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Canlas v. Olomana Golf Links, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

October 24, 2016

TISA MARIE CANLAS, Plaintiff,
v.
OLOMANA GOLF LINKS, INC., a Hawaii profit corporation, dba OLOMANA GOLF LINKS, a registered Hawaii trade name, aka THE PACIFIC LINKS HAWAII, a registered Hawaii trade name, and PACIFIC LINKS HAWAII, a registered Hawaii trade name; and DOE DEFENDANTS 1-10, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT OLOMANA GOLF LINKS, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION (ECF NO. 25) AND DISMISSING THE CASE

          Helen Gillmor Judge

         Plaintiff Tisa Marie Canlas filed a Complaint alleging claims of sex discrimination, hostile work environment, unlawful retaliation, and wrongful discharge in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against her former employer, Defendant Olomana Golf Links, Inc. The Complaint also brings related state law tort and discrimination claims against Defendant.

         Defendant filed a motion to compel arbitration, asserting that Plaintiff agreed to arbitrate claims arising out of her employment with Defendant.

         Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration (ECF No. 25) is GRANTED.

         This case is DISMISSED.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On June 26, 2015, Plaintiff Tisa Marie Canlas (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint. (ECF No. 1).

         On July 22, 2016, Defendant Olomana Golf Links, Inc. (“Defendant”) filed DEFENDANT OLOMANA GOLF LINKS, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION. (ECF No. 25).

         On August 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed PLAINTIFF TISA MARIE CANLAS' MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT OLOMANA GOLF LINKS, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION FILED JULY 22, 2016 [DOC. NO. 25]. (ECF No. 30).

         On September 6, 2016, Defendant filed DEFENDANT OLOMANA GOLF LINKS, INC.'S REPLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION. (ECF No. 31).

         On September 28, 2016, the Court held a hearing on Defendant's motion to compel arbitration. (ECF No. 32).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Tisa Marie Canlas (“Plaintiff”) states that from January 20, 2013 to August 1, 2014, she worked at the Olomana Golf Course as a golf cart attendant. (Complaint at pp. 5; 20, ECF No. 1). According to Plaintiff, the Olomana Golf Course is an 18-hole course near Waimanalo, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu.

         The course is owned and operated by Defendant Olomana Golf Links, Inc. (“Defendant”). (Id. at p. 4).

         Prior to beginning employment with Defendant, Plaintiff signed a document entitled, “Employment Agreement.” The Employment Agreement contains an arbitration provision, which provides that:

All claims, controversies or disputes between You and the Company arising out of or relating to this Agreement and/or your employment with the Company, shall be settled by arbitration, except as provided in this paragraph. By way of example only, the following claims shall be resolved by arbitration: claims under federal, state and local statutory law, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disability (sic) Act, Hawaii's Employment Practices Act, and claims brought under the laws of contract and tort. The arbitration proceeding shall be administered by Dispute Prevention & Resolution, Inc. ("DPR"), or such other alternative dispute resolution service, administrative agency or organization as the Parties may agree, before a single arbitrator. The DPR Arbitration Rules, Procedures and Protocols shall govern procedure and the Federal Arbitration Act, shall govern substantive law. The decision of the arbitrator will be final and binding on the parties. Any arbitration award may be confirmed as a judgment in accordance with the applicable laws of the State of Hawaii. Such dispute shall be Initiated in writing by the filing of a demand for arbitration with DPR, by the party alleging breach, and the sending of the demand for arbitration to the other Party via Certified Mall, Return Receipt Requested, or via U.S. Priority Mail with Signature Confirmation. Motions to compel arbitration under HRS § 658A-7 and motions for provisional remedies under HRS § 658A-8 submitted to the court shall be exempt from arbitration.

(Ex. A of Def. Motion to Compel Arb. at p. 2, ECF No. 25-3).

         Plaintiff alleges that shortly after beginning her employment with Defendant, she began experiencing persistent hostility from coworkers at the Olomana Golf Course. (Complaint at pp. 4-6). Plaintiff states that one example of the hostility she faced occurred on April 16, 2013, when a course marshal made sexually explicit comments to her during a conversation. (Id. at p. 6). According to Plaintiff, she reported the marshal's comments to the Office Manager and General Manager of the golf course, but neither supervisor investigated her allegations or remedied the situation. (Id. at p. 7). Plaintiff claims that her coworkers ...


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