Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Matos v. At & T Corp.

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

September 9, 2019

Maritza Matos, Plaintiff,
v.
AT&T Corporation, Debbie Garett, and Jane Doe, Defendants.

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          RENEE HARRIS TOLIVER UNITED DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), this case has been referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge for pretrial management. Pending before the Court is Defendant AT&T Corporation's Motion to Compel Arbitration and Stay All Proceedings. Doc. 27. For the reasons that follow, the motion to compel arbitration should be GRANTED, the motion to stay proceedings should be DENIED, the parties should be ORDERED to arbitrate this action in accordance with the terms and provisions of the arbitration agreement, and this action should be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE

         I. Background

         Plaintiff, a former employee of Defendant AT&T Mobility Services, LLC[1] ("AT&T"), filed her pro se Complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that AT&T and its employees, Defendants Debbie Garett ("Garett") and Jane Doe, discriminated against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 based on Plaintiffs race and national origin. Doc. 2 at 3-4. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants' alleged discrimination violated New York state and city civil rights laws. The case was transferred to the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, Doc. 4, where AT&T and Garett filed a joint answer. AT&T now moves to compel arbitration and stay this action pending the outcome. Doc. 27.

         A. Relevant Facts

         Plaintiff alleges that she was employed by AT&T from 2003 until 2015. Doc. 2 at 6-8. She enjoyed generally good relations with her employer until 2012, when AT&T transferred her to a position in which she reported remotely to Garett in Bellaire, Texas, and after which she began experiencing the discriminatory conduct which led to the instant complaint. Doc. 2 at 6-8.

         On November 30, 2011, AT&T sent an email to Plaintiff, via AT&T's internal server, informing her that it was beginning an arbitration agreement program for employees (the "Agreement"). Doc. 28 at 26 (Decl. of Jeremy Dunlap). Over a 60-day period, AT&T sent the same email with the subject header "Action Required: Arbitration Agreement" to approximately 103, 906 internal addresses advising the users of the program's creation. Doc. 28 at 25 (Decl. of Jeremy Dunlap). The email stated that entering into the Agreement was entirely voluntary and "there would be no adverse consequences for anyone opting out" of the Agreement, but anyone who chose to opt out must do so by February 6, 2011. Doc. 28 at 10 (Decl. of Kathleen Matyola, Ex. 1). The email also stated that anyone who did not opt out of the Agreement before February 6, 2011 would be subject to its terms. Doc. 28 at 10 (Decl. of Kathleen Matyola, Ex. 1). In addition, the email included a link to view the Agreement and language and encouraged users to do so. Doc. 28 at 10 (Decl. of Kathleen Matyola, Ex. 1).

         When AT&T sent the email to Plaintiff, her email account sent an automatic "out of office" reply, Doc. 28 at 48 (Decl. of Susan Bounds, Ex. 1), but according to AT&T's records, someone subsequently (1) accessed the Agreement within the 60 day opt-out window using Plaintiffs unique login name and password for her email account, (2) followed the attached link to the Agreement, and (3) acknowledged reviewing the Agreement by clicking a "review completed" button, which was registered by AT&T's internal system. Doc. 28 at 26 (Decl. of Jeremy Dunlap & Exs. 2, 4-5). AT&T's records further indicate that Plaintiff did not opt out of the Agreement. Doc. 28 at 50 (Decl. of Hilda Ramirez).

         On February 7, 2012, the Agreement went into effect. Doc. 28 at 83 (Decl. of Kathleen Matyola, Ex. 1). In 2015, Plaintiff was fired from her job and filed a complaint with the EEOC, which issued her a right to sue letter in April 2018. Doc. 2 at 6-8, 11.

         B. Issues Presented

         By the instant motion, AT&T asserts that suit in federal court is not appropriate because the Agreement is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"), which provides that "any dispute to which the Agreement applies" will be resolved in "final and binding arbitration instead of court litigation." Doc. 27 at 6 (alterations omitted). Plaintiff did not file a response, but instead sent a one-page letter to the court stating that she did "not recall signing or willing to go for arbitration as an alternative process to resolve this dispute but before a Judge-Magistrate." Doc. 36. She also argues that the "claimed arbitration agreement is not proven signed by [Plaintiff]," nor did it give [her] a notice that [she] was waiving [her] rights to take [her] case to a Federal court based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." Id.

         AT&T replies that not only is Plaintiffs unsworn letter inadmissible as opposition to the motion to compel, but that Plaintiffs lack of knowledge and notice are insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact. Doc. 37.

         II. Applicable Law

         "Congress enacted the FAA to replace judicial indisposition to arbitration with a 'national policy favoring [it] and plac[ing] arbitration agreements on equal footing with all other contracts.'" Hall St. Assocs., L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc.,552 U.S. 576, 581 (2008) (quoting BuckeyeCheck ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.