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Austin v. DoorDash, Inc.

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

September 30, 2019, Decided; September 30, 2019, Filed

Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-12498-IT

Opinion

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

TALWANI, D.J.

Plaintiff Darnell Austin brings claims under the Massachusetts Wage Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, §§ 148, 148B; Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151, §§ 1, 7, arising from Defendant DoorDash, Inc.'s alleged failure to pay Plaintiff minimum wage and overtime. Defendant moved to dismiss and compel arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"), 9 U.S.C. §§ 3, 4. Mot. to Dismiss and Compel Arbitration [#5]. For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Compel Arbitration [#5] is ALLOWED.

I. Factual Background

Defendant is a food delivery service that provides services throughout the country via an on-demand dispatch system. Compl. at ¶ 5. Customers may request food delivery by using Defendant's mobile application or website. Id. After a customer logs in and places a food order, the order is transmitted electronically to the restaurant and to Defendant's drivers, who may choose [*2]  to deliver the order. Mem. in Supp. Def.'s Mot. to Compel Arbitration ("Def.'s Mem."), Decl. of Stanley Tang ("Tang Decl.") 1 [#6-1]. If a driver agrees to deliver the order, the driver must pick up the food and transport it to the customer. Id. at 2.

Plaintiff has worked for Defendant as a driver since October 2016. Compl. at ¶ 3. In order to do so, Plaintiff logged onto the mobile application and accepted an agreement that states, in relevant part:

The Agreement ("Agreement") is made and entered into by and between you, the undersigned contractor ("CONTRACTOR") . . . and DoorDash, Inc. ("DOORDASH" or "COMPANY"). This Agreement will become effective on the date it is accepted regardless of whether you are eligible to, or ever do, perform any Contracted Services.

Tang Decl., Exh. B ("Agreement") 9 [#6-1]. On the same screen as the Agreement, the mobile application also presented a Mutual Arbitration Provision, which states in relevant part:

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169728 *; 2019 WL 4804781

DARNELL AUSTIN, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. DOORDASH, INC., Defendant.

CORE TERMS

transportation, interstate commerce, exemption, driver, Arbitration, state line, interstate, delivery, customers, transport goods, deliver, food, compel arbitration, manufacturer, employees, residuary clause, truck driver, distributor