At-will disclaimers in employee handbooks typically clarify that the employment may be terminated at any time, for any reason, and by either party, and ordinarily do not allow the at-will status to be modified unless it is reduced to writing and agreed to by the employer. Employers rely on these provisions to protect themselves from claims that an employee has an enforceable employment contract with the employer based on the handbook's employment provisions. Recently however, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB" or the "Board") has closely scrutinized and disapproved of broadly-worded at-will disclaimers that can have a "chilling effect" on the employee's right to engage in concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA" or the "Act"), to the extent that they potentially imply that union representation and collective bargaining will not alter the at-will employment status. In two recent complaints, the NLRB's Acting General Counsel has taken issue with seemingly common at-will provisions, indicating that there may be a new enforcement target that all employers should be aware of when drafting at-will provisions.
NLRB v. American Red Cross
 Section 7 of the Act guarantees employees "the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations . . . and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection." Employees are engaged in protected concerted activities when they act in concert with other employees to improve their working conditions. Eastex, Inc. v. NLRB, 437 U.S. 556 (1987); NLRB v. Washington Aluminum Co., 370 U.S. 9, 14 (1962).