Quick, take 5 minutes to check your confidentiality clause

The courts have affirmed the NLRB’s position on confidentiality clauses and wages – and a small adjustment in language could save you years of legal drama

Quick, take 5 minutes to check your confidentiality clause
Wha
tever you think of open salary policies, the NLRB wants your employees to be able to discuss salary information publicly. Last week, a fifth circuit court ruled that a non-unionized trucking company had a confidentiality policy that was too broad because it forbade employees from discussing wages outside the company.

The company, Flex Frac, had appealed a National Labor Relations Board decision after the board disapproved the company’s confidentiality clause, which stated that employees were not permitted to share “financial information, including costs”.

According to the NLRB, employees could reasonably infer that such a clause prohibits them from discussing their wages, as permitted by law under the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB first came to this decision in 2012, but until now the appeal has been up in the air, as employers waited to hear the outcome.

Now that the NLRB decision has been affirmed in the courts, it’s time to re-examine your confidentiality clauses. Make sure the information employees are banned from discussing could not be construed to mean wages, and you’ll avoid cases such as this.

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