United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
McCafferty United States District Judge
Patricia Hall-Cloutier (“Hall”) brings suit
against her former employer, Sig Sauer, Inc. (“Sig
Sauer”), alleging that Sig Sauer wrongfully terminated
her for requesting leave under the Family Medical Leave Act
(“FMLA”) and in response to her reporting
violations of federal law by other Sig Sauer employees. Sig
Sauer moves to compel Hall to arbitrate the claims she has
asserted in this action and requests that the court stay the
case pending arbitration. Hall objects.
Hall and Sig Sauer rely on materials beyond those attached to
or referenced in Hall's complaint. In those
circumstances, courts in the First Circuit employ the summary
judgment standard in resolving a motion to compel
arbitration. See, e.g., Landry v. Time Warner Cable,
Inc., No. 16-cv-507-SM, 2017 WL 3431959, at *1 (D.N.H.
Aug. 9, 2017) (citing cases). Therefore, Sig Sauer must show
“that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and [that it] is entitled to” the relief it seeks.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). In reviewing the record, the
court construes all facts and reasonable inferences in the
light most favorable to the nonmovant. Kelley v. Corr.
Med. Servs., Inc., 707 F.3d 108, 115 (1st Cir. 2013).
September 15, 2015, Sig Sauer hired Hall as its Director of
Import/Export Compliance. Over the next year-and-a-half, Hall
performed her job well, and received at least one
her employment, Hall identified and reported instances in
which documentation regarding the export of Sig Sauer weapons
violated applicable United States laws regarding export
license applications, agreements, and regulations. The last
one of these instances occurred in June 2017.
1, 2017, Hall discovered that someone within Sig Sauer's
Sales Department had changed the identified recipient of a
shipment of controlled weapons, as identified by the National
Firearms Act. After she investigated the matter, she learned
that the Sales Department intentionally gave the freight
forwarder incorrect paperwork to conceal the actual recipient
in violation of state and federal law.
after discovering the Sales Department's conduct, Hall
reported the violation to her supervisor, Mr. Shawver.
Shawver asked Hall several questions about the violation and
suggested that Sig Sauer would need to investigate the matter
was out of the office on vacation for the few days following
his discussion with Hall. While Shawver was on vacation, Hall
asked the freight forwarder for more information and stated
that there would be an investigation regarding the shipment
morning of June 6, 2017, Shawver called Hall and told her
that he would be in the office later that afternoon. During
that phone call, the two discussed various issues regarding
Sig Sauer's business, but Shawver did not mention the
recent violation Hall had reported. Hall also reminded
Shawver that she would be out of the office that afternoon to
attend her mother's oncology appointment. Hall, who had
taken personal and vacation leave caring for her mother, had
notified Sig Sauer in April 2017 that she would need to take
FMLA leave throughout 2017 to care for her mother.
on June 6, Hall received a call from a representative in the
Human Resources department asking her to come to the
representative's office. When she arrived, she saw
Shawver standing next to the representative's desk.
Shawver informed Hall that there had been a
“reorganization, ” that her position had become
“redundant, ” and that Sig Sauer was
“letting her go.” A security manager escorted
Hall from the building shortly thereafter.
her termination, Hall brought this suit in New Hampshire
Superior Court, Rockingham County, alleging a Whistleblower
Claim under RSA 275-E, and claims for wrongful termination
and FMLA retaliation. Sig Sauer removed the case to this
court and now moves to compel Hall to arbitrate the claims
she asserts ...