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Employment Contracts

NLRB moves to ban noncompetes, but options remain

In a memo to the agency’s regional directors, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo announced her conclusion that including noncompete agreements in employment and severance agreements violates the National Labor Relations Act.

Summer’s here and so are new employment laws

Summertime is often when new employment laws take effect, and this summer is no exception.

Supreme Court ruling streamlines process for resolving disputes via arbitration

In a move that may cut legal costs for employers that still use arbitration agreements, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 23 that questions about arbitration terms must be decided before a lawsuit filed in federal court can proceed.

Employees can tell it like it is (or isn’t)

The National Labor Relations Board has issued a broad decision invalidating these non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements when offered in conjunction with severance pay in a union setting. Even offering a severance package contingent on employees signing these agreements is out of bounds, according to the decision.

NLRB counsel doubles down on severance agreement invalidity

Back in February, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that non-disparagement and confidentiality clauses commonly embedded in severance agreements are illegal. Now, board general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo has issued a memo clarifying the scope of the decision.

Bills introduced in Congress to ban noncompete agreements

In January, the FTC announced a sweeping proposed regulation that would invalidate all existing noncompete agreements and free employees currently bound by them. The proposed rule is still in the comment phase and likely will face a legal challenge from business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Now, Congress has entered the fray.

Consider these alternatives to noncompete agreements

The ostensible purpose of an agreement not to compete is to prevent employees from jumping ship and taking proprietary information with them when they go to work for a competitor. But two other kinds of agreements can often accomplish that objective: nondisclosure agreements and confidentiality agreements.

FTC extends comment period on proposed noncompete ban until April 19

The Federal Trade Commission has decided to continue accepting public comments on its proposed rule to prohibit employers from requiring employees to sign noncompete agreements. The revised deadline for submitting comments is now April 19, a one-month extension.  

Employers win California battle over mandatory arbitration

Call it a victory for employers that use arbitration agreements to quickly resolve workplace disputes without lengthy court battles and potential runaway jury awards. A federal appeals court has overturned a California law prohibiting employers from requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements. The ruling could mean similar laws in other states may be invalidated, too.

Case of the Week: No nondisparagement and confidentiality clauses in separation agreements

The National Labor Relations Board on Feb. 21 said it’s unlawful to include nondisparagement and confidentiality provisions in the severance agreements employers often ask laid-off employees to sign.