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Blevins v. Teletech Holdings, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southern Division

July 22, 2019

ALLEN RAY BLEVINS, Plaintiff,
v.
TELETECH HOLDINGS, INC. d/b/a TTEC Defendant.

          ORDER

          DAVID P. RUSH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Compel Individual Arbitration. (Doc. 13). Defendant Teletech Holdings, Inc. d/b/a TTEC (“TTEC”) moves the Court to enter an order compelling arbitration on an individual basis and dismissing the complaint in its entirety or, in the alternative, staying the proceedings pending the completion of arbitration. Plaintiff Allen Ray Blevins (“Blevins”) opposes the motion. For the foregoing reasons, the Court orders that the motion be granted to the extent it seeks to compel arbitration and stay these proceedings.

         I. Background

         Blevins was hired by TTEC as a customer service representative on July 3, 2012. (Doc. 14-1 at 3). TTEC's principal place of business is Englewood, Colorado, and Blevins is a citizen of Missouri, residing in Springfield. (Doc. 1 at 4; see Doc. 14 at 2, n.1). Blevins worked at one of the company's customer care contact centers in Missouri. (See Docs. 14-1 at 2, 15-1 at 1). As part of the onboarding process, Blevins confirmed his acceptance of the company's mandatory Arbitration Agreement (the “agreement”), (doc. 14-2), by clicking the “Accept” button after having the opportunity to read the agreement in its electronic format.[1] (See Docs. 14-1, 14-3). Blevins could have chosen to “Decline” the agreement if he wished not to accept its terms, but he did not. (Doc. 14-1). The agreement provides, in relevant part, the following:

AGREEMENT . . .
1.0 Agreement to Arbitrate
1.1 Except as provided otherwise in this Agreement, any disputes arising out of or relating to Employee's employment with TeleTech or the termination thereof, are covered by this Agreement.
1.2
Except to the extent claims are excluded from the coverage of this Agreement, the Parties agree to arbitrate all disputes arising out of or relating to their employment relationship, and Employee and TeleTech are each knowingly and voluntarily agreeing that arbitration of disputes under this Agreement shall be instead of litigating the disputes in a trial before a court or jury, and that they are expressly waiving their respective procedural rights to a jury and/or court trial of all disputes, except as otherwise set forth herein.
1.3 Class, Collective and Representative Actions
You and the Company agree to bring any dispute in arbitration on an individual basis only, and not on a class, collective, or private attorney general basis. Accordingly,
(a) There will be no right or authority for any dispute to be brought, heard or arbitrated as a class action (“Class Action Waiver”). The Class Action Waiver shall not be severable from this Agreement in any case in which (1) the dispute is filed as a class action and (2) a civil court of competent jurisdiction finds the Class Action Waiver is unenforceable. In such instances, the class action must be litigated in a civil court of competent jurisdiction. . . .
4.1 Disputes Included.
Except as specifically excluded in this Agreement, this Agreement covers any and all disputes between TeleTech and Employee. Such disputes by way of example only and are not limited to, [specifically listed disputes] . . . Whether such claims or disputes are subject to arbitration shall be decided by the arbitrator. . . .
4.3 Injunctive Relief.
To the extent permissible by law, a Party may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for temporary or preliminary injunctive relief in connection with an arbitrable controversy, but only upon the ground that the award to which that Party may be entitled may be rendered ineffectual without such provisional relief. . . .
12.0 Knowing and Voluntary Agreement[.]
The employee understands and agrees that Employee has been advised to consult with an attorney of Employee's own choosing before signing this Agreement and will let the Company know if any changes are requested.

(Doc. 14-2). The agreement also contains a Colorado choice-of-law provision and recognizes that a “court of competent jurisdiction” has the authority to resolve “[d]isputes regarding the validity and ...


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