United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MACK PEREZ-TEJADA, ROGER RICKS II, ROY MCELROY, ASHRAF MESHRIKY, EZENWA ONUKWUE, ROBERT LAMANTIA, BRYCE WILLIAMSON and MARK A. TURNER; on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
MATTRESS FIRM, INC., KENNETH MURPHY and JIM BLACK, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Casper United States District Judge.
Mack Perez-Tejada (“Perez-Tejada”), Roger Ricks
II (“Ricks”), Roy McElroy
(“McElroy”), Ashraf Meshriky
(“Meshriky”), Ezenwa Onukwue
(“Onukwue”), Robert LaMantia
(“LaMantia”) Bryce Williamson
(“Williamson”) and Mark A. Turner (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”)bring this class action on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated against
Defendants Mattress Firm, Inc. (“Mattress Firm”),
Kenneth Murphy (“Murphy”) and Jim Black
“Defendants”). Plaintiffs assert claims for
unpaid overtime wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards
Act (“FLSA”), Massachusetts wage law, Mass. Gen.
L., c. 151 § 1A-1B and New York Labor Law, Art. 19,
§ 650. Defendants have moved to compel individual
arbitration and for a stay of the court proceedings pursuant
to the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9 U.S.C.
§ 1 et seq., on the grounds that the dispute is
covered by an arbitration agreement. D. 36, 48. The Court
ALLOWS the Defendants’ amended motion to compel
individual arbitration and stay of these proceedings. D. 36,
Standard of Review
ruling on a motion to compel arbitration, courts should
“draw [upon] the relevant facts from the operative
complaint and the documents submitted  in support of the
motion to compel arbitration.” Cullinane v. Uber
Techs., Inc., 893 F.3d 53, 55 (1st Cir. 2018). Courts
have consistently applied a summary judgment standard,
prompting courts to “consider facts in the light most
favorable to the [non-movant] . . . and exercise its
‘wide discretion’ to look beyond the complaint at
pleadings and documents submitted by either party.”
Boulet v. Bangor Sec. Inc., 324 F. Supp. 2d 120, 123
(D. Me. 2004) (quoting Anderson v. Delta Funding
Corp., 316 F. Supp. 2d 554, 558 (N.D. Ohio 2004)
(internal quotation marks omitted)).
following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.
Firm is a nationwide mattress retail chain. D. 11 ¶ 15.
It employs approximately 7,000 sales associates across the
United States, including Massachusetts and New York.
Id. ¶¶ 16, 29, 37. Defendant Murphy is the
President and Director of Mattress Firm, id. ¶
10, and Defendant Black is the Treasurer, id. ¶
11. Plaintiffs worked as “inside sales” employees
for Mattress Firm at all relevant times. Id. ¶
19. Specifically, Plaintiffs sold products to Mattress Firm
customers at its retail stores. Id. ¶ 20. As
alleged, Plaintiffs worked more than forty hours a week and
did not receive overtime pay. Id. ¶ ¶ 67,
73, 77, 81. Plaintiffs were all managers-on-duty, which is an
entry-level sales position. D. 37-1 ¶¶ 4-7, 9-11.
March 23, 2016, an email from Human Resources was sent to all
Mattress Firm employees. D. 37-1 at 6-7. This email contained
a copy of the Mutual Arbitration Agreement (the
“Agreement”) and requested that the employees
first watch a video on “MFRMtv” explaining the
significance of the Agreement and thereafter either execute
electronically via DocuSign or complete the opt-out process.
Id. at 6. The Agreement states in relevant part:
Arbitration. . . . both Mattress Firm  and
you agree to resolve any and all claims, disputes, or
controversies arising out of or relating to your application
for employment, your employment with the Company and/or the
termination of your employment exclusively by arbitration to
be administered by a neutral arbitration agency to be agreed
upon by the parties. . . .
Covered Claims. Some, but not all, of the
types of claims covered are: unpaid wages, overtimes or other
compensation. . . You and the company agree that the parties
are subject to the Federal Arbitration Act
(“FAA”) and that this Agreement shall be
enforceable pursuant to and interpreted in accordance with
Class Action, Collective Action and Representative
Action Waiver. . . . All claims covered by this
Agreement are intended to be brought and resolved on an
individual basis. Both you and the Company are waiving any
right to bring claims as class, collective, or representative
Arbitrability. The Arbitrator, and not any
federal, state, or local court or agency, shall have the
exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the
interpretations, applicability, enforceability, or formation
of this Agreement. . . .
The Parties. For the purposes of the scope
of the obligation to arbitrate, claims against the
“Company” shall include claims against all parent
and subsidiary and related companies, specifically including,
but not limited to Mattress Firm  and the Sleep Train,
Inc., as well as their respective officers, directors,
managers, supervisors, employees (current and former) . . . .
D. 37-2 at 2-14.
had the choice of opting-out of the Agreement by requesting
an “Opt Out form” via the email address listed in
the body of the email. D. 37-1 at 6. Employees were required
to return this form no later than April 23, 2016.
Id. The March 23 email also indicated that clicking
the “Decline to Sign” option within DocuSign
“was not a valid option for the fulfillment of [the
Agreement].” Id. Finally, the employees were
urged to contact a human resources representative or manager
with any questions. Id. at 7. The same email was
sent again two days later on March 25, 2016. Id. at
12-13. On April 11, 2016, Mattress Firm circulated another
email to all employees with a link to view the video
explaining the arbitration program. Id. at 9-10.
Additionally, the email indicated that “[a]rbitration
 [i]s an alternative to litigation in the courts” and
that “it works like a less formal version of a lawsuit
that is decided by an impartial arbitrator instead of judge
and a jury.” Id. at 10. Diane
Penoyer-Hanratty, the Human Resources Director at Mattress
Firm, attested that “associates also received almost
daily reminders via email to review and sign the [Agreement]
or exercise their right to opt out.” Id. at 2
¶ 3. She ...