Nondisparagement Clauses in Severance Agreements: A Capstone Contracts Exercise

Forthcoming in Journal of Legal Studies Education, Vol. 34, Issue 1 (Feb. 2017)

48 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2016

See all articles by Tonia Hap Murphy

Tonia Hap Murphy

University of Notre Dame-Mendoza College of Business

Date Written: October 26, 2016

Abstract

Nondisparagement clauses in severance agreements are common and generally legal but are controversial. This paper compares clauses in this context with such clauses in other types of contracts, where they may violate relevant employment or consumer protection statutes. In the classroom exercise, students engage in critical thinking to discern why the law permits nondisparagement clauses in severance contracts but not in some other contexts. Students also examine the strategic and ethical question of whether employers should seek nondisparagement clauses.

Keywords: contract law, employment law, nondisparagement, free speech, NLRA section 7, civility, freedom of contract, consumer protection, contract policy

JEL Classification: K20, K12, K31, J83, J53, M12

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Tonia Hap, Nondisparagement Clauses in Severance Agreements: A Capstone Contracts Exercise (October 26, 2016). Forthcoming in Journal of Legal Studies Education, Vol. 34, Issue 1 (Feb. 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2859554

Tonia Hap Murphy (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame-Mendoza College of Business ( email )

Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

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