Argued: September 18, 2017
from the Sept. 30, 2016, judgment of the District Court for
the Eastern District of New York (Eric N. Vitaliano, District
Judge), ordering arbitration of a claim under the Fair Labor
Standards Act and dismissing a complaint for violations of
K. Hassan, Abdul Hassan Law Group, PLLC, Queens Village, NY,
for Plaintiff- Appellant.
P. Marks, Dorf & Nelson, LLP, Rye, NY, for
Defendants-Appellees Parts Authority, Inc., Michigan
Logistics Inc., and Northeast Logistics Inc.
Before: NEWMAN, CALABRESI, and POOLER, Circuit Judges.
NEWMAN, CIRCUIT JUDGE
issue on this appeal is whether claims under the Fair Labor
Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et
seq., are subject to arbitration. The issue arises on an
appeal by Juan Rodriguez-Depena from the September 30, 2016,
judgment of the District Court for the Eastern District of
New York (Eric N. Vitaliano, District Judge). The judgment
granted the motion of Parts Authority, Inc., Michigan
Logistics, Inc., and Northeast Logistics, Inc., aka Diligent
Delivery Systems ("Diligent") to compel
arbitration, and dismissed the complaint alleging FLSA
conclude that FLSA claims are arbitrable and therefore
was employed by the three defendants in 2015, all of which
controlled his employment. His employment contract with
Diligent contained a clause requiring arbitration of any
dispute arising out the contract. He sued the defendants in
the District Court, alleging that he was denied overtime pay
in violation of the FLSA.
District Court ordered arbitration and dismissed the
complaint. The Court relied on Judge Weinstein's thorough
opinion in Bynum v. Maplebear Inc., 160 F.Supp.3d
527 (E.D.N.Y. 2016), appeal dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction, No. 16- 3348 (July 13, 2016) (mem).
claims are arbitrable unless Congress "has evinced an
intention to preclude a waiver of judicial remedies for the
statutory rights at issue." Gilmer v.
Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp., 500 U.S. 20, 26 (1991).
In the absence of any such indication of congressional
intent, Rodriguez-Depena urges us to preclude arbitration on
the authority of Barrentine v. Arkansas-Best Freight
Systems, Inc., 450 U.S. 728 (1981). The issue in
Barrentine was whether an employee may sue in a
district court for an alleged FLSA violation "after
having unsuccessfully submitted a wage claim based on the
same underlying facts to a joint grievance committee pursuant
to the provisions of his union's collective-bargaining
agreement." Id. at 729-30. Upholding the right
to sue in a district court despite the grievance proceeding,
the Supreme Court contrasted collective rights arising out of
a collective-bargaining agreement with individual rights
conferred by a federal statute, in that case, the FLSA.
See id. at 737.
years later, the Supreme Court in Gilmer upheld the
enforcement of contractually required arbitration for an
individual's claims under the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"). In doing so, the
Court emphasized that in Barrentine the Plaintiff
was granted access to a district court to assert his
statutory claim after arbitration because the basis for the
rights that had been previously asserted was a collective
bargaining agreement. See Gilmer, 500 U.S. at 35. In
light of Gilmer's explanation of the limited
rationale of Barrentine, the earlier decision cannot
fairly be read to preclude arbitration of an individual FLSA
claim. Judge Weinstein's opinion in
Bynum convincingly ruled in favor of enforcing