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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On January 1, 1999, American TruckSource, Inc., Peterbilt’s holding company, instituted a dispute resolution program which included binding arbitration. When Harris commenced his at-will employment with Peterbilt in December 1999, he received a copy of a Summary Plan Description of Mutual Agreement to Arbitrate Claims (summary), which outlined the Mutual Agreement to Arbitrate Claims (agreement). Harris claims he never received the agreement, which is part of the record, but he signed an acknowledgment form indicating that he received the summary and understood that by accepting employment, he was relinquishing his right to resolve covered claims “by filing a lawsuit or seeking damages in any federal, state, or municipal court of law….” The summary’s list of covered claims includes tort, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and also “[c]laims for a violation of any federal, state, or other governmental law.” In March 2002, Peterbilt terminated Harris’s employment, and in 2003, rather than request arbitration, Harris filed suit against Peterbilt in state district court for discrimination, retaliation, defamation and other torts. Peterbilt then sought to compel arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. �� 1-16. The trial court denied Peterbilt’s motion to stay proceedings and to compel arbitration, and the court of appeals summarily denied mandamus relief. HOLDING:Writ conditionally granted. An employer may enforce an arbitration agreement entered into during an at-will employment relationship if the employee received notice of the employer’s arbitration policy and accepted it. In Re: Dillard Dep’t Stores, Inc., __ S.W.3d __,__, 2006 Tex. LEXIS 196, at *2 (Tex. 2006) (per curiam) (citing In Re: Halliburton Co., 80 S.W.3d 566, 568 (Tex. 2002)). In granting mandamus relief in Halliburton, the Supreme Court stressed the importance of notice and emphasized that the employee there received a one-page summary of the agreement to arbitrate. Harris argues that the summary is immaterial and that only the underlying agreement itself, which he says he never received, can provide notice. The court rejects that argument. When determining whether an employee received notice of a binding arbitration agreement, cases do not confine that “notice analysis” to the underlying agreement, but to all communications between the employer and employee. The six-page summary and accompanying signed acknowledgment form notified Harris that arbitration would be required for resolving covered claims and specifically described which claims are covered under the plan. Harris contends he did not receive the summary either. But the acknowledgment form states, right above his signature: “I acknowledge that I have received and carefully read or been given the opportunity to read the [Summary].” Consequently, the court finds that Peterbilt’s summary constitutes effective notice because it unequivocally provided Harris with knowledge of the arbitration agreement. An at-will employee who receives notice of an employer’s arbitration policy and continues working with knowledge of the policy accepts the terms as a matter of law. It is undisputed that Harris was an at-will employee, and his signed acknowledgment form indicates that continuing or accepting employment will result in automatic coverage under the dispute resolution program. In order to compel arbitration, Peterbilt must also show that the claims raised fall within the scope of the agreement. Harris sued Peterbilt for race discrimination, retaliation, tortious interference, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The summary provides that the agreement covers claims for tort, discrimination, wrongful termination, and violation of law. The agreement confirms that those claims are covered. The court holds that the claims covered under the agreement include all claims that Harris brought against Peterbilt. OPINION:Per curiam.

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