United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
DERRICK W. BAKER Plaintiffs,
SANTANDER CONSUMER USA d/b/a CHRYSLER CAPITAL AND COLLIER BLACK, Individually. Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Edmond E. Chang United States District Judge.
Derrick Baker filed a lawsuit against his former employer,
Santander Consumer, and his supervisor, Collier Black (for
convenience’s sake, together referred to as
“Santander”), alleging violations of Title VII
and the Family and Medical Leave Act. See R. 1,
Compl. Santander now moves to compel arbitration
and stay the lawsuit, arguing that Baker’s claims fall
within the scope of an enforceable arbitration agreement. R.
20, Def.’s Mot. Compel. In response, Baker argues that
he had never seen the alleged arbitration agreement until
this litigation. R. 24, Pl.’s Resp. Br. at 2. For the
reasons stated below, Santander’s motion is denied
without prejudice. An evidentiary hearing is needed to decide
motion to compel arbitration is really a motion for summary
judgment on an affirmative defense, that is, the defense that
Baker agreed to arbitrate the claims. In deciding this motion
for summary judgment, the Court views the evidence in the
light most favorable to Baker. See Tinder v. Pinkerton
Sec., 305 F.3d 728, 735 (7th Cir. 2002).
offered Baker a job as a Dealer Relationship Manager in July
2016. R. 24-1, PL's Resp. Br., Exh. A, Baker Decl. ¶
2; id., Exh. B, Offer Letter. Before he could start
the new job, Baker-like all Santander new hires-was required
to complete the online "Compliance" portion of
Santander's New-Hire Orientation, which includes an
acknowledgement of Santander's Arbitration Policy.
See R. 21-1, Defs.' Mot. Compel, Exh. 1, Howell
Decl. ¶¶ 4-5. To access and acknowledge the
Arbitration Policy during Orientation, a new hire must move
through several steps on the company's software platform.
When employees first log onto the Orientation
"Compliance Policies" section, they see the
following sample screen:
Decl., Exh. A. As the screenshot shows, one part of the
Compliance Policies module requires the employee to click the
"View Details" button next to "Arbitration
Policy." Id. ¶ 6. After clicking that
button, employees are brought to the next screen. On this
screen, in order to move forward with the Orientation, the
employee must click on "Activate" as shown here:
Deck, Exh, B.
the "Activate" button brings up a dialogue box that
asks the employee what they "want to do with" the
Arbitration Policy. Howell Decl. ¶ 7. The new hire can
click one of three options: "Open, " "Save,
" or "Save as." Id. This is what that
screen looks like:
Decl., Exh. C. If the employee chooses "Open, "
then a Microsoft Word version of the Arbitration Policy opens
up, allowing for a full view of its terms. Howell Decl.
¶ 8; id., Exh. D. The Arbitration Policy
provides for arbitration of any claim against the company
(and against any employee of the company) arising out of the
The Company and Associate agree to submit to binding
arbitration any dispute, claim, or controversy that may arise
between Associate and the Company arising out of or in
connection with the Company's business, the
Associate's employment with the Company, or the
termination of Associate's employment with the Company.
This Arbitration Policy is intended to broadly cover the
entire relationship between Associate and Company and
includes, without limitation (except as specifically notes
below), any dispute claim or controversy relating to ... any
claim arising under ... any state or federal statute ...,
including but not limited to ... Title VII of the United
States Code. This Arbitration Policy also includes claims
that the Associate may bring against other employees or
agents of the ...