In the ever-evolving sphere of employment law, staying updated with regulatory changes is not just essential—it’s indispensable. Recent rulings on the implementation of non-disparagement clauses within severance agreements have spurred significant discussion and, more importantly, a reevaluation of common employment practices. So, whether you’re an employer assessing your company’s severance agreements or an employee understanding your rights, understanding the nuances around this ruling is pivotal for employers.

What are Non-disparagement Clauses?

Simply put, a non-disparagement clause is an agreement between two parties, typically an employer and employee, that prohibits one from making negative or damaging statements about the other. When an employee departs a company, these clauses are often in severance agreements, serving as protective barriers to safeguard the company’s reputation and limit potential fallout.

Breaking Down the NLRB’s Recent Limitations on Non-disparagement Clauses

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently caught everyone’s attention with its stance on non-disparagement clauses. They have adopted a more restrictive view, and this has sparked robust debate, with opinions diverging left and right. The ruling firmly reinstates the long-standing precedent that employers cannot offer employees severance agreements that require a broad waiver of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

The ruling is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it offers employers a tighter grip on what ex-employees can disclose, safeguarding the company’s image. Conversely, it could potentially stifle freedom of speech and hinder transparency. For businesses, this could mean walking on a tightrope, having to carefully navigate the fine line between protecting its reputation and infringing on employees’ rights.

Business owners might need to recalibrate their severance agreements to align with this new direction, requiring thoughtful strategizing and perhaps a bit of legal guidance to ensure compliance.

The Employee Perspective: Impact on Workers

For employees, this development is equally significant. While it could restrict their ability to voice grievances publicly, it also establishes clear boundaries, offering a degree of protection from potential litigation. Understanding their rights under this ruling is crucial, and employees are encouraged to seek legal advice to fully grasp its implications.

Keeping an Eye on the Future: What to Expect Next

Predicting changes in future legislation is intricate and unpredictable. However, one thing remains clear: the conversation surrounding non-disparagement clauses will persist, its echoes resonating throughout the corridors of businesses and law firms.

Stay informed, stay prepared. That’s the best advice for both employers and employees as we navigate these uncertain waters. Remember that understanding and adaptability are your best allies in this ever-changing landscape.


This exploration into the NLRB’s decision on non-disparagement clauses has been a trek into the dense underbrush of employment law. It’s evident that this ruling has overarching implications for both employers and employees.

As we come full circle, we are reminded of the importance of staying informed about changes in employment law. Now more than ever, employers and employees alike need expert guidance to ensure they remain in compliance with evolving regulations and precedents.

Hackler Flynn Law is your experienced guide through this complex landscape, a trusted partner who can illuminate the path and help you avoid potential pitfalls. Understanding and compliance in employment law are not just optional, but essential for the health and prosperity of your business and the wellbeing of your employees.

DISCLAIMER: Content within this post should not be considered legal advice and is for informational purposes only. Communications made through this post do not create an attorney-client relationship. Hackler Flynn & Associates is not responsible for any content that you may access from third-party resources that may be accessed through or linked to this post.

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