A zipper clause is a term in an employment agreement that “purports to close out bargaining during the contract term and to make the written contract the exclusive statement of the parties’ rights and obligations.” R. GORMAN, BASIC TEXT ON LABOR LAW 455, 471 (1976). Generally speaking, a zipper clause has the effect of incorporating all possible topics of bargaining — both those actually discussed and those neither discussed nor contemplated during bargaining — into the contract.

The following are two examples of typical zipper clause language in employment agreements:

Each party to the Agreement waives the right, and each agrees that the other shall not be obligated, to bargain collectively with respect to any subject or matter referred to or covered in this Agreement, or with respect to any subject or matter not specifically referred to or covered in this Agreement, even though such subject or matter may not have been within the knowledge or contemplation of either or both of the parties at the time they negotiated or signed this Agreement.

This Agreement constitutes the full and complete agreement between the parties and supercedes all prior agreements between the parties or their representatives, oral or written, including all practices not specifically preserved by the express provisions of this Agreement. This Agreement is the entire agreement between the parties and is the result of extensive negotiations in which both parties had the right and the opportunity to submit proposals and to negotiate their proposals with the other party.

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