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.

Allied Concrete and Supply Co. v. Baker

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

September 20, 2018

Allied Concrete and Supply Co., a California corporation; CalPortland Company, a California Corporation; Gary Bale Redi-Mix Concrete, Inc., a California corporation; Holliday Rock Co., Inc., a California corporation; National Ready Mixed Concrete Co., a California corporation; Robertson's Ready Mix, Ltd., a California limited partnership; Spragues Rock and Sand Company, a California corporation; Superior Ready Mix Concrete L.P., Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
Christine Baker, in her official capacity as the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations of the State of California; Julie A. Su, in her official capacity as Labor Commissioner of the State of California, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, Defendants, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Intervenor-Defendant-Appellant. Allied Concrete and Supply Co., a California corporation; CalPortland Company, a California Corporation; Gary Bale Redi-Mix Concrete, Inc., a California corporation; Holliday Rock Co., Inc., a California corporation; National Ready Mixed Concrete Co., a California corporation; Robertson's Ready Mix, Ltd., a California limited partnership; Spragues Rock and Sand Company, a California corporation; Superior Ready Mix Concrete L.P., Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
Christine Baker, in her official capacity as the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations of the State of California; Julie A. Su, in her official capacity as Labor Commissioner of the State of California, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, Defendants-Appellants. Allied Concrete and Supply Co., a California corporation; CalPortland Company, a California Corporation; Gary Bale Redi-Mix Concrete, Inc., a California corporation; Holliday Rock Co., Inc., a California corporation; National Ready Mixed Concrete Co., a California corporation; Robertson's Ready Mix, Ltd., a California limited partnership; Spragues Rock and Sand Company, a California corporation; Superior Ready Mix Concrete L.P., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
Christine Baker, in her official capacity as the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations of the State of California; Julie A. Su, in her official capacity as Labor Commissioner of the State of California, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, Defendants-Appellees.

          Argued and Submitted March 7, 2018 Pasadena, California

          Appeals from the United States District Court for the Central District of California R. Gary Klausner, District Judge, Presiding D.C. No. CV 16-4830 RGK.

          Ken Lau (argued), Assistant Chief Counsel; Christopher Jagard, Chief Counsel; Office of the Director-Legal Unit, Department of Industrial Relations, Oakland, California; John J. Korbol and Mi Kim, Counsel, Office of the Director-Legal Unit, Department of Industrial Relations, Los Angeles, California; for Defendants-Appellants/Cross-Appellees.

          Michael G. Yoder (argued) and Christopher S. Whittaker, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, Newport Beach, California; Anton Metlitsky, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, New York, New York; for Plaintiffs-Appellees/Cross-Appellants.

          Scott A. Kronland (argued), Stacey M. Leyton, and Eric P. Brown, Altshuler Berzon LLP, San Francisco, California, for Intervenor-Defendant-Appellant/Amicus Curiae.

          Kerry Shapiro, Jon Wilner, and Matthew J. Sanders, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP, San Francisco, California, for Amicus Curiae California Construction and Industrial Materials Association.

          Before: A. Wallace Tashima, Richard A. Paez, and Jacqueline H. Nguyen, Circuit Judges.

         SUMMARY[*]

         Labor Law

         The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's judgment and remanded in an action brought by a group of ready-mix concrete suppliers, challenging California Labor Code § 1720.9, which amended California's prevailing wage laws to include delivery drivers of ready-mix concrete.

         The district court denied a motion of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("IBT") to intervene on the side of the State to defend the law, and it granted the State's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' claim that § 1720.9 was preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs on their claim that § 1720.9 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, ruling that, under the rational basis test, there were no legally relevant differences between ready-mix drivers and other delivery drivers; therefore, the State did not have any legitimate justification for singling out the ready-mix suppliers.

         Reversing the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs on their equal protection claim, the panel concluded that the district court wrongly disregarded as irrelevant certain differences between ready-mix drivers and other drivers that the legislature could have relied on in extending the prevailing wage law. The panel explained that the California Supreme Court has stated that prevailing wage laws further goals such as: (1) generally protecting employees on public works projects, (2) benefitting the public through the superior efficiency of well-paid employees, and (3) permitting union contractors to compete with nonunion contractors. The panel held that the legislature could have rationally concluded that extending the prevailing wage law to ready-mix drivers ahead of other drivers would further these respective goals because ready-mix drivers: (1) are more integrated into the construction process than other materials drivers and should be paid accordingly; (2) are more skilled than other drivers and provide a material that is more important to public works projects than other materials such that paying the prevailing wage will attract superior drivers and improve public works; and (3) are more likely to be unionized and, therefore, vulnerable to underbidding.

         Reversing the district court's denial of IBT's motion to intervene, the panel held that the union had a significantly protectable interest at stake in the case. The panel concluded that IBT's appeal was not moot in light of the reversal on the equal protection claim.

