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Hubbell v. NCR Corporation

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

June 14, 2018

REGINA HUBBELL Plaintiff,
v.
NCR CORPORATION, Defendant.

          Deavers Magistrate Judge

          OPINION AND ORDER

          ALGENON L. MARBLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant NCR Corporation's (“NCR”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint and Compel Arbitration (ECF No. 3). For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS IN PART Defendant's Motion and compels arbitration.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Regina Hubbell worked as a Customer Engineer II for Defendant NCR from August 2016 to April 2017. (ECF No. 1 at ¶ 1). Ms. Hubbell was the only woman on her team at NCR. (ECF No. 8-1 at ¶ 3). She alleges that while employed at NCR, she was denied training to perform her job duties, while male employees received adequate training. (Id. at ¶ 8). She further alleges that she was disciplined and ultimately terminated for allegedly not meeting work performance requirements, while male employees who failed to meet the requirements were not terminated. (Id.). Finally, Ms. Hubbell alleges that as a result of reporting the discrimination she was facing to her employer, she was retaliated against. (Id. at ¶ 17).

         Prior to beginning her employment with NCR, Ms. Hubbell was required to complete numerous online documents. (ECF No. 8-1 at ¶ 2). Among the online documents Ms. Hubbell signed is a “Mutual Agreement to Arbitrate All Employment Related Clams” (“Arbitration Agreement”) (ECF No. 8-2). The Arbitration Agreement reads in relevant part:

[I]n the unlikely event an employment related dispute arises which cannot be resolved informally, and given our mutual desire to establish a speedy, impartial and cost effective way to solve disputes, we mutually agree that, instead of going to court or a jury, we will submit the unresolved matter to final and binding arbitration.
This agreement to arbitrate includes every possible claim . . . arising out of or relating in any way to my employment. This includes but is not limited to all claims for any form of illegal discrimination under state or federal law, improper or unfair treatment or dismissal, and all tort claims. I understand that while I still have the right to file a discrimination charge with a state or federal agency, I will submit the final resolution of any discrimination claim to an arbitrator instead of a court or jury.

Id. The Arbitration Agreement further states that “[a]ny issue or dispute concerning the interpretation or enforceability of this Agreement shall be resolved by the arbitrator.” Id.

         Ms. Hubbell filed a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and received a Notice of Right to Sue on June 22, 2017. (ECF No. 1 at ¶¶ 5, 6). On September 13, 2017, she filed the instant action. (ECF No. 1). NCR filed its Motion to Dismiss and Compel Arbitration on November 10, 2017. (ECF No. 3). The Motion is fully briefed and ripe for decision.

         II. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         Under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), arbitration contracts “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.” 9 U.S.C. § 2. If a party who signed an arbitration contract fails or refuses to arbitrate, the aggrieved party may petition the court for an order directing the parties to proceed in arbitration in accordance with the terms of an arbitration agreement. 9 U.S.C. § 4. The Court must then “determine whether the parties agreed to arbitrate the dispute at issue.” Ackison Surveying, LLC v. Focus Fiber Sols., LLC, No. 2:15-CV-02044, 2016 WL 4208145, at *1 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 10, 2016) (citing Stout v. J.D. Byrider, 228 F.3d 09, 714 (6th Cir. 2000)). Any doubts concerning the scope of arbitrable issues should be resolved in favor of arbitration. Id. at *1. Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24-25 (1983). In evaluating motions to compel arbitration, “courts treat the facts as they would in ruling on a summary judgment motion, construing all facts and reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom in light most favorable to the non-moving party.” Jones v. U-Haul Co. of Massachusetts & Ohio Inc., 16 F.Supp.3d 922, 930 (S.D. Ohio 2014). The court has four tasks:

[F]irst, it must determine whether the parties agreed to arbitrate; second, it must determine the scope of that agreement; third, if federal statutory claims are asserted, it must consider whether Congress intended those claims to be nonarbitrable; and fourth, if the court concludes that some, but not all, of the claims in the action are subject to ...

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