United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ANNEMARIE CARNEY AXON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Robert Wayne Carnes filed this lawsuit, alleging that his
former employer, Defendant AT&T Services, Inc.
(“AT&T”), discriminated against him because
of his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (“ADEA”), as amended by the Older
Worker's Benefit Protection Act (“OWBPA”).
before the court is AT&T's motion to compel
arbitration and stay proceedings. (Doc. 10). Because Mr.
Carnes's claims are subject to binding arbitration, the
court GRANTS the motion.
court evaluates a motion to compel arbitration, using
“a summary-judgment-like standard.” Bazemore
v. Jefferson Capital Sys., LLC, 827 F.3d 1325, 1333
(11th Cir. 2016). The court examines the evidence presented
to determine whether there is a genuine dispute of material
fact concerning the formation of an arbitration agreement.
Id. As a result, the court's description of the
facts will incorporate evidence submitted to the court
outside of the pleadings.
Carnes was employed by AT&T from January 25, 1995 until
AT&T terminated his employment on October 30, 2017. (Doc.
1 at ¶¶ 7, 15, 29). In late 2011 and early 2012,
AT&T adopted and distributed to employees a Management
Arbitration Agreement (“Agreement”), pursuant to
which employees and the company would arbitrate covered
disputes. (Doc. 11-4 at ¶ 4; see Doc. 11-1 at
Agreement provides that “any dispute to which this
Agreement applies will be decided by final and binding
arbitration instead of court litigation.” (Doc. 11-1 at
8). The Agreement “is governed by the Federal
Arbitration Act, ” and “applies to any claim that
[employees] have against . . . any AT&T company. . .
.” (Id.). Of relevance to this action, in
addition to this general statement regarding how the
Agreement applies, the Agreement states specifically that
“covered claims include without limitation those
arising out of or related to your employment relationship, .
. . termination, . . . retaliation, discrimination or
harassment and claims arising under the . . . Age
Discrimination in Employment Act.” (Id. at
December 1, 2011, AT&T sent an email to Mr. Carnes at his
unique AT&T-provided email address, RC6701@us.att.com.
(Doc. 11-2 at 4, ¶ 8; Doc. 11-2 at 7; Doc. 11-3 at
¶ 6). The subject heading of the email was titled
Agreement.” (Doc. 11-2 at 4, ¶ 8; Doc. 11-2 at 7).
The email message stated, in relevant part:
AT&T has created an alternative process for resolving
disputes between the company and employees. Under this
process, employees and the company would use independent
third-party arbitration rather than courts or juries to
resolve legal disputes. Arbitration is more informal than a
lawsuit in court and may be faster.
The decision on whether or not to participate is yours to
make. To help you make your decision, it is very
important for you to review the Management Arbitration
Agreement linked to this email. It provides
important information on the process and the types of
disputes that are covered by the Agreement.
Again, the decision is entirely up to you. To give you time
to consider your decision, the company has established a
deadline of no later than 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on
Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 to opt out - that is, decline
participation in the arbitration process - using the
If you do not opt out by the deadline, you are agreeing to
the arbitration process as set forth in the Agreement. This
means that you and AT&T are giving up the right to a
court or ...