Severance, Confidentiality and Handbook Provisions Under EEOC and NLRB Scrutiny in 2015
Recent lawsuits filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have sought to invalidate employee Severance Agreements containing provisions routinely used by employers in such agreements for many years. The provisions being challenged include non-disclosure of confidential information, non-disparagement, general release of all claims and charges, covenant not to sue, and cooperation clauses (requiring employees to notify the employer when contacted about an administrative or legal proceeding). The EEOC argues that these and other common severance provisions unlawfully interfere with employees’ rights to file discrimination charges, communicate voluntarily, and participate in investigations.
Meanwhile, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently been mounting its own aggressive campaign to have many common employee handbook provisions declared unlawful on the grounds that they may tend to chill employees in the exercise of their rights to engage in protected concerted activity under federal labor law. The NLRB has issued a series of rulings, and initiated dozens of complaints against employers – including in particular non-union employers – implicating policies on confidentiality of personnel information, confidentiality of investigations, social media postings, contacts with the media, employment-at-will, non-disparagement, courtesy and professionalism, harassment, conflict of interest, and the use of cameras and recording devices in the workplace, among other rules and policies.
As a result of these developments, all employers need to review their severance agreements, non-disclosure policies and employee handbooks to ensure they will withstand legal challenge.
Our panel of key thought leaders and practitioners, assembled by The Knowledge Group, will offer provide a discussion of the fundamental issues surrounding this topic. This LIVE webcast aims to help you avoid common employment agreement pitfalls. Speakers also will provide guidance in compliance to avoid EEOC and NLRB investigations and litigation.
This 2-hour webcast will discuss the following:
- Severance, Confidentiality and Handbook Provisions
- EEOC Legal Outline and Requirements
- NLRB Provisions and Obligations
- Opportunities, Effects and Litigation Traps
- Latest Legal Developments on the Challenged Provisions
- Best Practices for Drafting Agreements and Handbooks
- Possible Remedies and Sanctions for a Violation
Gregory M. Meihn , Partner
Foley & Mansfield
- Focusing on EEOC angles
Stephanie Struble, Trial Attorney
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Provisions of the settlement and severance agreements
Tom Geidt, Partner
Grube Brown & Geidt LLP
- Focusing on NLRB’s issues
Who Should Attend:
- Human Resource Managers
- Employment Counsel
- HR Personnel
- Vice President of Human Resources Public Companies
- Employment and Labor Lawyers
Stephanie Struble is a Senior Trial Attorney with the EEOC, where she has litigated individual and class cases under Title VII, the ADA, and the ADEA on behalf of the Commission since 2007. In her role as trial attorney with the EEOC, Ms. Struble has served as lead counsel on several large multi-claimant cases. She obtained a $19 million settlement in a gender discrimination, glass ceiling case against Outback Steakhouse. In 2012, Ms. Struble obtained a $4.85 million settlement on behalf of approximately 250 claimants in an ADA maximum leave and fully healed policy case and developed a race discrimination case that settled this year for $14.5 million settlement against Patterson UTI.
Ms. Struble received her Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Rice University. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center, cum laude, in 1994. From 1998 to 2000, Ms. Struble was employed as Court Counsel to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau. After clerking overseas for two years, she returned to the United States to clerk for the Honorable Jacob Mishler, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York from 2000-2002.
Stephanie Struble is a Senior Trial Attorney with the EEOC, where she has litigated individual and class cases under Title …
Greg’s represents and consults with insurance companies, cities, townships, municipalities, schools, and employers on employment and labor issues including discipline, harassment, terminations, unions, discrimination, unemployment, employment hiring practices, non-competition agreement, and issues involving Federal and State Discrimination laws, ADEA, ADA, and related statutes before all Michigan Federal and State Courts, American Arbitration Association, FINRA, National Labor Relations Board, EEOC, and the United States Supreme Court.
Greg is a frequent writer, speaker and presenter on employment related issue in both local and National Publications.
Greg’s represents and consults with insurance companies, cities, townships, municipalities, schools, and employers on employment and labor issues including discipline, …
Tom Geidt is a founding partner of Grube Brown & Geidt LLP in San Francisco. He represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment litigation and counseling. He has defended dozens of wage and hour class actions, first-chaired multiple jury trials, argued before the federal and California appellate courts, and defended employers in administrative proceedings before the NLRB, EEOC, Department of Labor, and other agencies. Mr. Geidt spent seven years with the Milwaukee and San Francisco Regional Offices of the NLRB before entering private practice. He has written and spoken widely on wage and hour, discrimination, unfair competition, privacy, drug testing, traditional labor, and other topics of interest to employers. Mr. Geidt received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College (Ill.). He has been AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell throughout his career and repeatedly named to Northern California Super Lawyers.
Tom Geidt is a founding partner of Grube Brown & Geidt LLP in San Francisco. He represents employers in all …
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Method of Presentation:
NASBA Field of Study:
Personnel/HR and Business Law
NY Category of CLE Credit:
Areas of Professional Practice
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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
About Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
About Foley & Mansfield
Foley & Mansfield, named a 2014 “Go-To” Law Firm for Fortune 500 clients, provides a broad spectrum of services to clients at home in Missouri and throughout the country. Foley & Mansfield is a national law firm with a diverse practice of business and trial attorneys in ten offices across the U.S. To learn more about how we can serve your business, visit www.foleymansfield.com.
About Grube Brown & Geidt LLP
Grube Brown & Geidt LLP is a boutique employment defense firm in San Francisco. Founded in April 2014 by former Paul Hastings partners and of counsels, the firm has extensive litigation experience in jury trials, complex class actions, arbitrations, administrative litigation, and appellate work. It represents employers in all industries in federal and state courts and other forums. It also counsels employers in all areas of employment and traditional labor law, with a primary focus on wage and hour law. Since its founding last year, the firm has been named to U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Law Firms in California.