Newsletter: Should the FTC Ban Non-compete Clauses?

Here’s what we have in store this week:

  • A new debate about the 32 million Americans affected by non-competes
  • A closer look at how non-compete contracts affect workers
  • Your Sunday reading list


We all have likely seen them. Tucked in the hiring documents of a new job are a few lines that can make all the difference. The words and scope are different, depending on the company, but the deal is generally the same. Employees agree not to work for a competitor during or immediately after their current employment – so-called non-compete agreements that for many sectors have become industry standard.
But should they be?
President Joe Biden doesn’t think so. He made that clear during this year’s State of the Union address. “We’re banning those agreements so companies have to compete for workers and pay them what they’re worth,” he said. His Federal Trade Commission is in the final stages of issuing a ban on such clauses, arguing that they keep wages low, depress worker mobility, and make it difficult for competitors to find new hires.
Others disagree.
Such agreements are essential, they argue, and protect trade secrets and company investments. Workers could otherwise quit after their training ends in favor of a competitor.
This debate affects 32 million Americans. The question: Should the FTC Ban Non-compete Clauses?

Arguing “YES” is Heidi Shierholz, former U.S. Chief Labor Economist and Economic Policy Institute President.

Arguing “NO” is Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President, Chief Policy Officer, and Head of Strategic Advocacy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Have a listen. Maybe think twice about your next contract. And as always, let us know if you changed your mind.


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The state of non-competes. Where does your state stand? Learn more here.




Should the FTC Ban Non-compete Clauses?



“They are a direct restriction on competition. And they should be banned. They are bad for innovation. They’re bad for business formation. They’re bad for productivity. They’re bad for workers. They’re bad for consumers. They are bad for the economy in general.”Learn More

Heidi Shierholz

Open to Debate



“The reason that we’re against this ban on noncompetes is that rather than attempting to address real issues, it simply bans them outright. And that means that you lose the real benefits that are derived for the economy and workers when they’re appropriate.”Learn More

Neil Bradley

Open to Debate



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