Employers frequently seek to include confidentiality and nondisparagement provisions in severance agreements provided to departing employees. Last week, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) significantly altered the legal landscape governing such provisions, making it much more difficult for unionized and nonunionized employers alike to use them for nonsupervisory employees without running afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The decision is likely to be appealed, and we will issue updates as they become appropriate. In the interim, however, it is critically important for employers to understand the implications of the decision (see below) and to adjust their use of these provisions to limit their risk.
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