United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION  TO REOPEN CASE AND SET ASIDE JUDGMENT FOR FRAUD,
MISREPRESENTATION, AND MISCONDUCT, AND DENYING HER PETITION
 TO VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD
SULEYMAN OZERDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
THE COURT are Plaintiff's Motion  to Reopen Case and
Set Aside Judgment for Fraud, Misrepresentation, and
Misconduct, and her Petition  to Vacate Arbitration
Award. The Motion and Petition are fully briefed. After due
consideration of the record as a whole and relevant legal
authority, the Court finds that Plaintiff's Motion and
Petition should be denied.
Plaintiff's EEOC claim
case arises out of Plaintiff Judith Skiba's
(“Plaintiff”) employment at the Family Dollar
Store in Moss Point, Mississippi. Compl.  at 3. On
February 8, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination
under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e, et seq. (“Title VII”), with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).
See EEOC documents [18-7] at 2. Plaintiff claimed
that she had been discriminated against based upon her
“race (White).” Plaintiff alleged that she was
hired in 2014, but that beginning on January 25, 2015, she
was continuously subjected to racial slurs and vulgar
language by a “Black coworker” which created a
hostile work environment. Id. Plaintiff asserted
that when she complained to her manager and to the corporate
offices, her work hours were decreased while “Blacks
were getting favoritism by getting more hours.”
Id. Plaintiff contended that she was the only
remaining “White employee” at the store when she
was constructively discharged by being forced to resign due
to the deplorable work conditions. Id. On October 7,
2016, the EEOC issued its Dismissal and Notice of Rights
informing Plaintiff that it was not able to conclude that she
had been discriminated against under Title VII. Id.
Plaintiff's Complaint in this Court
December 23, 2016, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a
Complaint  in this Court advancing claims for violations
of Title VII and of Mississippi Code § 25-9-103(c) and
§ 97-3-107. Plaintiff named as Defendants Robert Sasser,
CEO, Dollar Tree Company Parent Company; Gary Philbin,
President of Family Dollar Company, Subsidiary Company of
Dollar Tree Company; Aaron Hendricks, District Manager of
Family Dollar Company, Subsidiary of Dollar Tree Company; and
Joe Young, Manager of Family Dollar Company, Subsidiary of
Dollar Tree Company (“Defendants”). Compl.  at
Plaintiff asserted that she was a sixty-two year old white
female who had been employed with Family Dollar for a year
and a half. Compl.  at 3. When a new store manager, Joe
Young, was hired he allegedly began hiring only black
employees and discharging white employees, until Plaintiff
was the only remaining white employee at that store.
Id. at 3-4. According to Plaintiff, beginning in
January 2015, a black employee began to harass her, including
subjecting her to racial slurs, which purportedly created a
hostile work environment. Id. Plaintiff claimed that
when she complained to her manager and to the corporate
offices, her work hours were cut, while the hours of black
employees were increased, and that she was forced to resign
because she was working only one day a week. Id. at
5. Plaintiff sought compensatory damages from each Defendant,
jointly and severally, in the amount of $20, 000.00, as well
as punitive damages from each Defendant, jointly and
severally, in the amount of $20, 000.00. Id. at 6.
March 28, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion  to Dismiss
and/or to Compel Arbitration. The Court granted that Motion
on September 11, 2017, and ordered that the case be submitted
to arbitration. Op. .
The arbitration of Plaintiff's claims
arbitration was conducted on April 24, 2018, at Brooks Court
Reporting in Gulfport, Mississippi. Mem. in Supp.  at 2.
On May 8, 2018, after weighing the evidence, the testimony
and credibility of the witnesses, and the documentary
evidence, the Arbitrator found that Plaintiff had failed to
prove by a preponderance of the evidence that her employer,
Family Dollar Stores of Mississippi, Inc., had violated her
Title VII rights. Award of Arbitration [27-4] at 3-4. The
Arbitrator further found that the evidence “at best
proves only that a fellow employee, ” “in no way
connected with the management” of Family Dollar Stores
of Mississippi, Inc., discriminated against Plaintiff on the
basis of race. Id. at 4. The award dismissed
Plaintiff's Title VII claims with prejudice, and ordered
Family Dollar Stores of Mississippi, Inc., to pay all
arbitration expenses and fees.
Plaintiff filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Award of
Arbitration on or about May 19, 2018, which the Arbitrator
addressed in a Disposition of Motion for Reconsideration in
Award of Arbitrator [29-2]. The Arbitrator found in pertinent
Rule 40 of Employment Rules of the AAA provide that an
arbitrator, upon notice, may correct any clerical,
typographical, technical, or computational errors in the
award. “The arbitrator is not empowered to redetermine
the merits of any claim already decided.” Therefore, I
conclude that I am without jurisdiction to consider
Claimant's present motion. However, if jurisdiction did
exist, Claimant's motion would be denied.
Several prehearing conferences were conducted regarding
discovery issues raised by Claimant. Respondent responded by
providing Claimant with all materials in its possession
requested by Claimant. No. documents were introduced at the
evidentiary hearing which had not been provided to Claimant
At a prehearing conference prior to the evidentiary hearing,
Claimant complained that she had been advised by the
Respondent that she could not engage the services of a court
reporter. Respondent denied having ever told Claimant that.
In that same conference call I told Claimant that she was
certainly entitled to engage the services of a court reporter
if she so chose. She did not do so.
Finally, your arbitrator was not biased against Claimant, and
her allegation that I favored the Respondent is simply
of Mot. for Recons. in Award of Arbitrator [29-2] at 1.
Plaintiff's Motion and Petition to reopen case to