Lauren Teukolsky to Discuss Hot Topics in Employment Settlement Agreements for Labor and Employment Relations Panel
On April 26, 2023, Lauren Teukolsky will discuss hot topics in employment settlement agreements for a program put on by the Southern California Labor and Employment Relations Association (SoCal LERA). Ms. Teukolsky will be joined by fellow panelists Jonathan Judge, a partner at Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, and Jade M. Brewster, an associate at Jackson Lewis. The panel will be moderated by Angela J. Reddock-Wright, a mediator at Signature Resolution.
The webinar’s focus will be confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions in settlements and separation agreements, a subject that has taken on increased complexity in light of the recent McLaren Macomb decision from the National Labor Relations Board.
Ms. Teukolsky’s commentary on the decision was recently featured in an article by Law360. Ms. Teukolsky has also written about employment settlement agreements for Advocate Magazine.
SoCal LERA is a regional chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association, an organization where Human Resources professions and attorneys from both sides of the aisle share ideas and learn about new developments and practices in the field.
To sign up for the webinar, click here. To learn more about Ms. Teukolsky and her practice, click here. If you’re an employee and believe you’re being treated unlawfully, click here to get in touch with our office.
Lauren Teukolsky’s commentary was featured this week in a Law360 article discussing the future of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in severance agreements in light of the National Labor Relations Board’s recent ruling in McLaren Macomb. In McLaren Macomb, the NLRB found that offering severance agreements to employees that include NDAs and non-disparagement clauses is unlawful because doing so dissuades them from engaging in employee activity that is protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, such as discussing their working conditions or pay.
Following the NLRB’s decision, however, some attorneys have expressed skepticism that employers will tailor their severance agreements to comply with the NLRB’s ruling. Ms. Teukolsky discussed her own experience with severance agreements in California following the state’s implementation of laws to restrict the use of NDAs and non-disparagement:
“’After California passed its own restrictions, what I'm seeing is employers will continue to include very broad nondisparagement provisions, and then they'll have a carveout’ stating that nothing in the agreement is intended to violate the law, Teukolsky said. ‘And when I come back and say, 'This nondisparagement is too broad,' they say, 'Well, we have a carveout.’'"
The NLRB decision, along with the General Counsel’s memo about the decision, suggest that carveouts are not sufficient to overcome the chilling effect of NDAs and non-disparagement provisions. The memo states: “It is critical to remember that public statements by employees about the workplace are central to the exercise of employees’ rights under the Act.”
The McLaren Macomb decision is a victory for workers that should be celebrated. Employers act at their peril if they continue to include overly-broad NDAs and non-disparagement provisions in any contract they ask an employee to sign, whether it be an employment agreement signed on hire, a severance agreement offered to a laid-off employee, or a settlement agreement to settle claims that have been filed.
To read the article in its entirety, click here. If you have questions about a severance agreement you’ve received and want to get in touch with our office, click here.
Lauren Teukolsky expressed support for President Biden’s nominee for Labor Secretary, Julie Su, in a recent Law360 article exploring business groups’ opposition to the President’s pick.
Su was nominated to replace former Labor Department Secretary Marty Walsh, who left his post in March to take over as head of the National Hockey League (NHL) Players’ Association. Su served as Deputy Labor Secretary prior to Walsh’s departure and has worked as the acting secretary of the Labor Department since Walsh’s announcement.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Su is expected to continue the pro-union and pro-worker stance the department has taken since the start of the Biden administration, much to the distress of some business groups.
Business groups have cited Su’s backing of A.B. 5, a 2020 California bill that extended employee classification status to some gig workers, as one of the primary reasons for their opposition. In the Law360 article Ms. Teukolsky argues the business groups’ blame may be misplaced:
“‘The California Legislature passed A.B. 5,’ she said. ‘It's not like Julie Su single-handedly implemented the law.’”
Ms. Teukolsky, who worked with Su in the late 1990s on California's A.B. 633, which installed wage protections for garment workers, also had this to say on Su’s nomination:
“’I don't think there's any doubt that Julie Su is eminently qualified to be the next secretary of labor,’ Teukolsky said. ‘California has the fifth-largest economy in the world, so I think any criticism that Julie Su's policies or practices somehow undermine the strength of California's economy is absurd.’”
Ms. Teukolsky was previously asked to provide her thoughts on Su in a February Law360 article on her nomination. For that article, click here. For Law360’s recent article on Su’s nomination, click here.
Finally, if you’d like to get in touch with our office, click here.
Lauren Teukolsky is the founder and owner of Teukolsky Law, A Professional Corporation.