“We heard from people working at pizza parlors, yogurt shops, hairdressers, and people making sandwiches,” Massachusetts state Rep. Lori Ehrlich told us in an interview last year. Ehrlich was the author of 2018 Massachusetts legislation limiting the enforcement of noncompete agreements. Several other states — including Oregon, Illinois, and Maryland — have passed bills on the subject. These state reforms focused on reining in the worst abuses of noncompete agreements. Some prohibit the use of noncompete clauses with low-wage workers. Others require employers to give employees notice of the requirement at the time they make a job offer. The Young and Murphy bill goes much further, completely banning noncompete agreements outside of a few narrow circumstances — like someone selling their own business.
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A bipartisan pair of senators has introduced legislation to drastically limit the use of noncompete agreements across the U.S. economy. “Noncompete agreements stifle wage growth, career advancement, innovation, and business creation,” argued Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) in a Thursday press release. He said that the legislation, co-sponsored with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), would “empower our workers and entrepreneurs so they can freely apply their talents where their skills are in greatest demand.” Noncompete agreements ban workers from performing similar work at competing firms for a limited period — often one or two years. These agreements have become widely used in recent decades — and not just for employees with sensitive business intelligence or client relationships.