Just two years ago, employers weren’t terribly worried about the approach the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took toward employment-at-will policies.
True, the board did seem to signal at the time that it might start looking more closely at employee handbooks, but it wasn’t ready to make any major policy statements—just yet.
And the board did issue two advice memos touching on handbooks, employment applications and offer letters—in particular on disclaimers that purport to remind employees that their employment is at-will.
But it didn’t actually announce policy, other than to warn employers that “the law in this area remains unsettled.” Since disclaimers are widely used in handbooks (and employment applications and offer letters), the NLRB’s sudden focus on such provisions was potentially significant.
Fast forward to July 2014. There have been two noteworthy developments this year.
Originally published in HR Specialist, New York Employment Law, September 2014.
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