United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Court.
before the Court is the Motion to Compel Arbitration, (ECF
No. 9), filed by Defendant Affinitylifestyles.com, Inc.
(“Defendant”). Plaintiff Grecia
Echevarria-Hernandez (“Plaintiff”) filed a
response, (ECF No. 15), and Defendant filed a reply, (ECF No.
16). For the reasons set forth herein, the Motion to Compel
Arbitration is GRANTED.
case concerns allegations that Defendant, as Plaintiff's
employer, discriminated against Plaintiff based on her
religion. (Compl., ECF No. 1). Plaintiff began her employment
in March 2015 as a “brand ambassador” at the
Defendant's Las Vegas office. (Id. ¶ 14).
According to Plaintiff, she quickly discovered that Defendant
had an “established religious culture among its
employees.” (See Id. ¶ 16). Specifically,
Plaintiff claims that Defendant required employees to attend
Scientology themed self-betterment courses to be eligible for
raises. (Id. ¶¶ 18-25). Plaintiff states
that she attempted to sit through a course, but felt
uncomfortable due to her differing personal religious beliefs
and had to leave. (Id. ¶¶ 20, 21).
Thereafter, Plaintiff claims her coworkers “began to
interact differently with Plaintiff, and the workplace
environment became extremely unpleasant.” (Id.
¶ 26). In her Complaint, Plaintiff argues that, despite
Defendant's claim that she was terminated due to job
performance, her termination actually resulted from her
differing religious views. (Id. ¶¶ 53-54).
Based on these allegations, the Complaint sets forth claims
for: (1) unlawful employment practice under Title VII; (2)
disparate treatment under Title VII; (3) hostile work
environment under Title VII; (4) retaliation under Title VII;
(5) religious discrimination under N.R.S. 613.330; and (6)
tortious discharge. (Id. ¶¶ 36-84).
instant Motion, Defendant argues that the Court should compel
arbitration of these claims in accordance with the
arbitration policy detailed in Plaintiff's Employment
Agreement (“the Agreement”). (See Mot.
to Compel 6:2-7, ECF No. 9). Defendant asserts that Plaintiff
agreed, in a signed writing, to the terms of the Agreement on
March 11, 2015. (Id. 2:16-17).
arbitration policy in relevant part states:
[T]he parties agree that any controversy, dispute or claim
between Company and myself out of and/or involving this
Agreement and/or any other aspect of our employment
relationship . . . shall first be submitted for resolution by
mediation . . . .
If the best efforts of the parties to mediate a resolution of
any claim based on Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act
of 1964 (Title VII Claims) do not result in a settlement of
our differences, then . . . the parties shall resolve such
dispute . . . by binding arbitration . . . .
[I]f the best efforts of the parties to mediate a resolution
do not result in a settlement of our differences, then . . .
any claim or dispute out of and/or involving this Agreement
and/or any other aspect of our employment relationship not
based on Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964,
including, without limitation, any allegation of (a) wrongful
discharge or termination, (b) discrimination or harassment
under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the
federal Americans with Disabilities Act, or any other
applicable law, or (c) any injury to my physical, emotional,
or economic interests (Non-Title VII claims) shall be
resolved by binding arbitration pursuant to applicable law.
(Agreement ¶¶ 11-13, Ex. A to Mot. to Compel, ECF
No. 9). Because of this arbitration policy, Defendant asserts
that this case should be stayed pending arbitration, pursuant
to the Federal Arbitration Act. (See Mot. to Compel
2 of the Federal Arbitration Act (the “FAA”)
A written provision in . . . a contract evidencing a
transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a
controversy thereafter arising out of such contract or
transaction . . . 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. “In enacting § 2 of the [FAA],
Congress declared a national policy favoring arbitration and
withdrew the power of the states to require a judicial forum
for the resolution of claims which the contracting parties
agreed to resolve by arbitration.” Southland Corp.
v. Keating, 465 U.S. 1, 10 (1984). Courts place
arbitration agreements “upon the same footing as other