Recently, in Battle’s Transportation, Inc. and Jerome Kearney, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that an employer’s confidentiality agreement was an unlawful restriction on employee rights.
The confidentiality agreement barred employees from discussing “human resources related information” and “investigations by outside agencies.” The NLRB held the agreement was overboard because employees could reasonably construe those phrases to restrict employees from discussing their terms and conditions of employment or from discussing protected activity such as NLRB complaints or investigations.
Employers should review their handbook rules, policies, and confidentiality agreements to ensure they are properly defining the types of information that is deemed confidential. The type of information deemed confidential should be narrowly and clearly defined so the Employer avoids a claim that its definition is an overboard restriction on employee rights.
Brian P. Lundgren is a Seattle, Washington based Defense Attorney who focuses his practice on representing Employers, Management, Companies, and Small Businesses in all aspects of labor and employment law. For more information, contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (206) 447-0182.