At-Will Clauses: The Next NLRB Battleground?

The NLRB identified employers’ at-will statements within employee handbooks as the next bog enforcement area during remarks at the Connecticut State Bar Association’s annual meeting on June 11, 2012.  In those remarks, the NLRB took the position that provisions asserting that an employee’s at will status can be changed only in a writing signed by a senior company official violate the NLRB because an employee could reasonably believe that means that union representation or collective bargaining could not change that status.  This followed an NLRB complaint against Hyatt Hotels regarding at will language and the decision of an administrative law judge finding an employer’s at-will language to be a violation of the NLRA.  As with the NLRB’s attack on social media policies, this new focus area is an example of the NLRB’s efforts to expand its impact beyond unionized workplaces.

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