United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Compel Arbitration and Dismiss or in the Alternative, Stay
Proceedings Pending the Completion of Arbitration [Doc 14].
Plaintiff opposes the Motion. For the reasons set forth
below, the Motion to Compel Arbitration is granted.
filed this action against Defendants on February 23, 2015,
alleging that during her employment with Defendant Harris
Stowe, she was subjected to discrimination on the basis of
her race, her disability, and /or perceived disability, and
that she was retaliated against as a result of her having
complained of this alleged discrimination. Plaintiff further
claims that the discrimination and retaliation were the cause
of the termination of her employment.
August 23, 2013, Plaintiff signed an employment agreement
with Harris Stowe, agreeing to be employed as the Director of
Financial Aid for the 2013-14 school year. The Employment
Agreement contains an arbitration clause entitled
“Alternative Dispute Resolution - Agreement to
The University and the Employee hereby agree that arbitration
is the required and exclusive forum for the resolution of all
employment-related and compensation related disputes based on
legally protected rights (i.e., statutory, contractual or
common law rights) that may arise between Employee and the
University, including without limitation contractual claims
and claims, demands or actions under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1991,
the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Older
Worker Benefit Protection Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act
of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the
Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the
Missouri Human Rights Act, any other federal, state or local
statue, regulation or common law doctrine regarding
employment discrimination, conditions of employment or
termination of employment, and compensation-related claims
including without limitation, claims, demands or actions for
or relating to current salary or wages, equity compensation,
deferred compensation, bonuses, commissions, vacation pay and
11, 2017, Plaintiff obtained leave to file her First Amended
Petition against Defendants alleging Defendants violated the
Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”) and the Family
and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”).
move to compel arbitration and dismiss, alternatively,
Defendants seek a stay of this action pending arbitration.
Plaintiff argues that Defendants have waived the right to
to Compel Arbitration
compelling arbitration, a district court must determine (1)
whether there is a valid arbitration agreement and (2)
whether the particular dispute falls within the terms of that
agreement. Robinson v. EOR-ARK, LLC, 841 F.3d 781,
783 (8th Cir. 2016). Any doubts raised in construing contract
language on arbitrability should be resolved in favor of
arbitration. CD Partners, LLC v. Grizzle, 424 F.3d
795, 795 (8th Cir. 2005).
Section 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA),
“written arbitration agreements [are] valid,
irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist
at law or in equity for the revocation of a contract.”
Anderson v. Carlisle, 129 S.Ct. 1896, 1901 (2009).
Section 2 “creates substantive federal law regarding
the enforceability of arbitration agreements, requiring
courts to place such agreements upon the same footing as
other contracts.” Id. (quotations omitted).
“Section 3, in turn, allows litigants already in
federal court to invoke agreements made enforceable by
Section 2.” Id. “That provision requires
the court, on application of one of the parties, to stay the
action if it involves an issue referable to arbitration under
an agreement in writing.” Id.
does not dispute the Arbitration Agreement's existence,
nor does she claim issues in this case do not fall within the
provisions of the Agreement. Rather, Plaintiff contends that
Defendants have waived their right to compel arbitration.
of Right to Arbitrate
can waive their contractual right to arbitration even if
their agreement to arbitrate is valid and enforceable.”
Schultz v. Verizon Wireless Servs., LLC, 833 F.3d
975, 978 (8th Cir. 2016). Courts will not compel arbitration
when the party who seeks to arbitrate has waived its right to
do so. See generally Lewallen v. Green Tree Servicing,
L.L.C.,487 F.3d 1085, 1094 (8th Cir. 2007); Hooper
v. Advance Am., 589 F.3d 917, 920 (8th Cir. 2009);
Erdman Co. v. Phx. Land & Acquisition, LLC, 650
F.3d 1115, 1120 (8th Cir. 2011). A party waives its right to
arbitrate when the party “(1) knew it had a ...