Recent Federal Legislation and Policy Impose Restrictions on Texas’s Strong Fundamental Right of Freedom of Contract

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Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s Labor & Employment attorneys Larry Carbo and Julie Offerman discuss the majority decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overruling its prior precedent and holding that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by offering a severance agreement with non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions that would prohibit permanently-furloughed employees from disclosing the terms of the severance agreement and making harmful or disparaging remarks about the employer.

The non-disparagement provision at issue in McLaren prohibited statements to the employer’s employees or the general public that “could disparage or harm the image of Employer, its parent and affiliated entities and their officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives.” The NLRB noted that the ability to make public statements about the workplace is central to employees’ exercise of NLRA rights. However, the NLRB did reaffirm that employees do not have a right under the NLRA to make statements that are so “disloyal, reckless or maliciously untrue as to lose the [NLRA]’s protection.” Read more

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