United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL
ARBITRATION (DOC. NO. 7)
A. HOUSTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendant Caliber Holdings
Corporation’s (“Defendant”) motion to
compel arbitration and dismiss the case
(“Motion”). See Doc. No. 7. Plaintiff
Kalin Tijerina filed responses in opposition. See
Doc. Nos. 11, 12. The Motion is fully briefed. After careful
consideration of the pleadings filed by both parties, and for
the reasons set forth below, the Court
GRANTS Defendant’s Motion.
28, 2019, this case was removed to this Court from Superior
Court of California San Diego County. See Doc. No.
1. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant “misclassified
Plaintiff as an exempt employee, failed to pay Plaintiff
overtime wages, failed to provide her with meal and rest
periods, failed to provide her with accurate itemized wage
statements, and failed to pay all wages when her employment
was terminated.” Doc. No. 1 at pg. 3. Plaintiff asserts
six causes of action for Defendant’s alleged violations
of California state law and asserts that this Court has
diversity jurisdiction over the case. See Doc. No.
1. Defendant filed an answer to the complaint on June 28,
2019. See Doc. No. 2. On August 9, 2019, Defendant
filed the Motion. See Doc. No. 7. Plaintiff filed
responses in opposition on September 3, 2019 and September 6,
2019. See Doc. Nos. 11, 12. Defendant filed a reply
on September 9, 2019. On September 9, 2019, this Court issued
an Order vacating the hearing date and taking the Motion
under submission. See Doc. No. 14.
Federal Arbitration Act governs the question of
arbitrability. See 9. U.S.C. § 4. Arbitration
is a matter of contract and courts cannot require a party to
arbitrate unless that party has agreed to do so. United
Steelworkers of America v. Warrior & Gulf, 363 U.S.
574, 582 (1960). Doubts as to whether the arbitration clause
covers the dispute at issue should be resolved in favor of
coverage. Id. at 582-83. Clauses requiring
arbitration of claims “arising out of or relating
to” a contract are considered broad. Prima Paint
Corp. v. Flood & Conklin Mfg. Co., 388 U.S. 395, 398
(1967). The preference for arbitration is particularly strong
when the arbitration clause is broad. AT&T
Technologies, Inc. v. Communications Workers of America,
475 U.S. 643, 650 (1986). The FAA “leaves no place for
the exercise of discretion by a district court, but instead
mandates that district courts shall direct the parties to
proceed to arbitration on issues as to which an arbitration
agreement has been signed.” Dean Witter Reynolds
Inc. v. Byrd, 470 U.S. 213, 218, 105 S.Ct. 1238, 84
L.Ed.2d 158 (1985). As such, there is a liberal policy
favoring arbitration. See Moses H. Cone Memorial Hosp. v.
Mercury Const. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 103 S.Ct. 927, 74
L.Ed.2d 765 (1983). A court interpreting an arbitration
clause applies state law principles of contract
interpretation and must give “due regard…to the
federal policy favoring arbitration, and ambiguities as to
the scope of the arbitration clause itself resolved in favor
of arbitration.” Volt Information Sciences, Inc. v.
Board Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University, 489
U.S. 468, 475-76 (1989) (internal citation omitted)."
Motion, Defendant argues that Plaintiff voluntarily agreed to
arbitrate any potential claims against Defendant when
Plaintiff initialed the arbitration provision and signed the
employment document on December 15, 2000. Doc. No. 7-1 at
pgs. 6-7. Defendant asserts that the arbitration provision
states, in its entirety:
“I hereby agree to submit to binding arbitration all
disputes and claims arising out of the submission of this
application. I further agree, in the event that I am hired by
the company, that all disputes that cannot be resolved by
informal internal resolution which might arise out of my
employment with the company, whether during or after that
employment, will be submitted to binding arbitration. I agree
that such arbitration shall be conducted under the rules of
the American Arbitration Association. This application
contains the entire agreement between parties with regard to
dispute resolution, and there are no other agreements as to
dispute resolution, either written or oral.”
argues that this arbitration agreement is fair and
enforceable; that Plaintiff’s claims are subject to
this agreement; and that Plaintiff knowingly breached the
arbitration agreement by refusing to arbitrate her claims.
Id. at pgs. 6-8. Defendant contends that the
arbitration agreement is valid, and there is no reason to
revoke this agreement. Id. at pgs. 10-15. Defendant
asserts that the arbitration agreement is not procedurally or
substantively unconscionable. Id. at pgs. 15-18.
response, Plaintiff asserts that the arbitration agreement
was rescinded by the Receipt of Associate Guidebook (the
“Acknowledgment”). Doc. No. 11 at pgs. 8-11.
Plaintiff cites the pertinent language of the Acknowledgement
of Receipt: “It supersedes all prior agreements,
understanding and representations concerning
[Plaintiff’s] employment with the Company.”
Id. at pg. 8. Plaintiff argues that the arbitration
agreement is illusory because Defendant had unfettered
discretion to alter the agreement. Id. at pgs.
11-13. Plaintiff also argues that the ...