Court: Plaintiff in Securitas discrimination suit 'has not raised a genuine dispute of fact that would merit a trial'

By Elizabeth Alt | Oct 10, 2018

CAPE GIRARDEAU – A suit by a former Securitas employee alleging racial discrimination and retaliation was dismissed and ordered to arbitration over a court's findings that the plaintiff had insufficient facts and fraudulently added a former co-worker to defeat diversity.

Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr. wrote the court order for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Southeastern Division on Sept. 25, dismissing the action and directing the parties to arbitration.

“Simply put, this court finds plaintiff has not raised a genuine dispute of fact that would merit a trial,” Limbaugh wrote.

Tracy Ranson filed a complaint against his former employer Securitas Security Services USA Inc. alleging wrongful discharge, racial discrimination and retaliation under the Missouri Human Rights Act. The ruling states he began working for Securitas in June 2016.

Ranson claims he was not given the same privileges as other supervisors due to his race, and that a co-worker threatened him with a knife and harassed him due to his race, but the superiors did not act on the issue. Ranson claims that he was generally harassed because of his race, and ultimately fired in retaliation later in 2016.

Securitas filed a motion to compel arbitration as per the arbitration agreement employees signed at the start of their employment. Securitas also claimed that Ranson only added his former co-worker as a defendant to defeat diversity.

Limbaugh found that Ranson’s co-worker had been added fraudulently to defeat diversity and dismissed the co-worker from the action. Limbaugh stated that Ranson “provides no factual support for this conclusion.”

Ranson argued that he should not be compelled for arbitration, claiming “lack of consideration, lack of mutual obligations and unconscionability,” the ruling states.

Ranson claims that the arbitration agreement was not valid because he did not understand the arbitration agreement when he signed it.

Limbaugh asserted that Ranson’s unconscionability argument was meritless and pointed out that because “arbitration was a condition of at-will employment” at Securitas, Ranson’s consideration and mutuality of obligation were not sufficient.

Finding that remand was “inappropriate,” Limbaugh emphasized that the arbitration agreement language states, “this agreement applies to any dispute arising out of or related to employee’s employment with Securitas.”  

“The parties’ agreement to arbitrate covers all of plaintiff’s claims,” the ruling states.

Limbaugh Jr. dismissed the action, finding “no reason to stay this action” as both Ranson and Securitas agreed that there is a “signed agreement to arbitrate between them.”

The case was dismissed by the court and it directed the parties to proceed with arbitration.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Southeastern Division case number 1:18-cv-105-SNLJ

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