A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) raises new and additional issues with respect to the non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions frequently contained in employee severance agreements. Common language found in both types of provisions was determined to be impermissibly overbroad by restricting workers’ rights to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment. Moving forward, both confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions should be more narrowly tailored than what was previously considered acceptable, significantly limiting what employers may require of departing employees.
Business Takeaway: Now is the time to revisit your severance agreement and, more specifically, its non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions. While severance agreements continue to serve an important purpose, be mindful of this new NLRB decision’s impact on what you are seeking of departing employees. Contact us should you wish to discuss any revisions to your existing agreements or if you have questions about the recent NLRB decision.