The use of competition bans by employers has increased in recent years. These agreements prevent people from working for their former employer`s competitors and have been used sparingly to prevent, for example, executives with trade secrets or confidential business information from sharing them with new employers. Today, they are often used indiscriminately to cool employees` professional mobility without having access to this information. A 2015 study showed that 40% of Americans, at some point in their careers, rehabilitating a non-compete clause. As lawyers, we have worked on non-competition cases for janitors, receptionists, customer service staff, young journalists, even daycare staff. All participants who completed the word award task, whether or not they discussed a restriction of competition, achieved similar results with respect to errors, skipped items and time spent. We were not surprised by this finding: previous research has shown that people are primarily motivated by intrinsic motivations in creative efforts. It was therefore logical that subjects working with the word association should be less affected by a negative external incentive than people who work on mathematical tasks. In the meantime, other states can and must act on this issue. Indeed, a bill has just been introduced in the District of Columbia prohibiting non-competition bans for people paid under $88,654 (3 times D.C minimum wage). Here are some important considerations, as policy makers are considering their options: in addition, some states have other types of non-competition restrictions.
They have been unworkable in California for a long time; In most countries, too, even in the absence of a one-off status, courts generally maintain a non-compete agreement only if it protects an employer`s legitimate business interest and is reasonably limited in duration and space. The issue, of course, is that non-competition prohibitions are rarely considered by the courts, so this approach on a case-by-case basis is not sufficient. But non-competition bans can be a double-edged sword. There is growing evidence that innovation, productivity and economic growth are greater in regions where local legislation does not allow (or impose) such contracts, particularly in Silicon Valley. It is likely that positive effects will spread to many businesses when employees can move freely. There is a growing consensus among parties that competition bans harm workers and the economy. This bipartisan cooperation was hardly possible in 2015, when we were government lawyers coordinating investigations by the Illinois and New York Attorney General`s offices into the use of Jimmy John`s competition agreements for sandwich manufacturers and delivery drivers. But earlier this month, in what appears to be the first multi-party federal effort in far too long, Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) introduced a multi-party bill that would effectively end the abuse of competition agreements. This builds on a year in which six state legislators also adopted significant competition bans. Whether the new proposals of the Confederation are gaining strength or that states continue to engage in non-competition agreements, it is good to see that there are still some issues that are so fundamental to our economic well-being that policy makers can find allies on the other side of the gang.
Competition prohibitions (also known as “alliances not to compete” or CNCs) are often used by many companies to maintain their competitive advantage by protecting their human capital and related trade secrets. Although the decision on whether to include CNCs in employment contracts is made by companies, the true extent of their restriction is determined by state laws.