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Joseph v. Trueblue, Inc.

United States District Court, Western District of Washington, Tacoma

May 12, 2015

DANIEL JOSEPH, an individual, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
TRUEBLUE, INC., d/b/a LABOR READY, INC., and TRUEBLUE, INC., Washington corporations, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DETERMINE CHOICE OF LAW AND ALLOW SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEFING

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant TrueBlue, Inc., d/b/a Labor Ready, Inc., and TrueBlue, Inc.’s (collectively “TrueBlue”)[1] motion to determine choice of law and allow supplemental briefing (Dkt. 66). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby denies the motion for the reasons stated herein.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 25, 2014, Plaintiff Daniel Joseph (“Joseph”) filed a class action complaint against TrueBlue asserting numerous violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C § 227, et seq. (“TCPA”). Dkt. 1.

On January 8, 2015, TrueBlue filed a motion to compel arbitration. Dkt. 43. On February 11, 2015, the Court denied the motion concluding, in relevant part, that TrueBlue could not enforce any arbitration agreement as a non-signatory to the agreement. Dkt. 51 at 6.

On April 8, 2015, TrueBlue filed the instant motion requesting that the Court apply Eighth Circuit and Minnesota law instead of Ninth Circuit and Washington law. Dkt. 66. On April 20, 2015, Joseph responded. Dkt. 70. On April 24, 2015, TrueBlue replied. Dkt. 71.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On December 10, 2013, Joseph signed an “Employment and Dispute Resolution” agreement with Labor Ready, a TrueBlue company. Dkt. 44, Declaration of Todd Gilman (“Gilman Dec.”), Ex. A (“Arbitration Agreement”). The agreement provides, in relevant part, as follows:

Agreement to Arbitrate.
Labor Ready and I agree that for any claim arising out of or relating to my employment, application for employment, and/or termination of employment, this Agreement, or the breach of this Agreement, shall be submitted to and resolved by binding individual arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). Labor Ready and I agree that all claims shall be submitted to arbitration including, but not limited to, claims based on any alleged violation of a constitution, or any federal, state, or local laws; Title VII claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, wages, compensation due or violation of civil rights; or any claim based in tort, contract, or equity. In no way does this agreement limit an employee’s ability to bring claims before the NLRB, EEOC, or any local, state or federal governmental or administrative agency, or the procedures of those agencies.
***
Scope of Arbitration.
Labor Ready and I agree that arbitration in no way limits the relief that any party may seek in the jurisdiction in which arbitration has been filed. LABOR READY AND I AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN MY OR ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS ACTION, COLLECTIVE ACTION, OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING. Further, unless both Labor Reedy and I agree otherwise, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative or class proceeding. If this specific provision is found to be unenforceable, then ...

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