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Employers Under Fire for Using Noncompete Agreements to Depress Wages and Limit Employee Mobility

Always a polarizing topic, the manner in which employers use -- and far too often, abuse -- noncompete agreements has been making national news lately.

In May 2017, the NY Times published an in-depth exploration of companies that abuse noncompete agreements.  The article, titled "How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In," attacted considerable attention nationwide.  The NY Times article tracked through the history of noncompetes, cited several salient examples of serious abuse of these agreements, and even contained several examples of noncompete clauses.  The article can be found by clicking here.

Shortly after the NY Times article was published, the locally produced but nationally broadcasted NPR talk show called "On Point" devoted a full radio hour to the subject of noncompete agreements. I highly recommend listening to the replay of this program, which was titled "Sign Here and Stay Here," and is available as a podcast by clicking here.  The guests included the author of the NY Times article cited above, as well as a local noncompete lawyer and a labor economist from Princeton who had recently published (April 2017) a very interesting paper titled "The Rigged Labor Market," which can be viewed by clicking here.

The focus of these recent publications and podcast was on the manner in which companies deploy anticompatitive practices to depress wages and hinder employee mobility.  While these sources do reference some of the sound public policy reasons supporting the use of noncompete agreements, they mostly highlighted and criticized some of the most abusive practices of companies.

WLG Offers Creative Solution to Give Individuals a Fighting Chance Against Overbroad Noncompete Agreements

A common theme of the news sources cited above is how the mere threat of enforceing a noncompete agreement alone can have a seriously chilling effect on employee mobility that might otherwise be lawful. Individuals far too often fear that they cannot afford to challenge their employer's legal department and outside counsel, and often do not even bother to seek legal advice about the potential enforceability of their noncompete agreements.

As a means to enable individuals to have a chance to evaluate and potentially seek the aid of a court to pare down or even strike altogether an overbroad noncompete provision, WLG offers a creative, fixed fee billing option. For more information, click here.

WLG Also Helps Employers Design Effective Noncompete Programs

In addition to the services provided to inviduals, WLG also regularly assists employers in the design and implementation of noncompete and other restrictive covenants.  WLG works closely with employers to design programs that are designed narrowly to protect confidential information and business relationships, to enhance the enforceability -- and fairness -- of such agreements. For more information, click here.