Noncompetes Under Fire

As employment lawyers know, noncompetes are a hot topic these days.  Seems like they are being required of not just high level managers or high tech employees, but even clerks and fast food workers.

And some people — and states — are not particularly happy about this.

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As the New York Times reports:

“In today’s on-your-own economy, workers are urged to be entrepreneurial job hoppers, constantly adapting and searching for the next opportunity.  But an estimated 30 million Americans — nearly one fifth of the nation’s work force — are hobbled by so-called noncompete agreements, fine print in their employment contracts that keeps them from working for corporate rivals in their next job.”

The Times just did a story about the efforts by various states to “untangle workers from these agreements.”

“Hawaii banned noncompete agreements for technology jobs last year, while New Mexico passed a law prohibiting noncompetes for health care workers. And Oregon and Utah have limited the duration of noncompete arrangements.”

Interesting development, and required reading for business owners, HR people and lawyers.

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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]