United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
Monqueisha L. Joe, Plaintiff,
Security Finance Corporation of South Carolina, Defendant.
OPINION & ORDER
CAMERON McGOWAN CURRIE, Senior District Judge.
Through this action, Plaintiff alleges race discrimination by her employer in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, as well as intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Defendant filed a motion to stay litigation and compel arbitration, or in the alternative, to dismiss the case for binding arbitration. The matter is currently before the court for review of the Report and Recommendation ("Report") of Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges, made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(g) (D.S.C.).
The Report, filed on April 2, 2014, recommends that the court grant Defendant's motion to dismiss this action for binding arbitration. ECF No. 9. The Magistrate Judge advised Plaintiff of the procedures and requirements for filing objections to the Report and the serious consequences if she failed to do so. Id. Plaintiff filed objections to the Report on April 21, 2014, arguing that the case should be stayed, not dismissed. ECF No. 10. Defendant did not file a response to Plaintiff's objections, and the deadline for doing so has passed.
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination remains with the court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976). The court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the Report to which specific objection is made, and the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court reviews only for clear error in the absence of an objection. See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005) (stating that "in the absence of a timely filed objection, a district court need not conduct a de novo review, but instead must only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.'") (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's note).
Defendant moved to stay this action and to compel arbitration based on an arbitration clause in Plaintiff's employment agreement. ECF No. 5. The agreement provides, in relevant part:
17. Arbitration. EMPLOYEE AND THE COMPANY AGREE TO ARBITRATE ANY CLAIMS AND DISPUTES DESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH "A" BELOW. EMPLOYEE AND THE COMPANY FURTHER AGREE THAT SUCH ARBITRATION SHALL BE THE SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY FOR RESOLVING SUCH CLAIMS AND DISPUTES, AND AGREE THAT THE DECISION OF THE ARBITRATOR(S) SHALL BE FINAL AND BINDING.
A. Claims and Disputes Subject to Arbitration.
(1) Except as provided in B below, any claim that, in the absence of this Agreement, would have been justiciable under applicable state or federal law.
(2) Except as provided in B below, any claim regarding, or related to, violations of federal, state or local laws and statutes prohibiting discrimination (including, but not limited to, race...).
(3) Any claim regarding, or related to, ... intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence or claims for personal, emotional, physical or economic injury.
B. Claims and Disputes NOT Subject to ...