Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Dismissed Pursuant to NBC Universal’s Mediation/Arbitration Program

In Calvo v. Aristizabal (NY Sup Ct. NY Cty. Index 156048/16 Jan. 20, 2017) (J. Mendez), the court granted defendant’s motion pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(1) and (7), CPLR 7503, and 9 U.S.C. 3, 4 (a/k/a the Federal Arbitration Act) to dismiss plaintiff’s sexual harassment complaint and to compel arbitration.

Plaintiff, an account manager at NBC Universal Media, alleged (inter alia) that approximately a month after defendant Liliana Aristizabal was hired as vice-president of sales, “she offered to make plaintiff’s work life easier if he agreed to go out for drinks and that after he refused defendant’s demeanor towards him changed.” Defendant ultimately terminated plaintiff; plaintiff alleged that this was “because of defendant’s fabricated negative evaluations that cite his lack of being a team player and inept management of subordinates.”

Defendant argued that plaintiff’s claims are subject to resolution by mediation and arbitration under Defendant’s “Solutions” program. The court agreed.

From the decision:

Plaintiff’s arguments in opposition to the motion that there is no binding agreement to arbitrate between the parties, and that the alleged harassment was outside the scope of employment[,] do not state a basis to sustain this action. Plaintiff fails to establish that the alleged harassment, was outside of the defendant’s position as his manager or outside the scope of her employment. He does not deny that the “Solutions” agreement requires his claims of discrimination and harassment be subject to arbitration. The fact that the defendant is not a signatory to the agreement does not avoid enforcement of the arbitration provisions as to the claims asserted against her.

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