Nat'l Labor Relations Bd. v. Northeastern Land Servs., Ltd., No. 10-2156 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The employee of a firm that provides temporary workers signed a confidentiality agreement. After disputes about delays in compensation and reimbursement, he approached the employer's client (for whom he had been working) about the delays. He was terminated for violation of the clause and filed an unfair labor practices charge. The NLRB found the clause overbroad so that the termination violated Section 8(a)(1) of the Act by interfering with rights guaranteed by 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1). The First Circuit granted the NLRB's motion to enforce its order that the employer rescind the provision, reinstate the employee, and pay damages. The confidentiality language could be fairly read to cover disclosure of terms of employment to union representatives; a more narrowly-drafted provision could serve the employer's legitimate interests. The NLRB did not err in not considering that the employee would have been discharged regardless of violation of the clause.