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Cypress v. Cintas Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

February 11, 2017

STEVEN CYPRESS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
CINTAS CORPORATION

          Moser Employment Law Firm, P.C. Attorneys for the Plaintiff By: Steven J. Moser, Esq., Of Counsel.

          Jackson Lewis, P.C. Attorneys for the Defendant By: Jeffrey W. Brecher, Esq., Of Counsel.

          DECISION & ORDER

          ARTHUR D. SPATT United States District Judge.

         On May 15, 2016, the Plaintiff Steven Cypress (the “Plaintiff”) commenced this putative wage-and-hour class action against his employer, Cintas Corporation No. 2 (“Cintas”), alleging that Cintas violated the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”), N.Y. Lab. L. § 190 et seq., by failing to pay him the statutorily required overtime wages, and failing to provide him with wage statements setting forth his regular and overtime rates of pay.

         On August 22, 2016, pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., Cintas filed a motion seeking to compel the Plaintiff to arbitrate his wage-and- hour claims in accordance with the terms of an employment agreement, and to stay this action in the interim.

         For the reasons that follow, the Defendant's motion to compel arbitration is granted in its entirety.

         I. Background

         Cintas first employed the Plaintiff as a Service and Sales Representative in February 2012.

         Pursuant to an employment agreement dated February 6, 2012 (the “2012 Agreement”), prior to being hired, the Plaintiff apparently agreed to certain terms and conditions of employment. Among these, he agreed to an arbitration clause requiring the parties to resolve through the process of binding arbitration “any dispute or difference” between them “concerning whether either party at any time violated any duty, right, law, regulation, public policy, or provision of this Agreement.” By its terms, “[t]he rights and claims of [the Plaintiff] covered by [the arbitration clause] . . . specifically include[d] . . . all of the [the Plaintiff]'s rights or claims arising out of or in any way related to [the Plaintiff]'s employment with [Cintas], such as rights or claims arising under . . . the Fair Labor Standards Act . . . [and] other state or local laws regarding employment . . .” (the “Arbitration Clause”).

         Approximately one year later, on February 7, 2013, the parties entered into a second employment agreement (the “2013 Agreement”). According to its express terms, in exchange for again agreeing to arbitrate any employment-related disputes, Cintas agreed to increase the Plaintiff's rate of pay.

         In this regard, an earnings statement for the week ending February 1, 2013, namely, the pay period immediately preceding the 2013 Agreement, indicates that the Plaintiff was paid a regular wage of $11.75 per hour. However, consistent with the 2013 Agreement, the Plaintiff's earnings statement for the week ending March 15, 2013 indicates that his regular rate of pay was increased to $11.98 per hour, and he was compensated retroactively in the amount of $0.23 for each of the 144 hours he worked after signing the 2013 Agreement.

         On April 23, 2014, the parties entered into a third employment agreement (the “2014 Agreement”). In exchange for again agreeing to arbitrate any employment-related disputes, Cintas agreed to increase the Plaintiff's rate of pay.

         However, Cintas concedes that it failed to increase the Plaintiff's regular wages as ...


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