         The panel affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' claim of FAAAA preemption because the prevailing wage law was not related to prices, routes, and services within the meaning of the FAAAA's preemption clause.

          OPINION

          TASHIMA, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         California's general prevailing wage laws ensure that workers employed on public works projects are paid a minimum wage. In 2015, California amended the prevailing wage laws to include delivery drivers of ready-mix concrete. Cal. Lab. Code § 1720.9.

         A group of ready-mix concrete suppliers (collectively, "Plaintiffs") challenged § 1720.9, alleging that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution ("equal protection claim") and that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 ("FAAAA") preempted the state law. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("IBT") moved to intervene on the side of the State to defend the law.

         The district court denied IBT's motion to intervene and granted the State's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' FAAAA preemption claim. However, the district court granted Plaintiffs' summary judgment motion on the equal protection claim, concluding that § 1720.9 did not pass muster under the rational basis test. The court reasoned that there were no legally relevant differences between ready-mix drivers and other delivery drivers; therefore, the State did not have any legitimate justification for singling out the ready-mix suppliers.

         We conclude that the district court wrongly disregarded as irrelevant certain differences between ready-mix drivers and other drivers that the legislature could have relied on in extending the prevailing wage law. We thus reverse the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs and order the court to enter judgment on behalf of Defendants. Likewise, we hold that IBT had a significantly protectable interest at stake in the case and we reverse the district court's denial of IBT's motion for leave to intervene. On the FAAAA preemption question, we affirm the district court's dismissal of Plaintiffs' claim.

         Background

         1. Prevailing Wage Laws and California Labor Code § 1720.9

         California's prevailing wage law establishes the minimum wage that workers employed on "public works" must receive. See Cal. Lab. Code §§ 1720, 1771. "Public works" is generally defined as construction or related work, done under contract, and paid for in any part out of public funds. Id. § 1720(a)(1). The California Supreme Court has described the purpose of the general prevailing wage law:

The overall purpose of the prevailing wage law . . . is to benefit and protect employees on public works projects. This general objective subsumes within it a number of specific goals: to protect employees from substandard wages that might be paid if contractors could recruit labor from distant cheap-labor areas; to permit union contractors to compete with nonunion contractors; to benefit the public through the superior efficiency of well-paid employees; and to compensate nonpublic employees with higher wages for the absence of job security and employment benefits enjoyed by public employees.

Lusardi Constr. Co. v. Aubry, 824 P.2d 643, 649 (Cal. 1992).

         The California Director of Industrial Relations (the "Director") publishes the prevailing wage rates and enforces the law by collecting payroll (and other related) records from employers. Cal. Lab. Code §§ 1771.4, 1776. Further, when there is a question about the applicability of the prevailing wage law, the Director determines "whether a specific project or type of work is a public work." Id. at § 1773.5(b); see also id. § 1773(c) (establishing administrative appeal process). When there is a dispute, courts may also review whether a worker is entitled to prevailing wages. See, e.g., Williams v. SnSands Corp., 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 606 (Ct. App. 2007); O.G. Sansone Co. v. Dep't of Transp., 127 Cal.Rptr. 799 (Ct. App. 1976). Courts and the Director both ask whether the worker's task was "functionally related to the process of construction," and "an integrated aspect of the 'flow' process of construction." O.G. Sansone, 127 Cal.Rptr. at 804; see also A&A Ready Mix Concrete, Public Works Case No. 99-037 (Dep't of Indus. Relations Apr. 10, 2000).

         On October 10, 2015, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., signed AB 219, which amended California's prevailing wage law by adding Labor Code §1720.9. It provides that "public works" include "the hauling and delivery of ready-mixed concrete to carry out a public works contract" regardless of who employs the driver or whether the driver is delivering from a dedicated batch plant. Cal. Lab. Code § 1720.9. Therefore, all ready-mix drivers delivering to public works must be paid prevailing wages. Before adopting the final bill, the California Legislature considered a version of AB 219 that would have required payment of prevailing wages to asphalt delivery drivers as well, but ultimately limited the expansion to ready-mix concrete drivers.

         Ready-mix concrete is defined as "concrete that is manufactured in a factory or a batching plant, according to a set recipe, and then delivered in a liquefied state by mixer truck for immediate incorporation into a project." Id. § 1720.9(b). Its ingredients are prepared and mixed at a concrete plant. Production of concrete is time-sensitive because concrete begins to set quickly after water is added. Ready-mix is delivered in specialized trucks with a rotating tank. Id. Drivers of ready-mix trucks control the amount of water added to the rotating tank and the speed at which the tank spins, meaning that they can alter the nature of the concrete.[1] By contrast, even though asphalt delivery may also be time-sensitive, drivers transport asphalt in dump trucks, rather than mixing trucks, and drivers cannot alter the asphalt once it is in the truck. For certain projects, such as paving roads, asphalt and ready-mix are interchangeable, for others, such as building walls and other structural supports, the materials are not substitutes.

         2. ...


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.