NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS JUL 8 2021
MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK
U.S. COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
ALEXANDER RAMSEY, No. 19-56203
Plaintiff-Appellant, D.C. No.
AMWAY CORPORATION, a Virginia MEMORANDUM*
corporation; et al.,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Central District of California
James V. Selna, District Judge, Presiding
Submitted July 6, 2021**
Before: HAWKINS, CLIFTON, and IKUTA, Circuit Judges.
Alexander Ramsey appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment in
favor of defendants Amway Corporation, Alticor, Inc., and Farouque Khattak on
Ramsey’s employment discrimination and harassment-related claims. We have
This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent
except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3.
The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision
without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2).
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. Reviewing de novo, L. F. v. Lake Washington
Sch. Dist. #414,
947 F.3d 621
, 625 (9th Cir. 2020), we affirm.
The district court did not err by granting summary judgment in favor of
Amway and Alticor because the undisputed facts demonstrate that Ramsey was
employed by Access Business Group, LLC (“ABG”)—an Amway affiliate and
Alticor subsidiary—rather than the defendant corporations. To prevail on the
discrimination and wrongful termination claims asserted in his complaint, Ramsey
must establish that Amway and Alticor were his employers. See Cal. Gov’t Code
§§ 12940(a), 12945.2(a). In the summary judgment proceedings, Ramsey failed to
controvert evidence showing that (1) his offer of employment was made specifically
by ABG; (2) his employee on-boarding form identified ABG as his employer; (3)
ABG issued his W-2’s and paychecks; and (4) his resume identified his employer as
Nutrilite, a registered doing business name for ABG.
Ramsey nevertheless contends that summary judgment was improper because
Amway, Alticor, and ABG should be treated as a single, integrated enterprise for
purposes of liability. “An employee who seeks to hold a parent corporation liable
for the acts or omissions of its subsidiary on the theory that the two corporate entities
constitute a single employer has a heavy burden to meet[;] . . . corporate form will
be disregarded only when the ends of justice require [that] result.” Laird v. Cap.
68 Cal. App. 4th 727
, 737 (1998), overruled on other grounds by
Reid v. Google,
50 Cal. 4th 512
(2010). To substantiate his integrated enterprise
theory, Ramsey was required to produce sufficient evidence tending to show (1)
centralized control of labor relations, (2) interrelation of operations, (3) common
management, and (4) common ownership or financial control among the three
However, Ramsey failed to present evidence demonstrating that
Amway or Alticor exercised control over ABG’s day-to-day employment or
management, and the remaining evidence he relied upon was insufficient to avoid
summary judgment. See
id. at 738
–39 (explaining summary judgment was proper
despite evidence that, among other things, employees of subsidiary held themselves
out as employees of parent, were eligible for some of parent’s benefits programs,
and were subject to certain policies of parent).
Although the district court did not specify the basis for its grant of judgment
in favor of Khattak on Ramsey’s harassment claim, we may affirm on any basis
supported by the record. Campidoglio LLC v. Wells Fargo & Co.,
870 F.3d 963
973 (9th Cir. 2017). Here, the record makes clear that Ramsey’s harassment claim
against Khattak is time-barred. An employee seeking to bring claims under
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) has one year to first file
a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”). See
Carroll v. City & Cnty. of San Francisco,
41 Cal. App. 5th 805
, 813 (2019). Because
filing a DFEH complaint is a prerequisite to bringing suit under the FEHA, an
employee generally “can sue over discriminatory acts that occur within the one-year
period prior to the employee’s filing of [the] DFEH complaint.”
Id. at 813
. It is
undisputed that Khattak ended his employment with ABG in 2014, and Ramsey did
not file his administrative complaint until September 8, 2017.
Ramsey’s reliance on California’s “continuing violation” doctrine is
misplaced. See Willis v. City of Carlsbad,
48 Cal. App. 5th 1104
, 1124 (2020) (“The
continuing violation doctrine aggregates a series of wrongs or injuries for purposes
of the statute of limitations, treating the limitations period as accruing for all of them
upon commission or sufferance of the last of them.” (quoting Aryeh v. Canon Bus.
55 Cal. App. 4th 1185
, 1192 (2013))). Even assuming the conduct
complained of occurred until Khattak’s last day of employment with ABG, the last
act would have occurred more than one year before Ramsey filed his DFEH
complaint. An individual employee may be liable under the FEHA only for acts
“perpetrated by the employee.” Cal. Gov. Code § 12940(j)(3). And Ramsey has not
identified any case in which an individual supervisor was held personally liable for
conduct otherwise time-barred based on events that occurred within the employer’s
business after the supervisor’s own relationship with the employer ended.
Finally, the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying a continuance.
See California v. Campbell,
138 F.3d 772
, 779 (9th Cir. 1998).