Following the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed near-total ban on non-compete agreements, which we wrote about here, and an increasing number of state laws limiting or banning such agreements, another federal agency official is piling on. On May 30, 2023, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memo expressing her position that noncompete agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Specifically, GC Abruzzo asserts that noncompete agreements chill employees’ exercise of rights guaranteed by Section 7 of the NLRA unless the noncompete agreement is “narrowly tailored to address special circumstances” that justify the interference with employees’ Section 7 rights. Absent narrow tailoring to address special circumstances, GC Abruzzo contends that proffering, maintaining, or enforcing noncompete agreements violates the NLRA.Continue Reading The NLRB General Counsel Joins the War on Noncompete Agreements
As has been widely reported, including in our February E-Update, the National Labor Relations Board recently asserted that severance agreements may not contain general non-disparagement or confidentiality/non-disclosure clauses, based on its premise that such clauses violate the rights of employees under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act to engage in concerted activity for their mutual aid or protection (i.e. “protected concerted activity”). This ruling was troubling for unionized and non-union employers alike. General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo has now issued a memo expressing her views regarding the practical impact of this ruling. Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Provides (Some) Clarification on Severance Agreement Non-Disparagement and Confidentiality Provisions
The General Counsel (GC) of the National Labor Relations Board issued a memo on October 24, 2018 that focused on the unions’ duty of fair representation to their bargaining unit members. Numerous commentators, including management-side attorneys (as I am), trumpeted the fact that the Board is holding unions accountable. There seemed to be a feeling that, after years of employers being attacked by a left-leaning Board, the playing field is being re-leveled. But, as my partner Mike McGuire pointed out, is this really good for employers?
Continue Reading Does Holding Unions Accountable Help Employers?
The National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel recently issued an Advice Memorandum and, although the employer and employee names are blanked out, it obviously is about James Damore and Google. Unless you have been in the wilds of Pago Pago for a year, you have heard the story of James Damore, the “Googler” (that’s what they call themselves at Google) who, in response to one too many company diversity training initiatives, prepared a memo to convey his thoughts and engage in open dialogue.
Continue Reading NLRB GC Is Woke! (In more ways than one…)