In a June 8 split decision, the National Labor Relations Board held that an arbitration policy contained in the employee handbook of a non-unionized employer, requiring employees to arbitrate “all disputes relating to or arising out of an employee’s employment [with the Company] or the termination of that employment,” was unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act because the policy might reasonably be read by employees to prohibit the filing of unfair labor practice charges with the board. U-Haul Co. of California, 347 NLRB No. 34 (2006).
Like many employers, U-Haul Co. of California maintains an employee handbook outlining its policies and procedures, which it distributes to all new hires. On May 20, 2003, the company distributed a new policy entitled “U-Haul Arbitration Policy” and a separate document entitled “U-Haul Agreement to Arbitrate.” The company explained to employees that the purpose of the policy was to cut down on litigation costs. The documents explained that the arbitration policy applied to the following:
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