Photo of Emily Atmore
Emily Atmore is an associate in the firm’s Litigation and Labor & Employment groups. Emily represents a wide variety of clients in all phases of complex commercial and employment litigation in both federal and state court, and in arbitration.

Click here to read Emily Atmore's full bio.

Two administrative agencies within the federal government have been busy lately publishing new rules that govern important aspects of employers’ relationships with their employees.  Read more below for further updates.

DOL Rolls Out Final Rule Increasing Minimum Salary For Exempt Employees

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has rolled out its long-awaited update to the

Minnesota’s new law will take effect on July 1, 2023, prohibiting all noncompete agreements, except those entered during the sale of a business or in anticipation of the dissolution of a business. The law will not apply retroactively to void existing noncompete agreements and will not prohibit the continued use of non-solicitation, confidentiality, trade secret

The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Jennifer A. Abruzzo, issued guidance on March 22, 2023, about the NLRB’s McLaren Macomb, 372 NLRB No. 58, decision from February 21, 2023, which reinstated a limit on the confidentiality, non-disclosure, and non-disparagement clauses that employers may include in severance agreements with most of their lower-level employees.[1]  While not law, the General Counsel’s guidance is intended to address the uncertainty among employers regarding what language is deemed acceptable to include in severance agreements and what language may create liability under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) following McLaren Macomb.[2]

The McLaren Macomb decision specifically held that employers may not condition severance on the employee’s waiver of rights protected by the NLRA and that agreements between employers and employees that restrict employees from engaging in activity protected by the NLRA or from filing unfair labor practice (ULP) charges with the NLRB, helping other employees in doing so, or assisting during the Agency’s investigatory process are unlawful. The NLRB observed that the employer’s offer is itself an attempt to deter employees from exercising their statutory rights, at a time when employees may feel they must give up their rights in order to get the benefits provided in the agreement. It also provided that the conduct of an employer is irrelevant to assessing the lawfulness of a severance agreement, and the plain language of the severance agreement alone can constitute a violation.  While the Maclaren Macomb decision has been described as a return to the standard applied in earlier cases, many speculate that it indicates that the NLRB intends to take a broader view of how severance agreements infringe on employees’ rights under Section 7 of the NLRA.Continue Reading NLRB Returns to Longstanding Position Limiting Use of Confidentiality, Non-Disclosure, and Non-Disparagement Clauses in Employee Severance Agreements

On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued a stay of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) COVID vaccine-or-test rule for large employers. Although the OSHA rule is effectively off the table, there are still a host of COVID rules that employers must comply with.

Stoel Rives has created an interactive map