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Is “Slimebag” Now a Legal Term of Art?

Posted by Frank Steinberg | Nov 01, 2010 | 0 Comments

Just about every severance agreement nowadays contains a "non-disparagement" clause.  In plain language, that's a provision that is designed to prevent a departed employee from saying unpleasant things about a former employer.  But how to enforce that clause?  There's the rub! 

A new case out of Ohio says that calling your former boss a "slimebag" is not enough to violate a non-disparagement clause, at least where there has been no demonstrable harm to the employer's business.

The Ohio Employer's Law Blog found the decision, which came to our attention through Robert Fitzpatrick.  Both of the linked posts contain detailed and insightful analyses of the decision.

Hopefully this case will not spark new efforts by management lawyers to define specifically what constitutes disparaging statements.  I have to think that there is a lot of room for common sense on this subject.  At least I hope so.

About the Author

Frank Steinberg

Frank is the founder and principal of Steinberg Law, LLC. A Jersey boy born and bred, he focuses on employment litigation and counseling, business litigation,  and aviation law. Following law school and a clerkship in the federal district court Frank spent his early career with large litigation ...

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