Restrictive covenants. Non-competes. Some states allow their enforcement. Some states don't. In an increasingly mobile employment environment and in a time when the “Great Resignation,” is sweeping the country, the Federal Government is paying a lot of attention to trying to “promote competitive labor markets and worker mobility.” This effort is in response an Executive Order by President Biden in July, urging the Federal Trade Commission to “curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses…that may unfairly limit worker mobility.”
On December 6th and 7th, the FTC and the DOJ will host a virtual workshop to inform the rulemaking process. This episode tees up the issue looking at restrictive covenants from all sides, with guest litigation attorney David Williams.
Have you ever been laid off only to find that you can't get a job in your field due to a non-compete? Have you ever had an employee walk off with your customer list or your “secret sauce? As an employee, are you free to leave for a competitor? As an employer, are your trade secrets protected.? If you aren't sure, this episode of Is That Even Legal is for you.
More on the December Workshop.
See also https://www.justice.gov/atr/events/public-workshop-promoting-competition-labor-markets#information
According to the FTC, Over the two days (12/6 and 12/7) a series of panels, presentations, and remarks will address competition issues affecting labor markets and the welfare of workers, including: labor monopsony; the increased use of restrictive contractual clauses in labor agreements, including non-competes and non-disclosure agreements; information sharing and benchmarking activity among competing employers; the role of other federal agencies in ensuring fair competition in labor markets; and the relationship between antitrust law and collective bargaining efforts in the “gig economy.” Panelists will be invited to discuss potential steps antitrust enforcers can take to better target enforcement resources, improve public guidance, and pursue a “whole of government” approach to ensuring fair competition for workers and consumers by leveraging interagency resources.
The FTC and the DOJ Antitrust Division invite comments from the public on the topics covered by this workshop. Interested parties may submit public comments online now through Dec. 20, 2021, at Regulations.gov.
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