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Core v. Lighthouse Ins. Group, LLC

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

July 23, 2019

DANIEL CORE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
LIGHTHOUSE INS. GROUP, LLC, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          DAN AARON POLSTER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Defendant Lighthouse Insurance Group, LLC's Motion to Compel Arbitration and Dismiss, or in the Alternative, Motion to Stay Pending Arbitration (“Motion”), Doc #: 3. For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED.

         I. Facts

         A. Background

         Plaintiffs bring this action to collect allegedly unpaid overtime compensation from their employer Lighthouse Insurance Group, LLC (“LIG”). Doc #: 1; Compl. ¶ 10. Named Plaintiffs Daniel Core and D'Angelo Williams were employed by LIG as sales agents from June and September of 2018, respectively, through January 2019. Id. at ¶ 5, 8. Plaintiffs allege that during their employment, LIG did not properly calculate overtime wages in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) and that this miscalculation resulted in unpaid overtime wages. Id. at ¶ 6, 9.

         As part of their employment with LIG, both Core and Williams signed identical Agreements to Arbitrate (“Agreement”). Doc #: 3, Ex. 1-2. The Agreements state in relevant part:

I understand and agree that if I file a claim under this Agreement, I will pay part of the AAA's filing fee for disputes arising under employer-promulgated plans, in the same amount that I would be required to pay to file a lawsuit in state court. Lighthouse Insurance Group, LLC will pay the remaining part of the filing fee, the AAA's administrative fees for such disputes, and the fees and expenses of the arbitrator, and it will provide the hearing facilities.
* * *
I understand and agree that if I file a claim under this Agreement, I will be responsible for paying the remainder of my expenses consequent to my claim including, but not limited to, my own attorney's fees if I choose to be represented by an attorney, unless the arbitrator orders Lighthouse Insurance Group, LLC to pay such fees as a statutory remedy.

Id.

         On May 23, 2019, Plaintiffs filed collective and class action allegations asserting unpaid overtime claims under both federal and state law. Id. at 11, 13, 15. On June 21, 2019, LIG filed its Motion to Compel or Stay Pending Arbitration. Doc #: 3. On July 8, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their Response. Doc #: 4. On July 10, 2019, LIG filed its Reply. Doc #: 5.

         II. Analysis

         A. Standard of Review

         The Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9 U.S.C. §§ 1, et seq., provides the standard for district courts to rule on a motion to compel arbitration. So long as the district court has jurisdiction over the case, a party aggrieved by the alleged failure, neglect, or refusal of another to arbitrate under a written agreement for arbitration may move the court for an order compelling arbitration. 9 U.S.C. § 4. The FAA provides for a stay of the proceedings in federal court “until such arbitration has been had in accordance with the terms of the agreement.” 9 U.S.C. § 3. The Supreme Court has interpreted the FAA as having created “a liberal federal policy favoring arbitration.” CompusCredit Corp. v. Greenwood, 565 U.S. 95, 98 (2012) (quoting Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hospital v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24 (1938)). That policy “requires courts to enforce agreements to arbitrate according to their terms.” Id. (citing Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. v. Byrd, 470 U.S. 213, ...


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