Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Baker v. Santander Consumer USA

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 30, 2019

DERRICK W. BAKER Plaintiffs,
v.
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.

         Plaintiff 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.[1] 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 the issue.

         I. Background

         Santander's 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).

         Santander 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:

         (Image Omitted)

         Howell 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:

         (Image Omitted)

         Howell Deck, Exh, B.

         Clicking 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:

         (Image Omitted)

         Howell 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 employment relationship:

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 ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.