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Wallace v. GrubHub Holdings Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

March 28, 2019, Decided; March 28, 2019, Filed

No. 18 C 4538

Opinion

Memorandum Opinion and Order

Carmen Wallace and Broderick Bryant are drivers for food-delivery service Grubhub. Wallace and Bryant bring this proposed class action against Grubhub (there are actually two corporate entities—Grubhub Inc. is the parent—but the parties treat them as one), seeking additional wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 216(b); the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, 820 ILCS 105/1, et seq.; and the California Labor Codes, [*2]  Cal Lab. Code §§ 1194, 1197, 2802 and Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200-17208.1 Grubhub has moved to dismiss the case for improper venue, arguing that all of the Plaintiffs' claims must be resolved via arbitration. For the reasons explained below, the Court grants Grubhub's motion.

I. Background

Grubhub is an online food-delivery service that employs drivers to deliver prepared meals from restaurants to customers who order through its website or mobile app. R. 1, Compl. ¶¶ 1, 14. Grubhub drivers complete deliveries via car or bicycle. Id. ¶ 15. Grubhub is headquartered in Chicago but operates its food-delivery service across the country. Id. ¶ 10.

Carmen Wallace was a delivery driver for Grubhub from July 2016 through March 2017 in Chicago. Compl. ¶ 5. Broderick Bryant has worked as a delivery driver for Grubhub since May 2016 in Long Beach, California. Id. ¶ 6. Wallace and Bryant filed this proposed collective and class action, alleging that Grubhub misclassified its drivers as independent contractors and violated the wage-and-hour requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, and the California Labor Code. Id. ¶ 2. Along with the Complaint, Wallace and Bryant filed 52 Opt-In Consent Forms from other Grubhub drivers [*3]  seeking to join this action. R. 31, Mtn. Dismiss ¶ 5.

Grubhub now moves to dismiss the action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3) and the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(3); 9 U.S.C. §§ 3-4. Grubhub asserts that its relationship with the Plaintiffs is governed by a Delivery Service Provider Agreement, which contains a "valid and enforceable arbitration provision that is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act" and waives the driver's right to bring a collective or class action. Mtn. Dismiss ¶¶ 6, 7.

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52629 *; 2019 WL 1399986

CARMEN WALLACE and BRODERICK BRYANT, individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs, v. GRUBHUB HOLDINGS INC. and GRUBHUB INC., Defendants.

CORE TERMS

arbitration, drivers, exemption, interstate commerce, transportation-worker, state line, interstate, commerce, delivery, transportation, parties, cases, arbitration provision, compel arbitration, food-delivery, courts, covers, truck, venue