United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS THE COMPLAINT [DOC.
GEORGE CARAM STEEH, Judge
Thanh Do, is a former Senior Engineer for Toyota Motor North
America (“Toyota”). In January 2017, Do, who is
Vietnamese, filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC
against Toyota, alleging national origin discrimination. The
EEOC issued a right to sue letter on June 21, 2017. Plaintiff
filed this Title VII discrimination lawsuit on September 11,
2017 against Toyota and two of its supervisory employees.
began to work for Toyota on April 30, 2012 in Saline,
Michigan. On April 13, 2015, as part of a consolidation plan,
Toyota introduced the One Toyota Arbitration Agreement and
engaged in a rollout process which included distributing the
Agreement and making it available to employees in three
different ways: company email accounts, hard copy to the home
address on file, and the Human Resources intranet portal.
communication included the Agreement, a letter of
explanation, and Frequently Asked Questions. Each
communication included the following statement:
“If you remain employed after August 14, 2015,
you will be deemed to have agreed to the
Agreement.” The Agreement went into effect on
August 15, 2015. Plaintiff continued to work for Toyota until
his voluntary resignation on July 10, 2017.
Agreement requires the parties to resolve any and all
arbitrable claims through mandatory binding arbitration,
including all “claims, disputes, or controversies,
whether or not arising out of or relating to [Plaintiff's
employment or its termination] with Company . . . or that
[Plaintiff] may have against (1) Company [or] (2)
Company's officers, directors, employees or agents in
their capacity as such or otherwise . . . .” The
Agreement defines “arbitrable claims” to include:
(1) all statutory claims; (2) claims for wages or
other compensation due; (3) claims for breach of any contract
or covenant (express or implied); (4) tort claims; (5)
claims for harassment or discrimination; (6) claims
for retaliation; (7) claims for benefits; and (8) claims for
violation of any federal, state, or other governmental law,
statute, regulation . . . .
p.1 (emphasis added). The Agreement provides that the Federal
Arbitration Act shall govern its interpretation and
enforcement as well as all proceedings pursuant to it. The
Frequently Asked Questions explain that “[a]ll legal
claims of any kind are subject to arbitration, except for the
very limited exceptions specified in the [Agreement].”
Frequently Asked Questions No. 4.
matter is presently before the court on defendants'
motion to compel arbitration and to dismiss the complaint.
The court held a hearing on the motion on December 13, 2017
at which time it granted defendants' motion. The court
explained its reasoning to plaintiff, who is representing
himself in this matter, and indicated that it would follow
its ruling with a written opinion. Defendants' counsel
informed plaintiff how the arbitration process is to be
initiated and said she would send plaintiff the relevant
information by email.
party files a motion to compel arbitration, the party
opposing arbitration “must show a genuine issue of
material fact as to the validity of the agreement to
arbitrate. The required showing mirrors that required to
withstand summary judgment in a civil suit.” Great
Earth Cos. v. Simons, 288 F.3d 878, 899 (6th
Cir. 2002). “As a matter of federal law, any doubts
concerning the scope of arbitrable issues should be resolved
in favor of arbitration.” Masco Corp. v. Zurich Am.
Ins. Co., 382 F.3d 624, 626 (6th Cir. 2004).
or not a company [or individual] is bound to arbitrate, as
well as what issues it must arbitrate, is a matter to be
determined by the court.” City of Detroit Pension
Fund v. Prudential Sec. Inc., 91 F.3d 26, 30
(6th Cir. 1996). The Sixth Circuit has identified
four factors to consider when deciding a motion to compel
First, [the court] must determine whether the parties agreed
to arbitrate; second, [the court] must determine the scope of
that agreement; third, if federal statutory claims are
asserted, [the court] must consider whether Congress intended
those claims to be nonarbitrable; and fourth, if the court
concludes that some, but not all, of the claims in the action
are subject to arbitration, [the court] must determine
whether to stay the remainder of the proceedings pending
Glazer v. Lehman Bros., Inc., 394 F.3d 444, 451 (6th
The parties entered into a valid and ...