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Skrynnikov v. Federal National Morgage Association

United States District Court, District of Columbia

May 8, 2013

TIMOTHY SKRYNNIKOV, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION, Defendant

Page 173

For TIMOTHY SKRYNNIKOV, Plaintiff: Micah Salb, LIPPMAN, SEMSKER & SALB, LLC, Bethesda, MD.

For FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION, Defendant: Damien G. Stewart, LEAD ATTORNEY, FANNIE MAE, Washington, DC.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Interested Party: Brian P. Hudak, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 174

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Gladys Kessler, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Timothy Skrynnikov (" Plaintiff" or " Skrynnikov" ) brings this action against Defendant Federal National Mortgage Association (" Defendant" or " Fannie Mae" ) alleging retaliation under the Federal False Claims Act (" FCA" ), 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq., and interference with his rights under both the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (" FMLA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., and the related District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act (" DCFMLA" ), D.C. Code § 32-501 et seq.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Its Motion to Compel Arbitration [Dkt. No. 26]. Upon consideration of the Motion, Opposition [Dkt. No. 29], and Reply [Dkt. No. 30], and the entire record herein, and for the reasons set forth below, the motion to compel arbitration is granted.

I. BACKGROUND[1]

Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored corporation chartered by Congress, with its headquarters in the District of Columbia. SAC § 5. Skrynnikov was employed by Fannie Mae as a Senior Financial Analyst from October 9, 2007 until November 13, 2009, when his employment was terminated. SAC ¶ ¶ 6, 38. Skrynnikov alleges that Fannie Mae eliminated his position in retaliation for his investigation into and disclosure of purported falsehoods in executive compensation data that Fannie Mae reported to the United States Senate Committee on Finance in March 2009. SAC ¶ ¶ 11-17, 38-42. Skrynnikov also alleges that the elimination of his position interfered with his rights under the FMLA and DCFMLA because it came at the conclusion of an approved medical leave of absence. Id. ¶ ¶ 26-38, 43-50.

When Skrynnikov applied for his job in October 2007, he signed an application form acknowledging that " as a condition of employment, all Fannie Mae employees must agree to be bound by Fannie Mae's Dispute Resolution Policy, which requires that certain employment-related claims be submitted to arbitration before a suit can be brought on them in court." Def.'s Mem. P. & A., Ex. 1 (" Employment Application" ) at 4 [Dkt. No. 26-1]. Similarly, when Skrynnikov signed and accepted Fannie Mae's offer of employment, he did so subject to the understanding that Fannie

Page 175

Mae's Dispute Resolution Policy required him " to submit certain employment-related claims to the mandatory arbitration process for final resolution prior to filing these claims in a court of law." Def.'s Mem. P. & A., Ex. 2 (" Offer Letter" ) [Dkt. No. 26-2].

The Dispute Resolution Policy, a copy of which accompanied Fannie Mae's Offer Letter, provides that a Fannie Mae employee is required to arbitrate " all claims . . . against Fannie Mae . . . involving a legally-protected right, that directly or indirectly relate to his or her employment or the termination of that employment[.]" Def.'s Mem. P. & A., Ex. 3 (" Dispute Resolution Policy" or " Policy" ) § 2 [Dkt. No. 26-3]. The Policy elaborates that the claims to which it applies may " involv[e] rights protected by any federal, state, or other governmental constitution [sic], statute, ordinance, regulation, or common law." Id. The Policy also states that " [t]he arbitrator will resolve all disputes over the interpretation and applicability of the Policy, and over the arbitrability of all matters presented under it." Id. § 16.

On March 23, 2011, Skrynnikov filed this case against Fannie Mae asserting a qui tam claim under the FCA on behalf of the United States, as well as various employment-related claims on his own behalf. [Dkt. No. 1]. On March 27, 2012, Skrynnikov's qui tam claim was dismissed on motion of the Government pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A). [Dkt. Nos. 17, 18]. In his Second Amended Complaint [Dkt. No. 23], Skrynnikov brings claims solely on his own behalf for retaliation under the FCA, and for interference with his rights under the FMLA and DCFMLA. SAC § § 39-50. It is undisputed that Skrynnikov did not submit these claims to arbitration before commencing this action.

On November 6, 2012, Fannie Mae moved to dismiss the FMLA and DCFMLA claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and to compel arbitration of the FCA claim. [Dkt. Nos. 26, 27-1]. Fannie Mae also requested that if the Court did not dismiss the FMLA and DCFMLA claims, it compel arbitration as to those claims as well. On January 7, 2013, Skrynnikov filed his Opposition ...


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