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Possible Ban on Noncompetes


As an employee, you may sign a lot of paperwork when accepting a job. Do you read all these documents carefully?

If not, you should. Non-compete clauses have long been a fixture in employment agreements. These documents place restrictions on where you can work. There may be limitations on which employers you can work for, location (50 miles away from your current employer, for example), and duration (the agreement may last 1-2 years or even longer).

Non-compete agreements used to only affect IT workers and highly paid professionals. Nowadays, any type of worker may be asked to sign one. Hair stylists, doctors, business executives, IT workers, warehouse workers, journalists, and even fast-food workers may be affected.

Non-compete laws vary by state. Florida laws are some of the worst in the country for employees. There have been many lawsuits regarding non-compete agreements and many lawmakers are pushing for a ban.

That’s because non-compete agreements unfairly favor employers. They gain the upper hand by limiting the employment of their workers. In fact, a ban would increase workers’ earnings by $300 billion.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been considering a ban for quite some time now. The ban would make it illegal to enter into a non-compete agreement and even existing ones would be against the law. According to the FTC, 1 in 5 Americans are impacted by non-compete clauses, so it’s a major issue.

Non-competes are not only killing competition but putting companies out of business. Under non-compete agreements, workers cannot even start their own businesses without penalties. Companies are getting sued. Medical professionals are having to shut down their businesses.

Non-competes are often enforced in court, with judges favoring employers most of the time. Getting out of one can be done, but it’s not easy. It requires the help of a skilled lawyer, which can get expensive.

The good news is that some states are taking action against non-competes. Currently, nine states — California, Nevada, Illinois, Maine, Oregon, Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington — impose penalties for ordering an employee to sign a non-compete agreement.

Of course, employers are against any ban, stating it would be difficult for them to protect trade secrets and business relationships. There would still be ways to protect everything without using a non-compete and going overboard. That is what the FTC is ultimately trying to address.

Eliminating non-competes can have a huge impact on wage earners. They will make more money because they will have more opportunities available to them and they won’t have to worry about being sued.

Contact a Business Litigation Lawyer Today 

Non-compete agreements are bad for employees, and Florida has some of the strictest laws in the country. The state strongly favors employers.

A non-compete can greatly impact employment. Have you been affected? If so, contact a Bradenton business litigation lawyer from Cahall Law Firm. We can guide you through business-related issues. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling (941) 281-2019.



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