United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ANGELA D. MCALLISTER, Plaintiff,
SMITH BARNEY/CITIGROUP GLOBAL MARKETS INC.; CITIGROUP INC.; PATRICIA BALENZENTIS; ROBERT EAST; KRISTEN KING; MICHELLE GREEN; ANDREW SMITH; ANDREW GRILLO; BRAD BARBER; DANA SPERLING; CITIGROUP GLOBAL MARKETS INC. Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
VANESSA L. BRYANT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Motion for Reconsideration
filed by Plaintiff Angela D. McAllister
(“Plaintiff” or “McAllister”) on
December 19, 2016. [Dkt. 109 (Mot. Reconsideration)].
Defendants filed their Opposition, see [Dkt. 110
(Opp'n Mot. Reconsideration)], to which Plaintiff did not
submit a Reply, see D. Conn. L. R. 7(d)
(“Reply memoranda are not required and the absence of a
reply memorandum will not prejudice the moving
party.”). For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES
Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration.
of this motion requires a review of the procedural history.
Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, initiated this action
with a complaint filed in this Court on July 14, 2010.
See [Dkt. 1 (Mot. in forma pauperis); Dkt.
2 (Compl.)]. The original complaint alleged claims of
employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (the
“ADEA”) on the grounds of race, color, sex, and
age arising from her termination of employment on November
10, 2008. See [Dkt. 2]. Plaintiff amended the
complaint nine days later on July 23, 2010, seeking in
addition “compensatory and punitive” damages but
otherwise leaving the complaint nearly identical. Several
months later Plaintiff filed an employment discrimination
case in Connecticut Superior Court against the company
Defendants in this case, which Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.
(“CGMI”) removed to federal court. See
McAllister, et al. v. Smith Barney/Citigroup Global Markets,
Inc., et al. (“McAllister II”), No.
3:10-cv-1696-CFD, ECF No. 1. On May 23, 2011, McAllister
II was consolidated with this case.
filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration and Stay Litigation on
November 10, 2010, see [Dkts. 15 (Mot. Compel
McAllister I) and 26 (Mot. Compel McAllister
II)], which the Court denied without prejudice to
refiling with additional evidence about the nature of
Plaintiff's employment including whether she was an
at-will employee and had a legitimate expectation she could
bring her claims in federal court. See [Dkt. 33
(Order on Mot. Compel)]. Defendants subsequently filed a
renewed Motion to Compel Arbitration and Stay Litigation on
August 3, 2011. See [Dkt. 35 (Renewed Mot. Compel)].
The Court denied this motion on the basis that Defendants did
not provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate
Plaintiff's employment was at-will. See [Dkt. 46
(Order on Renewed Mot. Compel)]. Defendants filed an
interlocutory appeal in accordance with the Federal
Arbitration Act. Thereafter, the Second Circuit concluded
that, under Connecticut law, whether a person is an at-will
employee is a conclusion of law, and it remanded the case for
this Court to solicit competent evidence as to whether
Plaintiff had an employment contract with the Defendants and,
if so, whether that contract mandated arbitration. See
McAllister v. Smith Barney/Citigroup Global Mkts. Inc.,
504 F. App'x 55, 56 (2d Cir. 2012) (citing Stevenson
Lumber Co.-Suffield, Inc. v. Chase Assocs., Inc., 9328
A.2d 401, 408-09 (Conn. 2007).
remand and further factual development, this Court found
McAllister was an at-will employee subject to the mandatory
arbitration provision as specified in Defendants'
employee handbook. See [Dkt. 105 (Mem. Decision on
Mot. Compel) at 10]. This Court then granted the
Defendants' Motion to Compel arbitration, id. at
17-18, which was affirmed by the Court of appeals two years
ago on May 26, 2015, see [Dkt. No. 108 (2d Cir.
than a year and one half after the appellate court affirmed
this court's order to arbitrate the dispute, on December
19, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Reconsideration in
support of which Plaintiff submitted a memorandum of law and
exhibits. See [Dkt. 109]. Included among the
exhibits are the arbitration award, documents Plaintiff filed
in the Connecticut Superior Court seeking to vacate the
arbitration award, and an order vacating the award without
prejudice. See [Dkt. 109-1 (Mot. Reconsideration
Exs.)]. In her motion, Plaintiff requests the Court to
reverse the decision to compel arbitration because she
disagrees with the manner in which the arbitration
proceedings took place, and asks the Court to set aside its
previous judgment and permit her to recover damages in
federal court. See [Dkt. 109 at 2 of PDF]. Plaintiff
presents no evidence that she has exhausted the arbitration
proceedings by appeal or otherwise. On the contrary,
Defendants have alerted the Court that McAllister's the
case involving motion to vacate the arbitration award is
pending. See McAllister v. Citigroup Global
Markets, Inc., Docket No. FBT-CV16-5032142-S
(“Superior Court Action”).
