United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
V. Hodges Columbia, South Carolina United States Magistrate
employment discrimination case, Suzanne Young
(“Plaintiff”) sues AMIsub of South Carolina, Inc.
d/b/a Piedmont Medical Center (“Defendant”),
alleging (1) sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et
seq. (“Title VII”); and (2) disability
discrimination in violation of the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 12101,
et seq. (“ADA”). [ECF No. 1-1]. This
matter comes before the court on Defendant's motion to
compel arbitration and to dismiss or stay all claims. [ECF
No. 6]. The motion having been fully briefed [ECF Nos. 10,
11], it is ripe for disposition.
pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the
undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(g) (D.S.C.).
Because the motion is dispositive, this report and
recommendation is entered for the district judge's
consideration. For the reasons that follow, the undersigned
recommends the district court grant Defendant's motion to
was hired by Defendant as its Director of Imaging and Pain
Services in April 2011. Compl. at ¶ 8. Upon her hire,
Plaintiff executed an acknowledgment
(“Agreement”), under which she and Defendant
agreed to arbitrate any disputes or disagreements arising out
of or relating to Plaintiff's employment with Defendant.
Specifically, the Agreement states:
Except to the extent that any applicable collective
bargaining agreement provided otherwise, I hereby
voluntarily agree to use the Company's Fair Treatment
Process and to submit to final and binding arbitration of any
and all claims and disputes that are related in any way to my
employment or the termination of my employment with Tenet. I
understand that final and binding arbitration will be the
sole and exclusive remedy of any such claim or dispute
against Tenet or its parent, subsidiary or affiliated
companies or entities, and each of its and/or their
employees, officers, directors or agents, and that, by
agreeing to the use of arbitration to resolve my dispute,
both the Company and I agree to forego any right we each may
have had to a jury trial on issues covered by the Fair
Treatment Process. I also agree that such arbitration will be
conducted before an experienced arbitrator chosen by me and
the Company, and will be conducted under the Federal
Arbitration Act and the procedural rules of the American
Arbitration Association (“AAA”).
I further acknowledge that in exchange for my agreement to
arbitrate, the Company also agrees to submit all claims and
disputes it may have with me to final and binding
arbitration, and that the Company further agrees that if I
submit a request for binding arbitration, my maximum
out-of-pocket expenses for the arbitrator and the
administrative cost of the AAA will be an amount equal to one
day's pay (if I am an exempt employee) or eight times my
hourly rate of pay (if I am a non-exempt employee) or a
mandated cap, if lower, and that the Company will pay all of
the remaining fees and administrative costs of the arbitrator
and the AAA. I further acknowledge that this mutual agreement
to arbitrate may not be modified or rescinded except in
writing by both me and the Company.
[ECF No. 6-1] (emphasis in original). The Agreement was
signed by Plaintiff on April 12, 2011. Id.
terminated Plaintiff's employment on or about June 18,
2017. Compl. at ¶ 30. On May 25, 2018, Plaintiff filed
an action in the Court of Common Pleas for York County, South
Carolina, that Defendant removed on June 12, 2018,
subsequently filing its motion to compel arbitration. [ECF
moves to compel arbitration under Section 4 of the Federal
Arbitration Act (“FAA”), which provides in part
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. Section 2 of the FAA
states that a written arbitration agreement “shall be
valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds
as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any
contract.” 9 U.S.C. § 2. “[Q]uestions of
arbitrability must be addressed with a healthy regard for the
federal policy favoring arbitration . . . [and] any doubts
concerning the scope of arbitrable issues should be resolved
in favor of arbitration.” Moses H. Cone Mem'l
Hosp. v. Mercury Const. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 23-24 (1983).
Although federal law governs the arbitrability of disputes,
ordinary state-law principles resolve issues regarding the
formation of contracts. Am. Gen. Life & Accident Ins.
Co. v. Wood, 429 F.3d 83, 87 (4th Cir. 2005).
to compel arbitration in which the parties dispute the
validity of the arbitration agreement are treated as motions
for summary judgment.” Rose v. New Day Fin.,
LLC, 816 F.Supp.2d 245, 251 (D. Md. 2011).
“Accordingly, arbitration should be compelled where
‘the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.'” Erichsen v. RBC Capital
Markets, LLC, 883 F.Supp.2d 562, 566-67 (E.D. N.C. 2012)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56). A trial is necessary if the
material facts regarding the making of an agreement to
arbitrate are in dispute. Avedon Engineering, Inc. v.
Seatex, 126 F.3d 1279, 1283 (10th Cir. 1997).
compel arbitration under the FAA, a litigant must
demonstrate: “(1) the existence of a dispute between
the parties, (2) a written agreement that includes an
arbitration provision which purports to cover the dispute,
(3) the relationship of the transaction, which is evidenced
by the agreement, to interstate or foreign commerce, and (4)
the failure, neglect or refusal of the defendant to arbitrate
the dispute.” Adkins v. Labor ...