United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Petitioner's Petition to
Compel Arbitration and for Related Injunctive Relief, filed
September 6, 2018. (ECF No. 1). The Petition is fully briefed
and ready for disposition.
about June 19, 2018, Respondents Jacqueline Bachman and
Victoria Vila filed a Petition for Damages in the Circuit
Court of St. Charles County, Missouri. (ECF No. 1-2). In
their Petition, Respondents assert claims under Missouri
common law and the Missouri Human Rights Act against
Petitioner Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and an individual
defendant, Larry Simms.
September 6, 2018, Petitioner filed a Petition to Compel
Arbitration and for Related Injunctive Relief against
Respondent Jacqueline Bachman in this Court. (ECF No.
In support of its Petition, Petitioner asserts that both
Respondent Bachman and Respondent Vila executed valid and
enforceable Mutual Arbitration Agreements
(“MAA”), containing the following relevant
Agreement to Arbitrate. Except as provided below, in
this Mutual Arbitration Agreement (the
“Agreement”), you and the Company agree binding
arbitration is the sole and exclusive means to resolve all
disputes that may arise out of, or be related to, your
employment with the Company and/or applications for
employment with the Company. You and the Company each
specifically waive and relinquish the respective right to sue
each other in a court of law….
Covered Laws and Disputes. Subject to limitations
set forth in Sections 3 and 8 below, this Agreement to
arbitrate applies to any dispute, demand, claim, complaint,
controversy, cause of action, or suit (as applicable, a
“Dispute”) arising under or involving any
federal, state, or local law, statute, regulation, code,
ordinance, rule, common law, or public policy (as applicable,
a “Law”),  that in any way or to any extent governs,
regulates, or relates to your (i) application for employment;
(ii) employment with the Company; (iii) compensation; or (iv)
termination of employment with the Company….
Arbitrator Selection, Rules, and Location….To
the maximum extent permitted by Law and except as otherwise
set forth in this Agreement, the arbitrator selected by the
parties shall administer the arbitration according to the
Employment Arbitration Rules (or successor rules) of the AAA
[American Arbitration Association] and Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 68 (“Offer of Judgment”)…
Arbitrator Authority. Except as otherwise provided
in Section 8, you and the Company agree the arbitrator-not a
court or agency-shall have exclusive authority to resolve any
disputes or issues relating to the formation, interpretation,
applicability, implementation, and enforceability of this
Excluded Parties. This Agreement prohibits a party
or the arbitrator from consolidating the Disputes of others
into one proceeding, to the maximum extent permitted by Law.
An arbitrator shall hear only individual Disputes and is
prohibited from arbitrating a class, collective,
representative, group, or joint action or awarding relief to
a group of individuals in one proceeding, to the maximum
extent permitted by Law. Any question or dispute concerning
the scope or validity of this Section shall be decided by a
court of competent jurisdiction and not the arbitrator.
Should a court determine the prohibition on class,
collective, representative, group, or joint actions in this
Section is invalid for any reason, the parties hereby waive
any right to arbitration of a class, collective,
representative, group, or joint action and instead agree and
stipulate that such Disputes will be heard only by a judge
and not an arbitrator or jury….
Consideration. This Agreement is made in
consideration for the acceptance by the Company of your
application for employment, and if the Company hires you, in
consideration for employing you and continuing to employ you,
for the benefits and compensation provided by the Company to
you, and for the mutual agreement to arbitrate as provided in
(ECF No. 1-1; see also ECF Nos. 10-1, 22-5).
on the terms of the MAA, Petitioner maintains this Court must
enforce its provisions as written and compel Respondents to
pursue their claims through individual arbitrations. (ECF No.
10). Specifically, Petitioner asserts (1) that the Court must
allow an arbitrator to determine whether the MAA is valid and
enforceable, and (2) that even if the Court declines to allow
the arbitrator to determine if the MAA is valid and
enforceable, it should find a valid and enforceable ...