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Isaacs v. OCE Business Services, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

September 4, 2013

MICHAEL ISAACS, Plaintiff, -
v.
- OCE BUSINESS SERVICES, INC., Defendant

Page 565

For Michael Isaacs, Plaintiff: Alan Lawrence Sklover, Sklover & Donath, LLC, New York, NY.

For OCE Business Services, Inc., Defendant: David Wayne Garland, LEAD ATTORNEY, Jason Kaufman, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.(NY), New York, NY.

OPINION

Page 566

OPINION AND ORDER

John G. Koeltl, United States District Judge.

The plaintiff, Michael Isaacs, brings this action against the defendant, Océ Business Services, Inc. (" OBS" ), under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (" FLSA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., and the New York Labor Law (" NYLL" ), N.Y. Lab. Law § 650 et seq. The plaintiff claims he is entitled to unpaid overtime compensation for work allegedly performed in excess of forty hours per week. OBS now moves, pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act (" FAA" ), 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., to dismiss or stay this action and to compel arbitration of the plaintiff's claims. For the reasons explained below, the motion is granted and the complaint is dismissed.

I.

The role of federal courts, in ruling on a petition to compel arbitration

Page 567

under the FAA, is " limited to determining two issues: i) whether a valid agreement or obligation to arbitrate exists, and ii) whether one party to the agreement has failed, neglected, or refused to arbitrate." Shaw Group Inc. v. Triplefine Int'l Corp., 322 F.3d 115, 120 (2d Cir. 2003) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). It has long been settled that arbitration is a matter of contract and that, therefore, a party cannot be compelled to arbitrate issues that a party has not agreed to arbitrate. See First Options of Chicago, Inc. v. Kaplan, 514 U.S. 938, 943, 115 S.Ct. 1920, 131 L.Ed.2d 985 (1995); Shaw Group, 322 F.3d at 120; see also Stemcor USA, Inc. v. Trident Steel Corp., 471 F.Supp.2d 362, 365-66 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). To determine whether a party has agreed to submit certain issues to arbitration, courts " should apply ordinary state-law principles that govern the formation of contracts." T.Co Metals, LLC. v. Dempsey Pipe & Supply, Inc., 592 F.3d 329, 344 (2d. Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). In applying state law principles, however the FAA will preempt state law that " treats arbitration agreements differently from any other contracts." Schnabel v. Trilegiant Corp., 697 F.3d 110, 119 (2d Cir. 2012) (quoting Chelsea Square Textiles, Inc. v. Bombay Dyeing & Mfg. Co., 189 F.3d 289, 295-96 (2d Cir. 1999)).[1]

II.

A.

The following facts are undisputed, unless otherwise noted. OBS is a service business that sells document-related services to the public. (Compl. ¶ 7.) On January 16, 2004, the plaintiff began employment at OBS as an Enterprise Print Solutions Specialist. (Decl. of Rory G. Schnurr in Supp. of Def's Mot. to Compel Arbitration (" Schnurr Decl." ) ¶ 3.) As a condition of his employment, OBS required the plaintiff to sign an arbitration agreement, entitled " Dispute Resolution Policy" (" the Policy" ), agreeing to submit certain claims to ...


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