville and opposed Shell's motion for summary judgment. After a hearing conducted on January 12, 2017, the trial court issued its opinion and order granting Shell's motion. Judgment in favor of Shell was entered on March [***3] 30, 2017. This appeal followed.
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40 Cal. App. 5th 1111 *; 253 Cal. Rptr. 3d 738 **; 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 990 ***
BILLY R. HENDERSON, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. EQUILON ENTERPRISES, LLC, Defendant and Respondent.
Subsequent History: Request granted Henderson v. Equilon Enterprises, LLC., 2020 Cal. LEXIS 271 (Cal., Jan. 7, 2020)
Time for Granting or Denying Review Extended Henderson v. Equilon Enterprises, LLC., 2020 Cal. LEXIS 532 (Cal., Jan. 23, 2020)
Review denied by Henderson v. Equilon Enters., 2020 Cal. LEXIS 1029 (Cal., Feb. 11, 2020)
Prior History: [***1] Superior Court of Contra Costa County, No. MSC10-02259, Barry P. Goode, Judge.
employees, joint employer, station, hiring, wage order, merchants, wages, independent contractor, employment relationship, fuel, tasks, summary judgment, manuals, working conditions, gas station, trial court, triable, farmer, exercise control, entity's, convenience store, terminate, overtime, service station, no evidence, common law, misclassified, reimbursement, inspections, contends
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Burden Shifting, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Genuine Disputes, Legal Entitlement, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Labor & Employment Law, Employment Relationships, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Employment Relationships, Independent Contractors