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Workplace Word - August 2012
Overbroad At-Will Disclaimers and Confidentiality Requests Are Being Challenged in Non-Unionized Workplaces

08/31/2012

Overbroad At-Will Disclaimers and Confidentiality Requests Are Being Challenged in Non-Unionized Workplaces
by Ashley T. Kasarjian

The Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has taken some unexpected and troubling positions against Arizona employers that should cause all employers nationwide to take notice. Over the past several months, the Acting General Counsel has challenged commonplace terminology in at-will policies and has also opposed the practice of requiring employees to maintain the confidentiality of an internal investigation.

The claims are based on the premise that prohibiting employees from changing the at-will nature of their employment, or discussing the terms and conditions of their employment, could interfere with their rights protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or the Act). More specifically, the actions alleged the companies interfered with, restrained and/or coerced employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed by Section 7 of the Act, in violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the Act.

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