United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
DENISE A. BADGEROW
REJ PROPERTIES, INC., ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
ZAINEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
following motions are before the Court: Motion to
Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim and to Compel
Arbitration (Rec. Doc. 27) filed by defendant
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.; Motion to
Dismiss Class Claims and Motion to Compel Arbitration,
Dismiss Action, and Strike Jury Demand (Rec. Doc.
26) filed by defendant REJ Properties, Inc. d/b/a
Walters, Meyer, Trosclair & Associates. Plaintiff Denise
A. Badgerow opposes the motions. The motions, noticed for
submission on December 13, 2017, are before the Court on the
briefs without oral argument.
Denise Badgerow has filed this action against REJ Properties,
Inc. d/b/a Walters, Meyer, Trosclair & Associates
(“WMT”) and Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
WMT is domiciled in Lafourche Parish; Ameriprise's
principal place of business is located in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. Badgerow's complaint alleges eleven causes of
action arising out of her employment with WMT.
is a registered broker dealer that offers financial products
and services to customers through several models, including
through a franchisee-based platform of independent advisors
who own and operate their own businesses, as franchises.
(Rec. Doc. 27-2, Odash decl. ¶ 3). The principals of
WMT-Gregory Walters, Thomas Meyer, and Roy Trosclair-were
independent franchise advisors for Ameriprise during the
period of Badgerow's employment. (Id. ¶ 4).
Ameriprise did not have a franchise agreement with REJ
Properties, Inc. (Id. ¶ 5).
completing a 90-day probationary period with WMT, Badgerow
was promoted to Associate Financial Advisor
(“AFA”) on January 1, 2014. (Rec. Doc. 1,
Complaint § 12). Her work as an AFA was supervised by
Gregory Walters, one of three directors at WMT. (Id.
contends that she had an oral agreement with WMT that she
would receive a base salary of $30, 000 per year plus
commissions. Badgerow was not provided a written compensation
agreement. (Id. ¶ 14). Badgerow complains that
WMT retroactively changed her compensation structure in
October 2014 after she made a large commissioned sale.
(Id. ¶ 15). Badgerow alleges that the new
compensation structure was enforced only against her and not
against similarly situated male employees. (Id.
¶ 17). She also alleges that she was earning quarterly
bonuses that were half the amount of her male counterparts.
(Id. ¶ 24).
also alleges that she was subjected to constant office
harassment after she declined to work as Walters'
assistant. The harassment was instigated by Tommy Meyer,
another director at WMT, and his team, including other
females. (Id. ¶¶ 20-21). Even though
Badgerow was promoted to the role of Financial Advisor
(“FA”), Meyer determined that all FAs would keep
the title of “associate” until they attained five
years of service with WMT. (Id. ¶ 23). In
December 2015, after complaining constantly to Walters,
Badgerow was moved to a separate office to avoid any further
distress to Meyer, segregating her from the rest of the WMT
team and putting her in an office all by herself.
(Id. ¶ 25).
26, 2016, Walters terminated Badgerow after she refused to
resign. (Id. ¶ 29). According to the Complaint,
Walters fired Badgerow in retaliation for speaking with Marc
Cohen, a compliance officer with Ameriprise. (Id.
filed a Charge of Discrimination against WMT on September 8,
2016, claiming gender discrimination and retaliation. (Rec.
Doc. 27-3 at 5). On October 6, 2016, she amended the charge
to include class allegations. (Id. at 8). On June
27, 2017, the EEOC issued a dismissal and notice of rights
(Id. at 13).
filed the instant action and jury demand on September 22,
2017, against WMT and Ameriprise. Badgerow's Complaint,
which ostensibly alleges eleven causes of action, asserts
claims for violations of Title VII (gender-based hostile work
environment and retaliation), and the Equal Pay Act, 29
U.S.C. § 206(d)(1) (disparate pay based on
gender). Badgerow's third cause of action is
for disparate treatment based on gender and she purports to
bring that claim on behalf of a class of similarly-situated
females. For purposes of the foregoing discrimination claims,
Badgerow alleges that WMT and Ameriprise were joint
employers. Badgerow's eleventh cause of action is for
breach of contract against WMT.
Ameriprise now move separately to dismiss the case for
failure to state a claim and to compel arbitration.