United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
CECILIA MONTERO and ANABEL RODRIGUEZ, on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated persons, known and unknown Plaintiffs,
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO., and JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., Defendants.
E. Cox, U.S. Magistrate Judge.
reasons provided, Cecilia Montero's
“Plaintiff's”) motion to vacate the order
compelling Anabel Rodriguez (“Rodriguez”) to
arbitration (Dkt. No. 78) and Montero's motion to join
Rodriguez as a plaintiff (Dkt. No. 78) are denied.
Montero's motion to file a third amended complaint (Dkt.
No. 78) is granted.
filed this class action suit against JPMorgan Chase & Co.
and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) alleging
that Chase failed to pay overtime wages at the rate required
under the Fair Labor Standards Act 29 U.S.C. § 201
et seq. (“FLSA”), the Illinois Minimum
Wage Law, 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 105/1, et seq.
(“IMWL”), and the Illinois Wage Payment and
Collection Act, 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 115/ 1 et seq.
(“IWPCA”). (Dkt. No. 1).
January 14, 2015, Montero filed a first amended complaint
(Dkt. No. 20), which alleged the same violations of law, but
added Rodriguez as a plaintiff. Montero and Rodriguez were
given leave to file a second amended complaint on February
13, 2015, alleging that Chase violated the IWPCA by making
unauthorized deductions from their agreed-upon wages. (Dkt.
Nos. 25, 29, 31).
filed a motion to dismiss the second amended complaint (Dkt.
No. 32) on March 2, 2015. Simultaneously, Chase moved to
compel arbitration with respect to Rodriguez, arguing that
Rodriguez was subject to a Binding Arbitration Agreement
(“BAA”) with Chase. (Dkt. No. 32, 33 at 11-15).
Notably, the BAA waived Rodriguez's right to arbitrate
any claims she might have on a class basis. Plaintiffs
initially agreed to dismiss Rodriguez's claims “in
light of the precedent in the area of forced
arbitration.” (Dkt. No. 41 at 1). On May 8, 2015,
however, Plaintiffs filed a supplemental motion, asking the
district court to deny Chase's motion to compel
arbitration; that motion was premised on “Rodriguez
subsequently receiv[ing] a Settlement Claim Form from Chase
in the matter of Hightower, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase
Bank, N.A., et al., U.S.D.C. for the C.D. Cal. (Case No.
11-cv-1802), which identified [Rodriguez] as a class member
and sought to resolve her wage claims.” (Dkt. No. 78 at
3; Dkt. No. 48 at 1-2.) Plaintiffs argued that Chase's
decision not to adhere to the BAA in the Hightower
matter should render Chase unable to compel individual
arbitration of her claims in this matter. (Dkt. No. 48 at
1-2.) This is the only argument put forward by Plaintiffs on
the enforceability of the BAA during the pendency of
Chase's motion to dismiss; they never raised the issue
that the BAA's prohibition on collective actions might
run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act or any other
federal statute. On January 15, 2016, the district court
entered an order compelling arbitration of Rodriguez's
claims. (Dkt. No 58 at 1, 4).
Chase's motion to dismiss was pending before the district
court, a case bearing on the enforceability of arbitration
agreements that prohibit collective actions was winding its
way through the Seventh Circuit. In Lewis v. Epic Systems
Corp., 2015 WL 5330300, at *1-2 (W.D. Wis. Sept. 11,
2015), the court decided to follow the National Labor
Relation Board's conclusion that “an employer
violates the National Labor Relations Act by entering into
individual arbitration agreements that include a prohibition
on collective actions by employees.” Id.
(citing In re D.R. Horton, Inc., 357 NLRB No. 184,
2012 WL 36274 (2012)). The very same day that the district
court's opinion issued, the defendant in Lewis
filed a notice of interlocutory appeal before the Seventh
Circuit. Lewis, 3:15-cv-0082-bbc, Dkt. No. 55 (W.D.
Wis. Sept. 11, 2015). By the time the district court in the
instant suit had issued its opinion, the Lewis
appeal had been fully briefed (including several
amicus briefs), and oral argument was scheduled
before the Seventh Circuit. See Lewis v. Epic Systems
Corp., No. 15-cv-2997, Dkt Nos. 13-16, 19, 21, 23, 30,
31). On May 26, 2016, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the
district court's decision in Lewis, holding that
arbitrations clauses that prohibit collective actions by
employees violate the NLRA, and that “[n]othing in the
[Federal Arbitration Act] saves the ban on collective
action.” Lewis v. Epic Systems Corp., 823 F.3d
1147, 1161 (7th Cir. 2016).
filed the instant motion on September 1, 2016, asking this
Court to vacate the order entered on January 15, 2016 (Dkt.
No. 58) based upon the subsequent binding precedent issued by
the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Lewis. (Dkt.
No. 78). Montero alternatively moved for leave to join
Rodriguez as a plaintiff pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(1)
(Dkt. No. 78). On the same date, Plaintiff filed a motion for
leave to file a third amended complaint (Dkt. No 78), seeking
to clarify her FLSA and IMWL claims and seeking to add a new
IWPCA claim for untimely payments.
Motion to vacate an order under Fed.R.Civ.P.
Court first considers Montero's motion to vacate an order
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6). Rule 60(b) provides:
On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may
relieve a party or a party's legal representative from a
final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following
reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable
neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence
could not have been discovered in time to move for a new
trial under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud (whether heretofore
denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or
other misconduct of an adverse party; (4) the judgment is
void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or
discharged, or a prior judgment upon which it is based has
been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer
equitable that the judgment should have prospective
application; (6) any other reason justifying relief from the
operation of the judgment.
seeks relief under Rule 60(b)(6), the catch-all provision.
Relief from a final judgment or order under Rule 60(b) is
“an extraordinary remedy and is granted only in
exceptional circumstances.” C.K.S. Engineers v.
White Mountain Gypsum, 726 F.2d 1202, 1204-05 (7th Cir.
1984). This principle is rooted in a “strong policy
favoring the finality of judgments.” Lee v.Village
of River Forest, 936 F.2d 976 (7th Cir. 1991) (quoting
Margoles v. Johns, 798 F.2d 1069, 1073 (7th Cir.
1986). The Seventh Circuit has indicated that a change in the
law after entry of judgment does not, by itself, justify
relief under Rule 60(b). Kathrein v. City of
Evanston, Ill., 752 F.3d 680 (7th Cir. 2014) (citing
McNight v U.S. Steel Corp., 726 F.2d 333, 336 (7th
Cir. 1984)). Indeed, the Supreme Court has noted that
“[i]ntervening developments in the law by themselves
rarely constitute the extraordinary circumstances required
for relief under Rule 60(b)(6).” Agostini v.
Felton, 521 U.S. 203, 239 (1997).
argues that since the district court rendered its decision
compelling arbitration, the Seventh Circuit in Lewis
has decided that arbitration agreements mandating individual
action, like the one binding Rodriguez, are unenforceable
because they preclude all collective or class action,
violating Section 7 and 8 of the National Labor Relations Act
(“NLRA”). (Dkt. 78 at 3); see Lewis v. Epic
Sys. Corp., 823 F.3d 1147, 1154 (7th Cir. 2016). As
discussed above, the Seventh Circuit in Lewis
further held that the Federal Arbitration Act
(“FAA”) does not conflict with the NLRA, and thus
does not mandate enforcement of the individual arbitration
process. See 823 F.3d at 1157. Montero points out
that the individual Arbitration Agreement signed by Rodriguez
contains identical class waiver provisions to the agreement
the Seventh ...