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Arbitration – Labor & Employment – Multiple Agreements – Interstate Commerce

By: Teresa Bruno, Opinions Editor//July 20, 2018

Arbitration – Labor & Employment – Multiple Agreements – Interstate Commerce

By: Teresa Bruno, Opinions Editor//July 20, 2018

On the same day, plaintiff signed the defendant-employer’s dispute resolution agreement (DRA), its “Binding Arbitration Agreement, and its employee handbook, all of which contain arbitration provisions. This evidences a clear intent to agree to arbitrate any future dispute.

The court agrees with the magistrate judge and grants defendant’s motion to compel arbitration.

Defendant attached the DRA, signed and dated by plaintiff, to its demand for arbitration sent to plaintiff, evidencing its intent to proceed under that document. Plaintiff has failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact that the DRA is invalid. The court overrules plaintiff’s objections that the magistrate judge erred in finding the DRA controls the dispute between the parties and in finding that the terms of the arbitration agreement are not indefinite.

Even if plaintiff’s services for defendant did not involve interstate commerce, she fails to suggest that she did not use any supplies received through interstate commerce in performing her duties for defendants. This action is subject to the Federal Arbitration Act.

Finally, plaintiff objects to the magistrate judge’s consideration of the confidentiality provision in the DRA. Plaintiff contends that the DRA’s confidentiality provision undermines one of Title VII’s purposes: to incentivize employers to change their practices by holding them publically accountable.

The court finds that this concern is cured by the second paragraph of the DRA that allows the covered employee to bring claims with an administrative agency if provided for by law, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Accordingly, this objection is overruled.

Motion granted.

Carter v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-145-18, 7 pp.) (Donald Coggins Jr., J.) 6:17-cv-02457. David Alan Nauheim for plaintiff; Ashley Prickett Cuttino and David Harris Jr. for defendant. D.S.C.


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