Insights for the Labor Relations Professional


The NLRB and Covid-19: An Update

By Nelson Cary

Covid-19 has disrupted the operations of many employers and governmental functions.  The NLRB is no different.  Here is a summary of where things stand tonight.

Regional Offices

Many regional offices have been closed for varying periods of time.  The NLRB is sending out updates on these events as they occur and has devoted a page on its website that labor professionals can use to quickly determine the status of a particular regional office.  As of the end of the day Friday, there were 12 regional offices closed, with staff working remotely.  One of the closed offices is Region 8 in Cleveland, Ohio.


The NLRB has suspended all representation elections until April 3.  Interestingly, this even includes mail ballot elections.


The NLRB is working on a few proposed rules.  The NLRB website summarizing them is here.  So far, the NLRB has not announced any specific delays or extensions related to this rulemaking activity.  The comment period on all of the proposed rules is closed, with the most recent one closing on February 28 for the rule regarding student assistants.

NLRB Decisions

The NLRB continues to issue decisions notwithstanding Covid-19.  Most recently, the NLRB held that an employer’s severance agreement containing certain common provisions was lawful.  The employer, after lawfully terminating numerous employees, offered them a severance agreement that contained various provisions.  Three provisions in the agreement were at issue:

  1. Non-disparagement;
  2. Confidentiality; and
  3. “No Participation in Claims.”

The NLRB held that the employer’s offer of a severance agreement containing these terms was lawful.  The NLRB rejected the use of its Boeing decision, saying it applied only to mandatory work rules, not to the terms of an agreement that an employee could voluntarily decide not to sign.



Insights for the Labor Relations Professional