In a decision issued Feb. 21, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) set a new precedent regarding confidentiality provisions. The McLaren Macomb case involved furloughed employees that were offered a severance agreement containing non-disparagement language that prohibited them from making negative statements about the employer. The agreement also contained a confidentiality provision that prohibited the employees from discussing the terms of the agreement itself.Continue Reading NLRB targets confidentiality provisions in severance agreements

The legal and mainstream media is still abuzz following the Federal Trade Commission’s Jan. 5, 2023, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would ban all employee non-compete agreements nationwide. And earlier this month, a bipartisan Senate bill was introduced (the Workforce Mobility Act of 2023, sponsored by U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.)) that also would ban non-competes across the board (except, as in the FTC’s proposal, in connection with the sale of a business). But comments made by President Biden in his Feb. 7 State of the Union Address signal that a more measured approach focused on banning non-competes for low-wage workers may ultimately be what becomes law.Continue Reading Biden State of the Union signals measured approach on non-compete ban

The term “quiet quitting” has recently been hard to avoid on the internet, in the media and in the workplace. Unlike its name implies, it has nothing to do with the employee actually quitting their job. Rather, it’s when an employee will not give more than the bare minimum and put in any extra effort. Employers can attempt to improve performance by such employees by ensuring they have good managers in place throughout their organizations.
Continue Reading Quiet quitting: Why it matters, and what employers can do to increase employee engagement

How Constellium should inform employers’ policies and practices 

Assume an employee writes the words “whore board” on company overtime sign-up sheets. Serious misconduct, right? In fact, the employer faced with this situation terminated the employee for offensive conduct.

In Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC v. NLRB, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia agreed with a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision finding the termination was unlawful. The case illustrates that National Labor Relations Act protections sometimes can trump an employer’s right to regulate potentially offensive language at work.Continue Reading When it comes to employee discipline, consistency is key

*Special thanks to Porter Wright summer law clerk, Grace Brown, for her assistance with this post.

It’s the summer of 2020, and someone from your company posts to her public Facebook page saying, “If Black people truly wanted equality, then they wouldn’t be isolating themselves into a separate group with Black Lives Matter. All lives matter!”

Your social media marketing team discovers the employee’s post after it was shared by someone who accuses that employee, and your company, of being racist.

What do you do?
Continue Reading How employers can respond to social justice and free speech issues on social media

Over two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began and many employees switched from coming into a workplace to working at home, Ohio has amended the workers’ compensation laws to reflect the current work environment. Effective Sep. 21, 2022, this new legislation expands the definition of a compensable workplace injury to include some injuries sustained within the employee’s home, if certain criteria are met.
Continue Reading Ohio updates workers’ compensation laws for remote workers

With increasing frequency, employers are raising the question about what can (or can’t) be done with employees who speak about polarizing issues, whether at work or in a way that affects the work environment. This question is arising often because of our current social and political climate. The legal and practical implications are complex.
Continue Reading Employees and free speech

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently issued an opinion that reversed a decision by the National Labor Relations Board about whether a comment by a management representative was a threat to workers or a mere joke. The NLRB decision sheds interesting light on how remarks, such as this specific employer’s tweet, meant in jest can backfire. Fortunately for this employer, on appeal the Third Circuit “got the joke.”
Continue Reading Third Circuit decides employer’s tweet was comedic, not coercive

Over the past few months, the increased availability of the COVID-19 vaccine has created a host of questions for employers. Can employers require employees to get vaccinated only during non-work hours? Do they have to compensate employees who take time off work to get vaccinated? The city of Chicago recently enacted an ordinance that answers both questions (and a few more).
Continue Reading Chicago employers must give employees time off to get COVID-19 vaccine