United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER
VINCENT L. BRICCETTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Zachary Hiller brings this action against defendants Schwartz
& Feinsod, Inc., Neil Schwartz, and Jonathan Feinsod,
alleging defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29
U.S.C. § 201 et seq. (“FLSA”), and
the New York Labor Law, § 191 et seq.
(“NYLL”), by, inter alia, failing to
compensate plaintiff for wages due, and retaliating against
plaintiff for asking defendants when they would pay him.
the Court are (i) defendants' motion to compel
arbitration and stay this action pending resolution of the
arbitration pursuant to Section 5 of the National Football
League Players Association Regulations Governing Contract
Advisors (“NFLPA Regulations”) and Section 4 of
the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16
(“FAA”) (Doc. #10), and (ii) plaintiff's
motion for a declaratory judgment that the NFLPA
Regulations' six-month limitations period is
unenforceable as a matter of law (Doc. #23).
reasons set forth below, (i) defendants' motion is
GRANTED, and (ii) plaintiff's motion is DENIED without
Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
following factual background is drawn from the complaint and
the parties' submissions in support of and in opposition
to the pending motions.
Zachary Hiller is a certified NFLPA Contract Advisor
(i.e., an “agent” for professional
football players) who received his certification from the
NFLPA in October 2014. As part of the certification process,
plaintiff agreed to be bound by the NFLPA Regulations, which
govern the conduct of all current and aspiring NFLPA Contract
5 of the NFLPA Regulations establishes an arbitration
procedure, which provides in pertinent part:
This arbitration procedure shall be the exclusive method for
resolving any and all disputes that may arise from the
. . .
(3) The meaning, interpretation or enforcement of a fee
(4) Any . . . activities of a Contract Advisor within the
scope of these Regulations;
. . .
(6) A dispute between two or more Contract Advisors with
respect to their individual entitlement to fees owed, whether
paid or unpaid, by a player-client who was jointly
represented by such Contract Advisors, or represented by a
firm with which the Contract Advisors in question were
(Schwartz Decl. Ex. B).
Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod are also certified NFLPA
Contract Advisors, and, accordingly, are also bound by the
NFLPA Regulations and its arbitration provision. Defendant
Schwartz & Feinsod, Inc., is a corporation organized
under the laws of the State of New York. Plaintiff alleges
Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod are the co-owners of
Schwartz & Feinsod, Inc., a sports agency doing business
as Schwartz & Feinsod. Defendants do not deny this
contention, but instead assert defendants Neil Schwartz and
Jonathan Feinsod are the sole employees of Schwartz &
claims he began working for defendants during the summer of
2011, while completing his sophomore year of college at the
University of Michigan. According to plaintiff, he worked
Monday through Saturday and Sundays as needed. Plaintiff also
claims he worked for defendants during the summer of 2012,
Monday through Saturday and Sundays as needed, and that he
continued working for defendants, Monday through Friday and
weekends as needed, during the summer of 2013 following his
graduation from the University of Michigan. During the
2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, plaintiff alleges he
“made himself available” to defendants and
performed tasks at their direction as needed. (Compl. ¶
claims he regularly worked more than forty hours per week for
defendants from 2011-13, and his duties included assisting
defendants in recruiting potential clients, performing
administrative tasks, and running errands for defendants.
While defendants dispute these allegations, as discussed in
greater detail below, both sides agree plaintiff did not
receive any compensation from defendants for hours worked
the 2013-14 academic year, plaintiff maintains he continued
working for defendants while obtaining a Master of Science
degree in marketing from Baruch College. Plaintiff sought
this degree to become eligible for certification as an NFLPA
further claims that during the summer of 2014 defendants
required him to travel on recruiting trips for two to three
weeks at a time, during which plaintiff was required to
“work around the clock.” (Compl. ¶ 31).
Plaintiff says he continued to work for defendants during the
fall of 2014 and the spring of 2015, performing
administrative tasks and working on a former NFL player's
campaign to become the head of the NFLPA.
2015, plaintiff contends defendant Schwartz
“ordered” plaintiff to relocate to Atlanta
“to handle operations related to defendants [sic]
recruiting efforts.” (Compl. ¶ 35). Defendants
“assured” plaintiff he would be reimbursed for
expenses incurred, including rent, food, transportation, and
insurance. (Id.). Defendants also allegedly promised
plaintiff he would receive one-third of the compensation
defendants received from their client, Garrett Grayson.
(Compl. ¶ 35). However, plaintiff claims he never
received the promised compensation related to Garrett
Grayson, and defendants never reimbursed plaintiff for
the summer and fall of 2015, plaintiff claims he continued to
“work around the clock assisting defendants in their
recruitment of players” and ...