The National Labor Relations Board’s top lawyer, Jennifer Abruzzo, issued a General Counsel memo today instructing the Labor Board’s Regional Directors of her position that noncompete clauses for employees protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (i.e., nonmanagerial and nonsupervisory employees) in employment contracts and severance agreements violate federal labor law except in limited circumstances. The memo, while not law, outlines her legal theory which she will present to the National Labor Relations Board, which makes law primarily through adjudication of unfair labor practice cases. The memo instructs the agency’s field offices of the position that the General Counsel is instructing them to take when investigating unfair labor practice charges claiming that such clauses interfere with employees’ rights under the NLRA.
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