Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
On October 27, 2011, plaintiff brought an action against her employer, defendant Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assctn Fnni Me (OTCBB:FNMA), alleging that the defendant retaliated against her for complaining about race discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a). Compl. [Dkt. # 1]. On January 6, 2012, defendant moved to compel arbitration in accordance with the terms of plaintiff’s employment application and Fannie Mae’s offer letter, both of which referenced the Fannie Mae Dispute Resolution Policy. Def.’s Mot. to Compel Arbitration [Dkt. # 5, 5-3, 5-4] (“Mot. to Compel”). Plaintiff informed the Court that she did not oppose defendant’s motion, Pl.’s Resp. to Mot. to Compel at 1 [Dkt. # 6], and the motion was granted. Plaintiff requested that the action be stayed pending the arbitration, Pl.’s Mot. to Stay [Dkt. # 7], and that motion was granted on January 18, 2012.
The arbitrator found for Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assctn Fnni Me (OTCBB:FNMA) on September 20, 2013, and entered a Final Award for defendant. Consent Status Report of Sept. 30, 2013 [Dkt. # 12]. The terms of the Dispute Resolution Policy provided that if plaintiff did not reject the Final Award within thirty days of its issuance, the Final Award would become binding on plaintiff. Id. ¶ 6. Plaintiff failed to reject the Final Award within that thirty-day period. Defendant then moved to dismiss this case under Rule 12(b)(6) or, in the alternative, under Rule 56, asserting that the Final Award was binding upon plaintiff. Def.’s Mot. to Dismiss at 1 [Dkt. # 17]; see also Consent Status Report of Dec. 2, 2013 ¶ 7 [Dkt. # 13]. Plaintiff argued that it was not binding because her lawsuit was still pending in this Court. Consent Status Report of Dec. 2, 2013 ¶ 8.
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Because binding arbitration decisions are final decisions with preclusive effect for purposes of res judicata, Camp v. Kollen, 567 F. Supp. 2d 170, 173 n.6 (D.D.C. 2008), the Court finds that plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and will dismiss this case.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac: Factual Background
When the Court ordered this matter stayed pending the outcome of the arbitration proceedings, the parties were also ordered to file periodic joint reports updating the Court on the status of the arbitration. See Minute Orders of Jan. 18, 2012; Apr. 18, 2012; Sept. 26, 2012; Oct. 1, 2012; Feb. 26, 2013; Mar. 4, 2013; June 4, 2013. On September 30, 2013, the parties jointly informed the Court of the outcome of the arbitration. Consent Status Report of Sept. 30, 2013. They filed what they entitled a “Consent Status Report on Arbitration,” which stated the following:
5. On September 20, 2013, the Arbitrator entered a Final Award in favor of the Respondent, Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assctn Fnni Me (OTCBB:FNMA). The Final Award was served on the Parties on September 23, 2013.
6. The Final Award is binding on Fannie Mae. However, pursuant to Rule 14 of the Dispute Resolution Policy, Plaintiff has thirty (30) days from the issuance of the Final Award to reject it and to pursue her claims in this Court.
7. The Parties request that the instant matter be stayed for a period of 60 days within such time, Plaintiff will advise the Court whether she will pursue her claims in this action.
Id. at 1–2.
On October 2, 2013, the Court entered a Minute Order stating: “In light of the parties’ joint status report, the Court orders the parties to submit a further status report by December 2, 2013, at which time the plaintiff must advise the Court whether she intends to pursue her claims in this action.” Since the matter was already stayed, there was no need to enter another order staying the case.
On December 2, 2013, the parties filed the status report that had been ordered on October 2. See Consent Status Report of Dec. 2, 2013. They reiterated that under the Dispute Resolution Policy, plaintiff had thirty days from the issuance of the Final Award to reject it and to elect to pursue her claims in Court, and they jointly informed the Court that plaintiff “did not complete and submit a Rejection notice to JAMS and has thus, failed to reject the Final Award within the 30 days of its issuance.” Id. ¶¶ 6–7.
Based upon that set of circumstances, defendant Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assctn Fnni Me (OTCBB:FNMA) asserted that the Final Award had become binding upon plaintiff. Id. ¶ 7. But plaintiff took the position “that the 30 days to contest the arbitration award does not apply where there is already a pending case in U.S. District Court, which was then stayed and referred to arbitration, and where the Court then gave the parties until December 2, 2013 to notify the court if plaintiff was proceeding.” Id. ¶ 8. Plaintiff cited no authority in support of this proposition.