United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. MAZZANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Fry's Electronics,
Inc.'s Motion to Compel Arbitration (Dkt. #3). The Court,
having considered the relevant pleadings, finds the motion is
August 17, 2015, Plaintiff Ehsan Hamed began working for
Defendant Fry's Electronics, Inc. On that same date, she
signed an Agreement to Arbitrate Disputes Regarding
Employment (“Arbitration Agreement”). The
Arbitration Agreement states in pertinent part:
[Plaintiff] and [Defendant hereby agree that any and all
disputes and/or controversies that [Plaintiff] has with
[Defendant] or [Defendant] has with [Plaintiff] . . . arising
from or in any way related to [Plaintiff's] employment by
[Defendant], including but not limited to claims for damages
and violations of state, federal and/or local laws and
regulations related to harassment, wrongful termination,
and/or discrimination . . ., shall be determined and decided
by final and binding arbitration pursuant to the substantive
and procedural provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act, and
state law to the extent state law would otherwise be
applicable, is consistent with the Federal Arbitration Act,
and does not preclude or delay arbitration or apply to void
or invalidate this Agreement or any portion of this
Agreement. . . . In order to fully benefit from the
arbitration process, [Plaintiff] and [Defendant] understand
that they are waiving all rights to a court or jury trial and
to a government administrative process for all disputes
covered by this Agreement.
(Dkt. #3, Exhibit A at p. 2, ¶ 1).
September 25, 2017, Plaintiff filed her Original Complaint
against Defendant alleging sex discrimination, harassment,
hostile work environment, and retaliation in violation of
state and federal law (Dkt. #1). On November 1, 2017,
Defendant filed this Motion to Compel Arbitration (Dkt. #3).
On November 15, 2017, Plaintiff filed a response (Dkt. #5).
On November 29, 2017, Defendant filed a reply (Dkt. #6).
Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) expresses a
strong national policy favoring arbitration of disputes, and
all doubts concerning the arbitrability of claims should be
resolved in favor of arbitration.” Wash. Mut. Fin.
Group, LLC v. Bailey, 364 F.3d 260, 263 (5th Cir. 2004).
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 (1985).
considering a motion to compel arbitration, the Court must
address two questions. Graves v. BP America, Inc.,
568 F.3d 221, 222 (5th Cir. 2009) (citing Fleetwood
Enterprises Inc. v. Gaskamp, 280 F.3d 1069, 1073 (5th
Cir. 2002)). “First, whether there is a valid agreement
to arbitrate, and second, whether the dispute in question
falls within the scope of the arbitration agreement.”
Id. Concerning the first question of contract
validity, the Court should apply “ordinary state-law
principles that govern the formation of contracts.”
Id. (citing First Options of Chicago, Inc. v.
Kaplan, 514 U.S. 938, 944 (1995)). The second question
of scope is answered “by applying the ‘federal
substantive law of arbitrability . . . .'”
Id. (quoting Mitsubishi Motors Corp. v. Soler
Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., 473 U.S. 614, 626 (1985)).
preliminary matter, Plaintiff filed a two-sentence response
stating in total:
Although Plaintiff does not agree that she should be forced
to binding arbitration with Defendant, Plaintiff files this
non-response to Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration.
If the Court compels arbitration, Plaintiff requests the
Court abate this action until arbitration concludes, and
requests the Court appoint one of the following as the