Former employee brought suit against KHIP client Safeway, alleging the company had acted in concert with plaintiff’s union to defraud him out of vacation pay and other benefits when they negotiated a settlement of his grievance of the claim. KHIP attorneys removed the action to federal court, arguing that because plaintiff’s claims necessarily involved substantial interpretation of his collective bargaining agreement, they were preempted by section 301 of the Labor and Management Relations Act. KHIP simultaneously moved to dismiss the action for plaintiff’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies under the National Labor Relations Act and as time barred.
Because the complaint expressly raises the terms and conditions articulated in the CBA and therefore depends substantially on an analysis of that CBA, the Northern California First District Court found plaintiff’s claims were preempted by federal law and denied his motion for remand. Retaining federal question jurisdiction over the matter, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers then proceeded to dismiss the action in its entirety, holding the Nation Labor Relations Act’s six-month statute of limitations applies to plaintiff’s “hybrid duty-of-fair representation/breach-of-collective-bargaining-agreement claims arising under section 301,” and that plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.