United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Laredo Division
REPORT & RECOMMENDATION
A. KAZEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is the parties' Joint Motion to Reinstate Case.
(Dkt. No. 7). On October 1, 2019, the parties' motion was
referred to the undersigned for findings of fact and
recommendations of law. (Dkt. No. 10). Having considered the
motion, the parties' supplemental briefing (Dkt. No. 9),
and the applicable law, the Court recommends that the
parties' joint motion to reinstate the case (Dkt. No. 7)
case involves a dispute over the amount of compensation owed
by Movant, International Bancshares Corporation
(“IBC”), to its employee, Respondent, Paola
Ochoa. (Dkt. No. 1 at 1). Per the terms of IBC's dispute
resolution policy, IBC and Ochoa submitted the dispute to
arbitration. (See Dkt. No. 9-1). After reaching a
settlement, the parties filed a motion in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Texas to have the
settlement approved under the Fair Labor Standards Act of
1938, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.
(“FLSA”). (Dkt. No. 1).
9, 2019, this Court ordered the parties to file briefing on
the Court's jurisdiction to grant the relief requested
and whether a justiciable dispute existed. (Dkt. No. 4).
Instead, the parties responded with a request to stay the
case for thirty days; acknowledging that the parties had
filed the request for settlement approval prior to obtaining
a final award from the arbitrator. (Dkt. No. 5 at 2). The
parties' motion was denied, and the case was dismissed
without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction. (Dkt. No. 6). The
parties now represent to the Court that they have secured a
final arbitration award and jointly move to reopen the case.
(Dkt. No. 7). In support of their motion, the parties submit
that the award may be confirmed under the Federal Arbitration
Act (“FAA”) and is subject to approval under the
FLSA. (See Dkt. No. 9).
U.S.C. § 9 provides in relevant part:
If the parties in their agreement have agreed that
a judgment of the court shall be entered upon the
award made pursuant to the arbitration . . . then at any
time within one year after the award is made any
party to the arbitration may apply . . . for an order
confirming the award, and thereupon the court must
grant such an order unless the award is vacated, modified, or
corrected as prescribed in sections 10 and 11 of this title.
If no court is specified in the agreement of the parties,
then such application may be made to the United States court
in and for the district within which such award was made.
Notice of the application shall be served upon the adverse
party, and thereupon the court shall have jurisdiction of
such party as though he had appeared generally in the
(emphasis added). A party does not need to contest the
arbitration award to trigger the Court's jurisdiction to
confirm the award. See Decapolis Group, LLC v. Mangesh
Energy, Ltd, No. 3:13-cv-1547-M, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
23131, at *1-2 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 24, 2014) (citing McVay v.
Halliburton Energy Servs., Inc., 688 F.Supp.2d 556, 564
(N.D. Tex. 2010) (“[T]here is no requirement that a
party refuse to honor the arbitration award before a court
can confirm the award”); Variable Annuity Life Ins.
Co. v. Bencor, Inc., No. H-05-1843, 2006 WL 1492249, at
*3-4 (S.D. Tex. May 30, 2006) (denying a motion to dismiss
and confirming an arbitration award where the party objecting
to confirmation did not contest the award, had paid it in
full, and did not seek to vacate or modify the award)).
claims brought by an employee may properly be subjected to
binding arbitration. See Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis,
138 S.Ct. 1612 (2018); D.R. Horton, Inc. v. NLRB,
737 F.3d 344 (5th Cir.2013). “Because ‘the
provisions of the FLSA are mandatory, and not subject to
negotiation and bargaining between employers and
employees,' any agreement to settle claims under the FLSA
must receive court approval.” Shaw v. CAS,
Inc., No. 5:17-CV-142, 2018 WL 3621050, at *1 (S.D. Tex.
Jan. 31, 2018) (citations omitted).
court's obligation to confirm certain arbitration awards
is found in 9 U.S.C. § 9. The plain language of the
statue provides that if the parties express in their
arbitration agreement that a judgement shall be entered on
the arbitration award, and if the application for
confirmation is made within one year, the court shall confirm
the award. Id. Here, the parties ...