Several members of the New York City Council have introduced a bill that would amend the City’s Human Rights Law to permit employees to waive a Human Rights Law claim only where the waiver is “knowing and voluntary.” Such a statutory (rather than common law) knowing and voluntary requirement currently only applies to waivers of Federal age discrimination claims. The bill aims to capture not just the waiver of age discrimination claims under the City Human Rights Law, but also any other type of discrimination claim an employee may assert under the City law (e.g. race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, etc.).
Many employers have employees sign confidentiality agreements aimed at prohibiting disclosure of confidential business information to third parties, and it has been widely assumed that such clauses were lawful. That assumption may no longer be accurate, however, as a recent First Circuit decision has held that confidentiality clauses in employment contracts can constitute a per se violation of employees’ protected employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if the clauses can be read as prohibiting all discussions of wages, hours, and working conditions. Click here to read the full article.