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Ceder v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maine

May 14, 2018

EMMA CEDER, Plaintiff,
v.
SECURITAS SECURITY SERVICES USA, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

          Nancy Torresen United States Chief District Judge.

         Plaintiff Emma Ceder brings this sex discrimination action against her former employer, Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. (“Securitas”). Securitas has moved to compel arbitration pursuant to the parties' agreement to arbitrate disputes arising out of the employment relationship. Def.'s Mot. 1 (ECF No. 8). For the reasons that follow, the Defendant's motion is GRANTED.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Ceder was employed by Securitas as a security officer from October 3, 2014 through July 29, 2016. Kirby Decl. ¶ 3 (ECF No. 10). She alleges that while on the job, she was sexually harassed, subject to discrimination because of her gender, and retaliated against for complaining about and opposing this conduct, all in violation of the Maine Human Rights Act. Compl. ¶¶ 23-38 (ECF No. 1).

         On her first day of work, Ceder signed a Dispute Resolution Agreement Acknowledgment (the “Acknowledgment”). Acknowledgment, Kirby Decl. Ex. B (ECF No. 8-3). The Acknowledgment states that

I have received a copy of the Securitas Security Services USA, INC. (the “Company”) Dispute Resolution Agreement (the “Agreement”) and I have read and I understand all of the terms contained in the Agreement. I understand that employment or continued employment at the Company constitutes acceptance of this Agreement and its terms. I further acknowledge that the Company and I are mutually bound by this Agreement and its terms.

         Acknowledgment. The Acknowledgement was also signed by a representative of Securitas, Linda Bowe. Acknowledgment.

         That day Ceder also received a copy of, but did not sign, the Securitas USA Dispute Resolution Agreement (the “Agreement”). Kirby Decl. ¶ 4 (ECF No. 10); Bowe Decl. ¶ 4 (ECF No. 14-1); Agreement, Kirby Decl. Ex. A (ECF No. 8-2).[1] The Agreement states in pertinent part that it

applies to any dispute arising out of or related to Employee's employment with Securitas . . . or termination of employment. . . . [T]his agreement requires all such disputes to be resolved only by an arbitrator through final and binding arbitration and not by way of court or jury trial. Such disputes include without limitation disputes arising out of or relating to interpretation or application of this Agreement, but not as to the enforceability, revocability or validity of the Agreement or any portion of the Agreement. The Agreement also applies, without limitation, to . . . claims arising under the . . . Civil Rights Act of 1964 . . . and state statutes, if any, addressing the same or similar subject matters, and all other state statutory and common law claims.

         Agreement ¶ 1 (emphasis in original).

         LEGAL STANDARD

         The Federal Arbitration Act (the “FAA” or the “Act”) provides that “[a] party aggrieved by the alleged failure, neglect, or refusal of another to arbitrate under a written agreement for arbitration may petition any United States district court . . . for an order directing that such arbitration proceed in the manner provided for in such agreement.” 9 U.S.C. § 4. It also provides for the stay of suits already in federal court pending arbitration. Id. § 3.

         Federal courts will grant a motion to stay a case and compel arbitration pursuant to the FAA when “(i) there exists a written agreement to arbitrate, (ii) the dispute falls within the scope of that arbitration agreement, and (iii) the party seeking an arbitral forum has not waived its right to arbitration.” Combined Energies v. CCI, Inc., 514 F.3d 168, 171 (1st Cir. 2008) ...


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