United States District Court, D. Delaware
DEBORAH J. MAYHAN, Plaintiff,
SUNOCO, INC., Defendant.
Deborah J. Mayhan, New Castle, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
M. Klayman, Abigail M. Green, and Daniel V. Johns, Cozen
& O'Connor. Counsel for Defendant.
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Deborah J. Mayhan, who appears pro se and has been
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, filed
this employment discrimination action on March 6, 2018,
against Sunoco, Inc. (D.I. 2). Presently before the Court is
Defendant's motion to compel arbitration and stay the
proceedings and Plaintiff's opposition. (D.I. 42). The
matter has been fully briefed.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
began her employment with Sunoco in early January 2014 as a
customer service representative. (D.I. 43-1 at 2). Plaintiff
was employed by Sunoco, Inc. (R&M), a subsidiary of
Sunoco, Inc. One of Sunoco, Inc. (R&M)'s divisions
was Mascot Petroleum Company. (Id. at 2-3).
Plaintiffs employment was terminated on or around May 1,
2016. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that Sunoco did not
pay her the wages that it had allegedly agreed to pay, she
was denied the right to use her breathing machine, and her
employment was terminated for no reason. (D.I. 2 at 4).
Plaintiffs EEOC charge of discrimination alleges
discrimination by reason of race and disability in violation
of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000e, et seq., and the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et
seq. (D.I. 17).
beginning of Plaintiffs employment with Sunoco, on January
13, 2014, she signed an agreement (D.I. 43-3) to participate
in the Mascot Petroleum Company Dispute Resolution Program
("DRP"). (D.I. 43-2 at 2-19). The DRP establishes a
mandatory arbitration process for claims made by current and
former employees arising out of their employment or
termination of employment. (D.I. 43-3). The DRP "is
designed to provide rules and procedures for the quick, fair,
accessible and inexpensive resolution of issues between the
Company and the Company's present and eligible former
employees," and it explains what arbitration is and how
an employee initiates and participates in arbitration. (D.I.
43-2 at 11, 12-13). The DRP states that it "is intended
to create an exclusive procedural mechanism for the final
resolution of all claims falling within its terms," and
"is not intended either to abridge or enlarge
substantive rights available under applicable law."
(Id. at 11).
III of the DRP states that an employee's agreement to
arbitrate claims arising out of her employment is an express
condition of employment as follows: "Mascot Petroleum
Company's DRP is a condition of employment and by
accepting employment with Mascot you are knowingly and
voluntarily agreeing to its terms, including the requirement
that you arbitrate any claims against the Company."
(D.I. 43- 3). The agreement provides that "all claims
relating to your application or candidacy for employment,
your employment, or the termination of your employment from
the Company shall be submitted to final and binding
arbitration in accordance with the Mascot Dispute Resolution
Program (DRP) Rules and Procedures." (Id.).
[The DRP] covers all issues or controversies arising out of
your employment or termination" including
"[m]atters relating to discrimination, harassment and
unlawful forms of retaliation, intentional infliction of
emotional distress," and "claims arising under
federal, state or local statutory or common law"
including but not limited to "Title VII," "the
Americans with Disabilities Act" and "any and all
claims under. . . state and local laws against
(D.I. 43-2 at 4, 11). Similarly, the page Plaintiff signed
provides that "[a]ll claims arising under federal,
state, or local statutory or common law shall be subject to
arbitration including . . . claims arising under Title
VII," the ADA, and "state and local laws against
discrimination." (D.I. 43-3).
provides that "[a]ny legal issue not resolved through
[the administrative processes preceding arbitration] must be
submitted to final and binding arbitration rather than
through the courts or to a jury." (D.I 43-2 at 9). The
page that Plaintiff signed states:
I understand that I may file administrative charges with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and similar state or
local agencies, but that upon receipt of right-to-sue letter
or my having otherwise exhausted administrative remedies
under the law, I shall arbitrate any claim that I may have
against Mascot Petroleum Company in accordance with DRP Rules
and Procedures rather than proceed through the courts or to a