Paige Martin, Sundae Worthy, Maria Ford, and Megan Tallerico, on behalf of themselves and classes of those similarly situated; Plaintiffs-Appellees,
Gary Yasuda; Amarillo College of Hairdressing, Inc., DBA Milan Institute, DBA Milan Institute of Cosmetology, Defendants-Appellants.
and Submitted June 8, 2016 Pasadena, California
from the United States District Court for the Central
District of California Philip S. Gutierrez, District Judge,
Presiding D.C. No. 5:13-cv-01961-PSG-DTB
William M. Hensley (argued), Marc D. Alexander, and Jonathan
M. Werner, Alvarado Smith, Santa Ana, California; Kirsten L.
Clevenger, Matthew L. Hoppock, and Ronald L. Holt, Dunn &
Davison LLC, Kansas City, Missouri; for
M. Mandelbaum (argued) and Michelle G. Lee, Rudy, Exelrod
& Zieff, LLP, San Francisco, California; Dana Sniegocki
and Leon Greenberg, Law Office of Leon Greenberg, Las Vegas,
Nevada; Adetunji Olude and Bryan J. Schwartz, Bryan Schwartz
Law, Oakland, California; for Plaintiffs-Appellees.
Before: Stephen Reinhardt and Kim McLane Wardlaw, Circuit
Judges, and Mark W. Bennett, [*] Senior District Judge.
the district court's denial of defendants' motion to
compel arbitration of labor law claims, the panel held that
the defendants waived their right to arbitration by their
panel held that the district court properly decided the
waiver issue. The panel held that this question of
arbitrability was presumptively for the court, rather than an
arbitrator, to decide, and the broad nature of the
parties' arbitration clause did not overcome the
panel held that the defendants waived their right to
arbitration because they engaged in acts inconsistent with
this right, and the plaintiffs were prejudiced.
REINHARDT, Circuit Judge:
Gary Yasuda and Amarillo College of Hairdressing appeal the
district court's denial of their motion to compel
arbitration. The district court found that the defendants
waived their right to arbitration by their litigation
conduct. We affirm.
Amarillo College of Hairdressing, Inc., doing business as
"Milan Institute" and "Milan Institute of
Cosmetology" (collectively "Milan"), is a
group of nationally accredited private colleges offering
career training in cosmetology. The plaintiffs are
individuals who enrolled in a cosmetology program at Milan
Institute. As part of their enrollment, each of the
plaintiffs signed an Enrollment Agreement that contained a
binding arbitration provision. The arbitration agreement
provides, in relevant part:
[A]ny dispute arising from my enrollment at Milan Institute,
no matter how described, pleaded or styled, shall be resolved
by binding arbitration, under the substantive and procedural
requirements of the Federal Arbitration Act, by a single
arbitrator, conducted by the American Arbitration Association
(AAA) at Milan Institute . . . under its Commercial Rules.
All determinations as to the scope, enforceability and effect
of this arbitration agreement shall be decided by the
arbitrator, and not by a court. The award rendered by the
arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction.
order to graduate from a cosmetology school, students must,
among other things, complete 1600 hours of technical
instruction and practical training. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 16,
§ 950.2(a). The students perform cosmetology, barbering,
and manicure services for the college's paying clients.
The students also clean, sweep, wash and fold laundry, set up
and take down studios, clean pedicure bowls, sell retail
products, schedule clients, and promote Milan's ...