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Jackson v. Home Team Pest Defense
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
2013 WL 6051391(2013)
Ryan Jackson (plaintiff) was an employee of Home Team Pest Defense, Inc. (Home Team) (defendant). Home Team allegedly had Jackson and other employees working between 50 and 60 hours per week with no overtime pay. Rollins, Inc. purchased Home Team and held a meeting for Home Team employees. At the meeting, Rollins gave Jackson papers to sign but only briefly described the contents of each page before asking for a signature and moving on to the next page. Employees were not given the opportunity to read the documents, ask questions, or receive copies of the papers. Three employees and Jackson attested that they were required to sign the papers to retain employment. The paperwork included an arbitration agreement providing that all disputes arising out of employment with Home Team would be arbitrated. The provision also stated that the arbitrator could not hear the arbitration as a class or representative action. The agreement stated that if the provision was found unenforceable, it was severable from the agreement. Jackson stated that he did not understand what he was signing and did not intend to waive his right to litigate or bring collective action. Jackson filed a class-action suit against Home Team in federal court for not paying required overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Home Team filed a motion to dismiss or compel individual arbitration of the matter. Jackson claimed that the arbitration agreement was unenforceable because it was procured by duress and that his right to bring an FLSA class action was unwaivable. The court sent the matter to United States Magistrate Judge Thomas Smith for a report and recommendation. Home Team objected to the recommendations, and the district court reviewed the recommendations for its ruling.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)
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