United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
CHRISTOPHER L. SANDE, Plaintiff,
MASCO CORPORATION, a Delaware Corporation; and RENEE STRABER, jointly and severally, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
VICTORIA A. ROBERTS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
issue is whether Plaintiff Christopher Sande
(“Sande”) can proceed in federal court on his
claims or if he must proceed to arbitration.
says that Masco Corporation (“Masco”) and Renee
Straber (“Straber”) (“Defendants”)
discriminated against him in violation of the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (29 U.S.C. § 621),
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §
2000e), and the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act
(Mich. Comp. Laws § 37.2101). Defendants argue that this
dispute is subject to an arbitration agreement and the Court
should dismiss Sande's claims, or, in the alternative,
stay proceedings and compel arbitration.
reasons below, the Court GRANTS
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
sues his former employer, Masco, for age discrimination and
gender/sex discrimination under federal and state law. Sande
sues Straber, his former boss, only under state law.
started working at Masco in June, 1998. He says that
Defendants began to discriminate against him because of his
age and sex in 2014, after Straber became his supervisor.
2010, Sande signed a Dispute Resolution Policy
(“DRP”) agreeing to submit employment-related
claims against Masco to mediation and binding arbitration. In
2017, Masco sent out a new employee handbook with an updated
DRP. Sande claims he did not sign the 2017 DRP.
August 2018 Straber terminated Sande's employment
pursuant to a plan that would transition him out of the
company by the end of the year.
parties agree that Sande's employment ended at the end of
2018. This means the DRP one-year time limit to file claims
for arbitration would not bar Sande from filing his claims
with the American Arbitration Association.
survive a motion to dismiss, the nonmoving party must allege
enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). The facts
must be construed in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Power & Tel. Supply Co. v. SunTrust
Banks, Inc., 447 F.3d 923, 929-30 (6th Cir.2006)
(quoting Bovee v. Coopers & Lybrand C.P.A., 272
F.3d 356, 360 (6th Cir. 2001)).
Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) requires courts
to “rigorously enforce” arbitration agreements.
It outlines a “strong federal policy in favor of
enforcing arbitration agreements.” Dean Witter
Reynolds, Inc. v. Byrd, 470 U.S. 213, 217, 221, 105
S.Ct. 1238, 84 L.Ed.2d 158 (1985). Any doubts concerning the
scope of arbitrable issues should be resolved in favor of
arbitration. Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury
Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24-25, 103 S.Ct. 927, 74
L.Ed.2d 765 (1983).
Court has four tasks when considering a motion to stay
proceedings and compel arbitration under the FAA:
first, it must determine whether the parties agreed to
arbitrate; second, it must determine the scope of that
agreement; third, if federal statutory claims are asserted,
it 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, it must determine whether to stay the remainder
of the proceedings pending arbitration.
Stout v. J.D. Byrider, 228 F.3d 709, 714 (6th
Cir.2000) (citation omitted).
parties do not dispute that the claims are within the scope
of the arbitration agreement or whether Congress intended the
claims to be nonarbitrable.