United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
ADRIAN ROBINSON, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
AMERICAN FAMILY CARE, INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 
G. CORNELIUS U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
The court has before it the March 5, 2018 motion to dismiss
and compel arbitration filed by Defendant American Family
Care, Inc. (“AFC”). (Doc. 13). In response,
Plaintiff filed a motion to stay pending arbitration. (Doc.
20). Pursuant to the court's March 7, 2018 order (Doc.
17), the motions are fully briefed and under submission as of
March 27, 2018 (Docs. 14, 20-22). For the reasons explained
below, Defendant's motion to dismiss and compel
arbitration is due to be granted in part and denied in part,
and Plaintiff's motion to stay is due to be granted.
Adrian Robinson, on behalf of himself and other similarly
situated current and former employees, filed the instant
complaint on January 23, 2018, alleging a violation of the
Fair Labor Standards Act. (Doc. 1). Specifically, the
complaint states Plaintiff and other similarly situated
current and former employees were misclassified as
“exempt” employees and denied overtime wages.
(Id.). Subsequently, Plaintiffs Kenner (Doc. 4),
Gladney (Doc. 7), Hess (Doc. 8), and Weddington (Doc. 9) all
“opted in” and agreed to be plaintiffs in this
lawsuit. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on February
19, 2018, and in response, Defendant filed a motion to
dismiss and compel arbitration. (Docs. 12, 13).
STATEMENT OF FACTS
owns and operates AFC clinic locations in several states,
including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida. (Doc. 12
at 3-7). Robinson worked for AFC in various positions at
various locations from 2015 until January 2018. (Doc. 12 at
11-13; Doc. 14-1 at 2). Kenner, Gladney, Hess, and Weddington
all worked for AFC in various positions at various locations
at different points in time between 2012 to 2017. (Docs. 4,
7, 8, 9; Doc. 14-1 at 2-3).
around the time of their hire, Robinson, Gladney, Hess,
Weddington, and Kenner all individually agreed to comply with
AFC's arbitration agreement and procedures. (Doc. 14-3 at
2; Doc.14-4 at 2; Doc. 14-5 at 2; Doc. 14-6 at 2; Doc. 14-7
at 2). By signing the arbitration agreement and beginning
employment with AFC, Plaintiffs agreed all claims, as defined
by the arbitration agreement, would be submitted to binding
arbitration and not to litigation. (Id.).
Specifically, the arbitration agreement states:
As a condition of my continued employment with American
Family Care, Inc, (hereinafter referred to as
“AFC”), AFC and Employee agree to settle any
controversy, dispute or claim arising out of or relating to
my employment with AFC or the cessation of my employment with
AFC, by final and binding arbitration administered by the
American Arbitration Association under its National Rules for
the Resolution of Employment Disputes (then in effect), and a
judgment upon the award rendered by the single arbitrator may
be entered by any court having jurisdiction thereof. By way
of example only, such claims shall include, but not be
limited to, claims asserted under any federal, state or local
statutory or common law, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination
Act (as amended), the Americans with Disabilities Act (as
amended), the Equal Pay Act (as amended), the Family and
Medical Leave Act (as amended), the Immigration Reform and
Control Act (as amended), the law of contract and the law of
tort. The location of the arbitration hearing shall be in
Birmingham, Alabama, AFC and Employee shall share equally all
the administrative costs associated with the filing and
prosecution of the Arbitration. Employee understands that
he/she shall bear the expense of his/her own legal counsel,
if necessary. The arbitrator shall, however, have the power
to grant any relief available under the applicable federal or
state statute, including attorneys' fees and costs. AFC
and Employee acknowledge and understand that employment with
AFC involves and affects interstate commerce.
amended complaint alleges violations of the FLSA. (Doc. 12).
The arbitration agreement applies to “any controversy,
dispute or claim arising out of or relating to
[employee's] employment with AFC”, which includes
claims regarding disputes over wages and employment
classifications. (Doc. 14-3 at 2; Doc.14-4 at 2; Doc. 14-5 at
2; Doc. 14-6 at 2; Doc. 14-7 at 2).
parties agree the claims at issue are subject to arbitration.
(Doc. 21 at 3). The parties do not agree as to whether the
court should dismiss the instant action or stay it during the
arbitration proceedings. (Id.).
3 of the FAA states
If any suit or proceeding be brought in any of the courts of
the United States upon any issue referable to arbitration
under an agreement in writing for such arbitration, the court
in which such suit is pending, upon being satisfied that the
issue involved in such suit or proceeding is referable to
arbitration under such an agreement, shall on application of
one of the parties stay the trial of the action until such
arbitration has been had in accordance with the ...