United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. CRABTREE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Darien Guinn brings this action against his former employer,
defendant Cedarhurst Living, LLC d/b/a Addington Place of
Prairie Village. Plaintiff asserts race discrimination,
harassment, and retaliation claims against defendant under
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §
2000e. Also, plaintiff asserts that defendant engaged in
unlawful discrimination based on plaintiff's race,
violating 42 U.S.C. § 1981.
has responded to plaintiff's Complaint by filing a Motion
to Dismiss, Stay Proceedings, and Compel Arbitration. Doc. 9.
For reasons explained below, the court denies defendant's
Factual Background 
worked for defendant as a kitchen employee at defendant's
assisted living center in Prairie Village, Kansas, until
defendant terminated his employment in February 2017. Doc. 1
at 3 (Compl. ¶ 11). When plaintiff applied for his job
in 2015, he completed an online job application with
defendant's predecessor, Benton House Assisted Living and
Memory Care of Prairie Village (“Benton House”).
Doc. 15. That application included the following provision:
I understand and agree that:
. . .
5. The Company has adopted a Mandatory Complaint Procedure
whereby all employment disputes relating to the employment
relationship or termination are put into a dispute resolution
procedure, which ultimately culminates in final and binding
arbitration before a neutral arbitrator selected through the
American Arbitration Association. This procedure is very low
in cost and can be utilized quickly. I understand that it is
a condition of employment to follow this Mandatory Complaint
Procedure as long as it remains in effect and as modified
from time to time. I understand that I am giving up my right
to go to Court to have employment disputes decided by a jury.
at 4. In 2016, Benton House sold its assisted living center
to defendant. Afterward, defendant became plaintiff's
employer. Defendant asserts that, by signing his application,
plaintiff entered a binding arbitration agreement that
requires him to submit his claims in this lawsuit to
arbitration. The court considers defendant's argument,
Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9 U.S.C. §
1 et seq., requires that “[a] written
provision in any . . . contract evidencing a transaction
involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy
thereafter arising out of such contract or transaction . . .
shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable . . . .” 9
U.S.C. § 2. Section 3 of the FAA permits the court to
stay litigation in favor of arbitration. The United States
Supreme Court interprets the FAA to establish “‘a
liberal federal policy favoring arbitration
agreements.'” Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, __
U.S. __, 138 S.Ct. 1612, 1621 (2018) (quoting Moses H.
Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S.
1, 24 (1983)). The Supreme Court's holdings thus instruct
that the FAA requires “liberal reading of arbitration
agreements.” Moses H. Cone, 460 U.S. at 23
n.27; see also ARW Expl. Corp. v. Aguirre, 45 F.3d
1455, 1462 (10th Cir. 1995) (explaining that the FAA
“evinces a strong federal policy in favor of
arbitration” (citing Shearson/Am. Express, Inc. v.
McMahon, 482 U.S. 220, 226 (1987))).
agreement contains an arbitration clause, “a
presumption of arbitrability arises . . . .” ARW
Expl. Corp., 45 F.3d at 1462 (citing AT & T
Techs., Inc. v. Commc'ns Workers of Am., 475 U.S.
643, 650 (1986)). But, “because ‘arbitration is a
matter of contract' and the authority of an arbitrator
arises only from the parties['] agreement to that forum
in advance, ‘a party cannot be required to submit to
arbitration any dispute which [it] has not agreed so to
submit.'” Sanchez v. Nitro-Lift Techs.,
L.L.C., 762 F.3d 1139, 1146 (10th Cir. 2014) (quoting
AT & T Techs., 475 U.S. at 648-49); see also
Hicks v. Cadle Co., 355 Fed.Appx. 186, 192 (10th Cir.
2009) (“[T]he FAA's proarbitration policy does not
operate without regard to the wishes of the contracting
parties.” (citations and internal quotation marks
presumption of arbitrability thus “falls away”
when the parties dispute whether a valid and enforceable
arbitration agreement exists. Riley Mfg. Co. v. Anchor
Glass Container Corp., 157 F.3d 775, 779 (10th Cir.
1998) (citation omitted). A court still may compel
arbitration, but “only when satisfied that the making
of the agreement [to arbitrate] is not at issue.”
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