United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION RE: DKT.
H. KOH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a motion to compel arbitration filed by
Defendant Macy’s West Stores, Inc. (“Defendant
”). ECF No. 17 (“Mot.”). Defendant requests
that the Court compel arbitration of all individual claims
brought by Plaintiff Yulie Narez (“Plaintiff) against
Defendant, dismiss Plaintiffs class action, and stay
Plaintiffs Private Attorneys General Act, Cal. Labor Code
§§ 2698, et seq. (“PAGA”)
action. See Mot. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule
7-1(b), the Court finds this motion appropriate for
resolution without oral argument and VACATES the motion
hearing and case management conference set for August 4,
2016. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the
relevant law, and the record in this case, the Court GRANTS
Defendant’s motion to compel arbitration.
was hired by Defendant as a retail store employee on November
23, 2013. Decl. of Yulie Narez (“Narez Decl.”),
ECF No. 26-1, ¶ 3. As part of Plaintiff’s hiring
paperwork, Plaintiff received a copy of a Solutions InSTORE
Early Dispute Resolution (“SIS”) brochure
describing Defendant’s arbitration agreement policy and
Plaintiff signed an acknowledgement of receipt of the SIS
brochure. Id. ¶ 3 (“When I was hired, I
signed various documents. . . . I was handed a physical copy
of the Solutions InSTORE Early Dispute Resolution brochure
and was told that this document was the version which I was
acknowledging receipt of by my electronic signature.”);
Decl. of Ragunathan Veeraraghavan (“Veeraraghavan
Decl.”), ECF No. 18, ¶ 4, Exs. A, G (text of
acknowledgement of receipt of SIS brochure and
Plaintiff’s electronic signature). Although the parties
agree that Plaintiff received an SIS brochure and signed an
acknowledgement of her receipt of the SIS brochure, the
parties dispute the content of the SIS brochure given to
Plaintiff. That dispute is addressed in the discussion below.
filed the instant lawsuit in state court on January 25, 2016.
ECF No. 1. Plaintiff seeks to represent a class of
Defendant’s employees and alleges Defendant violated
various provisions of the California Labor Code by failing to
pay all applicable wages and overtime and for failing to
provide statutorily mandated meal and rest breaks.
Id. Plaintiff additionally seeks to bring a PAGA
claim against Defendant. Id.
case was removed to federal court on February 25, 2016. ECF
No. 1. Defendant filed an answer to Plaintiff’s
complaint on March 2, 2016. ECF No. 9.
6, 2016, Defendant filed the instant motion to compel
arbitration. Mot., ECF No. 17. Plaintiff filed an opposition
to Defendant’s motion on May 20, 2016. ECF No. 26
(“Opp.”). Defendant replied on May 27, 2016. ECF
No. 27 (“Reply”).
Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) applies to
arbitration agreements in employment contracts, except for
those covering workers engaged in transportation.
E.E.O.C. v. Waffle House, Inc., 534 U.S. 279, 289
(2002). Under Section 3 of the FAA, “a party may apply
to a federal court for a stay of the trial of an action
‘upon any issue referable to arbitration under an
agreement in writing for such arbitration.’”
Rent-A-Ctr., W., Inc. v. Jackson, 561 U.S. 63, 68
(2010) (quoting 9 U.S.C. § 3). If all claims in
litigation are subject to a valid arbitration agreement, a
federal court has discretion to dismiss or stay the case.
Nitsch v. DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., 100
F.Supp.3d 851, 861-62 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 24, 2015).
any arbitration agreement within the coverage of the FAA, the
court is to make the arbitrability determination by applying
the federal substantive law of arbitrability, absent clear
and unmistakable evidence that the parties agreed to apply
non-federal arbitrability law.” Brennan v. Opus
Bank, 796 F.3d 1125, 1129 (9th Cir. 2015) (citations and
brackets omitted). “A party seeking to compel
arbitration has the burden under the FAA to show (1) the
existence of a valid, written agreement to arbitrate; and, if
it exists, (2) that the agreement to arbitrate encompasses
the dispute at issue.” Ashbey v. Archstone Prop.
Mgmt., Inc., 785 F.3d 1320, 1323 (9th Cir. 2015);
see also Brennan, 796 F.3d at 1130; Chiron Corp.
v. Ortho Diagnostic Sys., Inc., 207 F.3d 1126, 1130 (9th
Cir. 2000). If the party seeking to compel arbitration
establishes both factors, the court must compel arbitration.
Id. “The standard for demonstrating
arbitrability is not a high one; in fact, a district court
has little discretion to deny an arbitration motion, since
the [FAA] is phrased in mandatory terms.” Republic
of Nicar. v. Std. Fruit Co., 937 F.2d 469, 475 (9th Cir.
creates a body of federal substantive law of arbitrability
that requires a healthy regard for the federal policy
favoring arbitration and preempts state law to the contrary.
Volt Info. Scis., Inc. v. Bd. of Trs. of Leland Stanford
Junior Univ., 489 U.S. 468, 475-79 (1989); Ticknor
v. Choice Hotels Int’l, Inc., 265 F.3d 931, 936-37
(9th Cir. 2001). State law is not entirely displaced from the
federal arbitration analysis, however. See Ticknor,
265 F.3d at 936-37. When deciding whether the parties agreed
to arbitrate a certain matter, courts generally apply
ordinary state law principles of contract interpretation.
First Options of Chicago, Inc. v. Kaplan, 514 U.S.
938, 944 (1995). Parties may also contract to arbitrate
according to state rules, so long as those rules do not
offend the federal policy favoring arbitration.
Volt, 489 U.S. at 478-79. Thus, in determining
whether parties have agreed to arbitrate a dispute, the court
applies “general state-law principles of contract
interpretation, while giving due regard to the federal policy
in favor of arbitration by resolving ambiguities as to the
scope of arbitration in favor of arbitration.”
Mundi v. Union Sec. Life Ins. Co., 555 F.3d 1042,
1044 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Wagner v. Stratton Oakmont,
Inc., 83 F.3d 1046, 1049 (9th Cir. 1996)). “[A]s
with any other contract, the parties’ intentions
control, but those intentions are generously construed as to
issues of arbitrability.” Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
v. Soler Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., 473 U.S. 614, 626
(1985). If a contract contains an arbitration clause, there
is a presumption of arbitrability, AT&T, 475
U.S. at 650, and “any doubts concerning the scope of
arbitrable issues should be resolved in favor of arbitration,
” Moses H. Cone Mem’l Hosp. v. Mercury
Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24-25 (1983).