United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the separate motions to compel
arbitration and stay these proceedings filed by Defendants
Team Select Home Care of Missouri, Inc. (“Team
Select”) and Algonquin Nurses Home Health Care I, LLC
(“Algonquin”). ECF Nos. 36, 56. For the reasons
set forth below, the Court will grant the motions and will
stay this case pending arbitration.
Irina Pruteanu brought this action in state court against
Team Select and Algonquin, alleging discrimination on the
basis of sex and pregnancy, in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et
seq., and the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”),
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 213.055; and claims under Missouri
common law. Thereafter, Team Select removed the action to
federal court, and Algonquin filed its consent to removal
October 2, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion to remand, arguing
that Team Select's notice made no reference to
Algonquin's consent in its filing. The Court denied the
motion to remand because Algonquin's consent was timely
filed. Then, on October 4, 2018, Team Select filed a motion
to dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff's MHRA claim was
untimely, that Plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead the two
Missouri common law claims, and that Plaintiff failed to
state a Title VII claim for sex and pregnancy discrimination.
On November 19, 2018, Algonquin filed a motion for summary
judgment, arguing that it never employed Plaintiff and thus
should not be a party to the litigation.
February 27, 2019, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's MHRA
claim and her Missouri common law claims but concluded that
Plaintiff stated a claim for sex and pregnancy
discrimination. The Court also denied Defendant
Algonquin's motion for summary judgment because there
remained issues of fact with regard to the entity that
actually employed Plaintiff.
the Court set the matter for a Rule 16 Conference. However,
before it took place, Team Select made a written demand for
arbitration on Plaintiff. On March 20, 2019, Plaintiff
rejected Team Select's demand, resulting in this motion
to compel arbitration. The Court cancelled the Rule 16
Conference, to be reset upon the resolution of the motion.
motion to compel arbitration, Team Select argues that at the
time Plaintiff filed her lawsuit, she was a party to an
enforceable Employment Arbitration Agreement
(“Arbitration Agreement”), requiring her to
arbitrate all covered employment-related disputes, including
her Title VII claims in this case.
did not file a separate motion to compel arbitration or join
Team Select's motion. Accordingly, on October 21, 2019,
the Court issued an order directing Team Select and Algonquin
to file supplemental briefing addressing the effect of any
Court order compelling arbitration on Plaintiff's pending
claims against Algonquin. In response, Algonquin filed a
separate motion to compel arbitration “to the extent
Plaintiff considers Algonquin to be her employer” and
incorporating the arguments advanced by Team Select in its
motion to compel arbitration and related filings. ECF No. 56.
Arbitration Agreement at issue in this case provides as
I, Irina Pruteanu (hereinafter “Employee”) hereby
agree as follows:
As a part of the consideration for Employee's employment
by Team Select Home Care (including its affiliates,
subsidiaries, successors, assigns, partners, and joint
ventures) (hereinafter collectively “Employer”) .
. . Employer and Employee agree to the following:
1. In the event of any dispute arising under or involving any
provision of this Employment Arbitration Agreement or any
claim or dispute relating to or arising from Employee's
employment with Employer, including, but not limited to: . .
. (II) Any and all claims for violation of any federal, state
or municipal statute, including, but not limited to, Title
VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Civil
Rights Act of 1991 . . . (IV) Any and all claims or disputes
arising out of any other laws and/or regulations relating to
or arising from Employee's employment; . . . Employee and
Employer agree to submit any such claim or dispute to binding
arbitration in the county in which the office resides. . . .
ECF No. 37-1. The Arbitration Agreement further provides that
it is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act
(“FAA”) and, on the last page of the Arbitration
Agreement, there is a signature line for the employee, as
well as a line on which the employee must print her name. The
printed name is listed as “Irina Pruteanu, ” and
on the signature line, there appears a stamp that Plaintiff
“DocuSigned” the agreement on March 7, 2017. The
DocuSign stamp inserts what appears to be a handwritten
above the employee signature line appears the following:
Team Select Home Care Michael Lovell, President ...