also submitted a letter from the State of Connecticut
Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities
(“CHRO”), dated September 9, 2010, regarding an
enclosed draft summary of Reasonable Cause Finding. See
Id. at 37 of PDF. Plaintiff did not enclose the draft
summary. She merely contends in her Motion for
Reconsideration that “the information provided to the
court was ‘incomplete' wherein the plaintiff did
not attach the copy of [the] CCHRO letter stating that the
draft summary of REASONABLE CAUSE was final.” [Dkt. 109
at 2 of PDF]. The letter does not indicate this fact,
however, as it states the following:
Transmitted herewith is a draft summary of
Reasonable Cause Finding prepared by the investigator
assigned to your complaint. I have reviewed it preliminarily
and concur with it. However, prior to taking final action, I
am providing you with an opportunity to comment. You have
fifteen calendar (15) days from the date of this
letter to provide me with any written comments concerning the
investigator's proposed findings. During this period you
may also review the materials in the case file and reference
these in your comments. Unless I hear from you within this
period, the investigation will be closed and the Commission
shall proceed with its processing of the complaint. lf you do
submit written comments, they will be reviewed and
considered. However, if your comments do not rebut the
substance of the investigator's summary or present new
evidence that requires further investigation, the
investigator's draft summary will be finalized.
[Dkt. 109-1 at 37 of PDF (emphasis in original)]. Plaintiff
does not explain how this document demonstrates the finality
of the draft summary given that the express language in the
letter provides Plaintiff with the opportunity to submit
comments before the investigation closes. The Court is left
to assume the draft summary became final at a later date
because Plaintiff did not comply with the request from the
letter. Irrespective, a reasonable cause finding is by
definition not dispositive.
will generally only be granted when a party can point to
“an intervening change of controlling law, the
availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear
error or prevent manifest injustice.” Virgin Atl.
Airways, Ltd. v. Nat'l Mediation Bd., 956
F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992) (quoting 18 C. Wright, A.
Miller & E. Cooper, Federal Practice &
Procedure § 4478 at 790). As such, reconsideration
should be granted only when a “party can point to
controlling decisions or data that the court
overlooked-matters, in other words, that might reasonably be
expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court.”
Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d
Cir. 1995). This Court will not grant a motion to reconsider
“where the moving party seeks solely to relitigate an
issue already decided, ” id., or where the
moving party seeks “to plug gaps in an original
argument or to argue in the alternative once a decision has
been made, ” Horsehead Res. Dev. Co., Inc. v.
B.U.S. Envtl. Serv., Inc., 928 F.Supp. 287, 289
(S.D.N.Y. 1996) (citations omitted). See Virgin Atl.
Airways, 956 F.2d at 1255 (noting that “where
litigants have once battled for the court's decision,
they should neither be required, nor without good reason
permitted, to battle for it again”) (quoting Zdanok
v. Glidden Co., 327 F.2d 944, 953 (2d Cir. 1964)).
Ultimately, however, the question is a discretionary one and
the Court is not limited in its ability to reconsider its own
decisions prior to final judgment. See Virgin Atl.,
956 F.2d at 1255.
preliminary matter, Plaintiff has failed to present any
controlling law or relevant facts affecting this Court's
decision that she was an at-will employee who was obligated
by Defendants' employee handbook to arbitrate the subject
employment disputes. Moreover, while Plaintiff does present
“new evidence” it it does not warrant
reconsideration for two reasons. First, it does not establish
that she was not an at-will employee and not subject to
binding arbitration. Contrary to Plaintiff's contention,
the CHRO letter indicates the draft summary was not final at
the time the letter was issued. Even if it were, Plaintiff
does not demonstrate how that would change the Court's
initial findings. Second, Plaintiff also fails to explain why
she could not have submitted the evidence for the Court's
review in 2015. This is not “newly discovered
evidence;” it instead constitutes an attempt to