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Santoro v. Accenture Fed. Servs., LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

May 5, 2014

ARMAND SANTORO, Plaintiff - Appellant,
v.
ACCENTURE FEDERAL SERVICES, LLC; ACCENTURE LLP, Defendants - Appellees

Argued January 30, 2014.

Page 218

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. (1:12-cv-00857-CMH-TCB). Claude M. Hilton, Senior District Judge.

ARGUED:

Stephen Z. Chertkof, HELLER, HURON, CHERTKOF, LERNER, SIMON & SALZMAN, PLLC, Washington, D.C., for Appellant.

Jonathan F. Cohn, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellees.

ON BRIEF:

Eric D. McArthur, Paul J. Ray, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellees.

Before GREGORY, SHEDD, and KEENAN, Circuit Judges. Judge Shedd wrote the opinion, in which Judge Gregory and Judge Keenan joined.

OPINION

Page 219

SHEDD, Circuit Judge:

Dr. Armand Santoro appeals the district court's order granting the motion by Accenture Federal Services, LLC (Accenture) to compel arbitration. Because we agree with the district court that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) does not invalidate the arbitration agreement between Accenture and Santoro, we affirm.

I.

Santoro began his employment with Accenture in 1997 as a senior manager. From 1998 until 2007, Santoro served as the program manager for the Internal Revenue Service's website, IRS.gov. From 2007 until September 2011, Santoro served as the account lead for Accenture's Department of the Treasury account. In August 2005, Santoro entered into an employment contract with Accenture. The contract indicated that it would renew on September 1 of each subsequent year unless either party provided timely notice that the contract would not be extended. The contract, among other provisions, included an arbitration clause:

Any and all disputes arising out of, relating to or in connection with this Agreement or your employment by Accenture, including, but not limited to, disputes relating to the validity, negotiation, execution, interpretation, performance or non-performance of the Agreement . . . shall be finally settled by arbitration. . . . Arbitrable disputes include without limitation employment and employment termination claims and claims by you for employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, or violations under Title VII . . . the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

(J.A. 20).

In 2010, Santoro was given a new supervisor, who, according to Santoro's complaint, " instantly disliked" him. (J.A. 11). In September 2011, Santoro was terminated from his employment as an account executive as part of a cost-cutting measure. Santoro, who was 66 years old at the time, was replaced by a younger male employee.

In response to his termination, Santoro filed a complaint against Accenture in the Superior Court ...


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