On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a groundbreaking proposed rule that would, if finalized:

  • prohibit most employers from entering into non-compete clauses with workers, including employees and individual independent contractors;
  • prohibit such employers from maintaining non-compete clauses with workers or representing to a worker that the worker is subject to a non-compete clause; and
  • require employers to rescind any existing non-compete clause with workers by the compliance date of the rule and notify the affected workers that their non-compete clause is no longer in effect.

The FTC’s notice of proposed rulemaking explains that the FTC considered possible limitations on the rule—such as excluding senior executives or highly paid employees from the ban—but it ultimately proposed a categorical ban on post-termination non-competes.  The only exception is for non-competes related to the sale of a business.  However, even this exception is unusually narrow: it would only apply to selling business owners who own at least 25% percent of the business being sold.  (The proposal also would not apply to most non-profits, certain financial institutions, common carriers, and others who are also outside the scope of FTC regulation.)

Continue Reading FTC Proposes Rule to Ban Most Non-Competes

On October 1, 2022, the District of Columbia’s new ban on non-compete agreements (the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020, as amended by the Non-Compete Clarification Amendment Act of 2022 (the “Act”)) went into effect. The final version of the Act is far less restrictive than originally anticipated and permits non-competes with highly compensated employees, non-competes paired with long-term incentives, and certain anti-moonlighting policies.

Key Takeaways

  • As of October 1, 2022, non-competes are prohibited in the District with limited exceptions.
  • Generally, employers can still enter into the following types of non-competes with District employees:
    • Non-competes with highly compensated employees that do not exceed one year; provided 14 days’ advance notice is given to the employee. 
    • Non-competes paired with a long-term incentive.
    • Non-competes entered into in connection with the sale of a business.
  • The Act permits specified workplace policies like confidentiality or non-disclosure policies, anti-moonlighting policies/outside employment restrictions, and conflict of interest policies. However, the employer must provide the policies to employees before October 31, 2022, within 30 days after acceptance of employment, and any time such policy changes.
  • Violations of the Act carry both administrative penalties and civil liability.
  • Prohibited non-compete agreements in effect before October 1, 2022, are not subject to the Act and remain in effect. However, employers should consult with legal counsel before amending these agreements.
  • Non-solicitations of customers and employees are not explicitly considered non-competes under the Act.
  • The Act does not apply to the terms of a valid collective bargaining agreement.


Continue Reading D.C.’s Scaled-Back Non-Compete Ban Is In Effect