Over the last two years, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has been aggressively trying to expand its coverage in a manner that has taken many employers of non-unionized employees by surprise. Many rules and concepts that have been in place for decades without challenge have been turned on their heads and are now construed to be illegal. One example is a decision by the NLRB earlier this year in McLaren Macomb ruling that common confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions in settlement and separation agreements are illegal, as a matter of law, because they could – at least theoretically – chill a worker’s right to engage in concerted activity protected under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). The takeaway from these actions by the NLRB and its General Counsel is that all policies and practices of every employer – unionized and non-unionized – will be scrutinized under the NLRB’s new highly powered microscope. In other words, employers watch out!Continue Reading Employee Handbooks: The Pendulum Swings Back Questioning the Legality of Many Common Policies
Mel represents public and private sector employers in federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies. He also devotes a significant portion of his time counseling and assisting employers with respect to issues arising under state and federal employment laws, assisting in drafting employment policies, preparing and enforcing confidentiality, non-solicitation and non-competition provisions, and negotiating employment and severance agreements, including with senior corporate executives.
In a case decided by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) on February 23, 2023, provisions in separation and settlement agreements regarding non-disparagement and confidentiality may run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or “Act”). On March 22, 2023, in an effort to provide guidance as to the scope and impact of the decision, the NLRB’s General Counsel issued a Guidance for how its regional offices should evaluate these agreements going forward. The Guidance suggests that the decision has even broader ramifications than initially thought. As described below, the decision along with the Guidance should cause employers to pause before inserting many commonly used provisions in these types of agreements.Continue Reading Non-Union and Union Employers Beware: Basic Provisions in Separation and Settlement Agreements Are Now Illegal
Telecommuting is not a new phenomenon. Whether on a full-time, part-time or sporadic basis, telecommuting has been voluntarily offered by employers, and in some cases, required as an accommodation for an employee with a disability for many years. And of course, for many employers telecommuting became a necessity during the pandemic. As employers are returning to more traditional work arrangements, however, many are faced with employees who wish to continue working from home. The push to normalize remote work is not, however, limited to employees. Many employers are taking the initiative to make this option more permanent as well in an effort to attract and retain talent.
Whether the impetus is employee or employer driven (or both) employers should review their policies and practices to avoid risks associated with telecommuting. Remote work, like other flexible work options, should be governed by a formal policy that addresses legal issues that can arise with a remote workforce including the following:
Continue Reading Telecommuting – The Reality of Employee Expectations
While many Americans are receiving their $1,400 payments from the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”), signed into law on March 11, 2021, employers should be paying attention to the somewhat buried language regarding Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”) tax credits.
Continue Reading Hidden in the American Rescue Plan Act: More Reasons for Employees To Take FFCRA Leave and More Time for Employers To Receive Tax Credits