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Latif v. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

June 26, 2019, Decided; June 26, 2019, Filed

18cv11528 (DLC)

Opinion

OPINION AND ORDER

DENISE COTE, District Judge:

Mahmoud Latif ("Latif") has filed employment discrimination claims against his former employers Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Morgan Stanley Services Group, Inc. (collectively "Morgan Stanley") and seven individual employees of Morgan Stanley (collectively, with Morgan Stanley, "Defendants"). Defendants have moved to compel arbitration of Latif's claims. For the following reasons, that motion is granted.

Background

The following facts are taken from the complaint, documents that were submitted in connection with Defendants' motion to compel arbitration, and a stipulation entered into by the parties in the course of this litigation. On June 5, 2017, Latif signed a written offer of employment with Morgan Stanley (the "Offer Letter"). The Offer Letter incorporated by reference Morgan Stanley's CARE Arbitration Program Arbitration [*2]  Agreement (the "Arbitration Agreement"), which was also attached to the Offer Letter. The parties agree that Latif accepted the terms and conditions set forth in the Arbitration Agreement when he signed the Offer Letter.

The Arbitration Agreement provides that any "covered claim" that arises between Latif and Morgan Stanley "will be resolved by final and binding arbitration as set forth in this Arbitration Agreement and in the arbitration provisions of the CARE Guidebook," a copy of which was attached to the Arbitration Agreement. "Covered claims" are defined in the Arbitration Agreement to include, inter alia, common law claims and "statutory discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims." The Arbitration Agreement further provides that it "shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA")."

Latif alleges that, beginning in the fall of 2017, he became the target of, inter alia, inappropriate comments regarding his sexual orientation, inappropriate touching, sexual advances, and offensive comments about his religion. He also alleges that around February 2018, a female supervisor sexually assaulted him. Beginning in February 2018, Latif reported [*3]  these incidents to Morgan Stanley's human resources department. Following months of email exchanges and meetings between Latif and the human resources department, Latif's employment was terminated around August 1, 2018, which is just over a year after Latif executed the Offer Letter.

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107020 *; 2019 WL 2610985

MAHMOUD LATIF, Plaintiff, -v- MORGAN STANLEY & CO. LLC, MORGAN STANLEY SERVICES GROUP, INC., CARMEN GOMEZ, individually, LILY CHAN, individually, JACQUELINE LUCAS, individually, BRIAN DERBY, individually, LISA SWEBERG, individually, LAUREN KEIGLER, individually, and MICHAEL GREY, individually, Defendants.

CORE TERMS

arbitration, arbitration agreement, sexual harassment, parties, sexual harassment claim, mandatory arbitration, saving, compel arbitration, provisions, displaced, defenses, courts