Noncompete bills update: 72 bills in 32 states, 7 dead, 1 enacted (Washington)
Fair Competition Law
by Russell Beck
1w ago
On March 10, I posted an update on the outstanding legislation: 70 noncompete bills in 31 states, 6 in Congress… and suggested keeping an eye on the noncompete bills in Illinois, Maine, and Washington. Things moved fast; the legislative process in Maine and Washington is already complete. In the weeks since that post, first, Washington’s noncompete bill passed (and will become effective on June 6, 2024), and Maine’s noncompete bill changed fundamentally, was passed by both houses of the legislature, and was then sent to the Governor in its original form (odd, yes), who vetoed it. Summaries are ..read more
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Washington tightens noncompete, nonsolicit, no-service law
Fair Competition Law
by Russell Beck
1w ago
Click image for the iconic fish toss at Pike Place Market. On March 13, Washington passed legislation that will make it harder to enforce noncompetes, nonsolicitation agreements, and no-service agreements. The new law takes effect on June 6, 2024. Background You may recall that in 2019, Washington passed a law completely overhauling its then-existing noncompete law. The new law mandated advance notice that a noncompete would be a requirement, required “independent consideration” for a noncompete entered post-commencement of employment, established minimum earnings thresholds for the use of a n ..read more
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69 noncompete bills in 31 states, 6 in Congress…
Fair Competition Law
by Russell Beck
1M ago
As of March 9, there are 69 noncompete bills pending in 31 states, plus 6 in Congress. (As a reminder for comparison, there had been a total of 98 noncompete bills in 33 states last year.) Executive summary  This year’s bills range from complete noncompete bans (9 bills in 7 states plus NYC and 2 in Congress) to some type of wage/job criteria/threshold (7 bills in 6 states plus NYC and 1 in Congress) to bans for veterinarians (4 bills in 3 states) to regulations in the healthcare industry (27 bills in 18 states and 2 in Congress), and 13 of the bills (in 8 states plus NYC) include some ty ..read more
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FTC again urges state noncompete bans
Fair Competition Law
by Russell Beck
1M ago
The FTC will soon (next month, we think1) be issuing its long-awaited rule on the use of noncompetes. Most people tracking the progress (me included) expect that the final rule will closely resemble the near-total ban on noncompetes that the FTC proposed last January (2023). In that regard, the FTC has recently been sending signals suggesting that it has not changed its plan — or at least not materially. In that regard, as you may recall, on November 28, 2023, the FTC sent a letter to New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul urging the governor to sign a bill banning all noncompetes in New York. As I ..read more
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50-State Noncompete Chart Updated (February 19, 2024)
Fair Competition Law
by Russell Beck
1M ago
New 50-state noncompete chart updated for 2024 We just updated our 50-State Noncompete Chart again. This update does the following: covers recent developments; adds the penalties and fines in the seven states with them (California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, Virginia, Washington), in the two states where there is an argument for them (Oregon and Wisconsin),1 and Washington, D.C.; updates the wage thresholds for use of noncompetes, including impact on in-term noncompetes (anti-moonlighting provisions); and adds additional details for various states. Our chart — which was the ..read more
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New Noncompete, Nonsolicit, No-Recruit Low-Wage Thresholds (2024)
Fair Competition Law
by Russell Beck
1M ago
We finally have all the information necessary to update all of the minimum compensation thresholds that must be satisfied before an employee can be subject to a noncompete and other restrictive covenants in 2024. As a reminder eleven states and Washington, D.C. have adopted such minimum compensation thresholds or other criteria. In order of effective date, they are: Oregon (2008; updated 2022), Illinois (2016; updated 2022), Massachusetts (2018), Maine (2019), Maryland (2019; updated 2023), New Hampshire (2019), Rhode Island (2020), Virginia, (2020), Washington (2020), Nevada (2021), Colorado ..read more
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Should you ask to see job a candidate’s noncompete?
Fair Competition Law
by Russell Beck
3M ago
Companies frequently ask whether they should review a job candidate’s noncompete and other restrictive covenants. The answer is yes. (If you agree, you can stop here.) Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring a job candidate’s obligations does not make them go away. Worse, willful ignorance can exacerbate the situation. Quite simply, if someone takes a job in violation of contractual obligations, the former employer will be more likely to enforce its rights, the employee will face the prospect of litigation and being put out of work, the hiring company will also face the prospect of litigat ..read more
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New Trade Secret and Noncompete Case Growth Graph (Updated January 14, 2024)
Fair Competition Law
by Russell Beck
3M ago
Once or twice a year, I update my chart of reported noncompete and trade secrets decisions. Here is the latest (full size). Around the time I started my firm, I became curious to see how many trade secret and noncompete decisions were issued each year in all of the federal and state courts around the country. So, I did a “back of the envelope” calculation. I have performed similar calculations every year since. The graph shows four things: the blue line shows all noncompete decisions reported on Westlaw for the particular year; the red line shows all trade secrets decisions reported on W ..read more
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Changes in noncompete laws since 2011
Fair Competition Law
by Russell Beck
3M ago
Given all the recent changes to state noncompete laws around the country, we are updating our prior chronological list of state changes to noncompete laws back to 2011. Below, in reverse chronological order based on the effective date, is a summary description of each change in each state, with a link to a more in-depth description. California mandated that its noncompete ban (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 16600) is to be read broadly, required companies to notify employees that their restrictions are void, and imposed penalties for noncompliance (January 1, 2024) California permitted employee ..read more
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Preparing for California’s expanded noncompete ban and anti-restrictive covenant laws (Fairly Competing, Episode 23)
Fair Competition Law
by Russell Beck
3M ago
Episode 23 of Fairly Competing is out! On January 1, 2024, California officially will begin exporting its ban on noncompetes, nonsolicits, and likely no-recruits to the rest of the country — whether the other states like it or not. For background, see: California is set to (officially) tortiously interfere with noncompetes from other states; and California remains on brand: New law expands restrictive covenant ban and requires notice. In this episode of Fairly Competing, John, Ben, and I discuss: the scope of California’s new laws; what the laws purport to do; and what companies can do ..read more
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