Micron Technology Moves to Dismiss Employee’s Internet and Phone Bill Reimbursement Class Action

On Wednesday, shortly after the computer memory and computer data storage producer removed the former employee’s case to federal court, it filed a motion to dismiss. Micron Technology Inc. contends that the plaintiff’s lawsuit is legally baseless because Section 2802 of the California Labor Code does not require employers to reimburse their employees for wireless internet and phone expenses.

Previously, Micron removed the putative class action from Santa Clara County Superior Court to the Northern District of California. It now seeks to dismiss the Section 2802 claim, first contending that employees, not their employers, are responsible for expenses incurred as a result of government mandates.

In support of this argument, Micron points to two cases wherein workers argued they incurred expenses their employers should have paid for, and in both cases the court disagreed. According to Micron’s motion, the first decision turned on the fact that the employer was “required to require” its workers to wear protective personal equipment, and therefore it did not have to supply or pay for those items. The other decision reportedly held that police officers had to pay for state-mandated training, not the police force, by virtue of the fact that the training was state-ordered.

Micron analogizes to these cases, explaining that pandemic-related stay-at-home orders required the plaintiff to work from home for the benefit of public health, not the company. Costs incurred as a result of his working from home are thus “‘not an expense of discharging the duties of employment,’” the defendant argues.

Micron also asserts that the labor code provision the ex-director of marketing seeks relief from requires “employers to reimburse employees only for expenses incurred as a ‘direct consequence’ of the discharge of employment duties.” To this end, an unforeseen pandemic causing the plaintiff to work from home is beyond the scope of the law, Micron contends.

The motion adds that the plaintiff’s second and third claims, under the California Unfair Competition Law and the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act fall as mere derivatives of his first cause of action. Micron asks that the court dismiss the complaint with prejudice as its defects are allegedly incurable. The ex-employee is represented by Ladva Law Firm and Micron by Jones Day.