A number of states and municipalities have passed laws restricting or banning noncompetes in recent years. For instance, employee noncompetes are prohibited in California and, in Washington, D.C., were banned as of March 15, 2021. Other states currently have legislation pending that would restrict or prohibit forms of noncompetes as well.
In addition, the federal government will likely push for prohibitions against noncompetes in the next year. After President Biden’s election, he released his “Plan for Strengthening Worker Organizing, Collective Bargaining, and Unions” (the “Plan”), which seeks to “eliminate noncompete clauses and no-poaching agreements that hinder the ability of employees to seek higher wages, better benefits, and working conditions by changing employers.”
Looking ahead, the ability to restrict former employees from competing or soliciting employees will likely be limited in some manner in many (if not most) states, so companies must plan now before the limitations take effect. Here are three things an employer can do now to protect the company against rogue employees.
Given the trend to curb noncompetition covenants, steps taken now can help companies protect customer relationships even in the absence of enforceable noncompetition provisions.