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United States District Court for the District of Arizona
May 28, 2014, Decided; May 28, 2014, Filed
Motion to Compel Arbitration
Defendants move to compel arbitration.1 This motion is opposed.2 Oral argument was requested and has been heard.
Plaintiffs are Jonathan Longnecker, Erandi Acevedo, Jennifer Flynn, Bonita Kathol, and Janet Seitz.3 Defendants are American Express Company and AMEX Card [**2] Services Company.
Plaintiffs are former employees at defendants' Phoenix call center. In their complaint, plaintiffs allege that defendants have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) because defendants did not pay overtime for pre-shift work and work performed during meal breaks and because defendants miscalculated plaintiffs' rate of overtime pay by failing to include incentive payments and shift differentials in their regular rates of pay. Plaintiffs bring their FLSA claims on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated current and former employees.
Defendants contend that plaintiffs are subject to defendants' Arbitration Policy, which was introduced in 2003. Since 2003, all new hires are required to sign an Employment Arbitration Acknowledgment Form as a condition of their commencement of employment.4 Longnecker, Acevedo, and Flynn were all hired after 2003, and all signed a New Hire Employment Arbitration Acknowledgment Form.5 The Acknowledgment Forms that Longnecker, Flynn, and Acevedo signed provide that the employee "acknowledge[s] [**3] that [he] ha[s] received and been given the opportunity to review the American Express Company Employment Arbitration Policy" and that the employee "understand[s] that arbitration is the final and exclusive forum for the resolution of all employment-related disputes between American Express and [the employee] that are based on a legal claim."6 Longnecker, Flynn, and Acevedo do not dispute that they signed Acknowledgment Forms when they were hired.
In 2007, defendants extended the Arbitration Policy to employees who had been hired prior to 2003.7 These employees were given an opportunity to "opt out" of the Arbitration Policy.8 Plaintiff Seitz was hired by defendants prior to 2003 and thus was given the [**4] opportunity to "opt out" of the Arbitration Policy, but she did not do so.9
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
23 F. Supp. 3d 1099 *; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72554 **
JONATHAN LONGNECKER, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY, et al., Defendants
Subsequent History: Motion granted by, Transferred by Amex Card Servs. Co., 2015 NLRB LEXIS 185 (N.L.R.B., Mar. 18, 2015)
Prior History: Longnecker v. Am. Express Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55008 (D. Ariz., Apr. 21, 2014)
Arbitration, arbitration agreement, unconscionable, Acknowledgment, employees, terms, adhesion contract, modification, defendants', disputes, confidentiality provision, covered claim, unenforceable, plaintiffs', bargaining, parties, notice, hired, district court, confidentiality, termination, binding, substantive unconscionability, compel arbitration, legal claim, opt out, unilateral, negotiate, one-sided, severed