The 2022 edition of The Legal 500 United States recommends Seyfarth Shaw’s Trade Secrets group as one of the best in the country. Nationally, for the seventh consecutive year, our Trade Secrets practice earned Top Tier.

Based on feedback from corporate counsel, Seyfarth partners Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan, and Kate Perrelli are ranked in the editorial’s “Leading Lawyers,” Joshua Salinas
Continue Reading Seyfarth’s Trade Secrets Group Earns Top Tier Ranking from Legal 500 for Seventh Consecutive Year

Recently, we wrote about New Hampshire’s attempts to piggyback on Massachusetts’ material change doctrine. In this post, we’re taking a look at Connecticut’s latest legislative effort to limit non-competes—House Bill 5249.

In many ways, HB 5249 borrows from Massachusetts’ 2018 bill (although unlike the New Hampshire bill, it doesn’t tackle the material change doctrine). For example, like the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act, the law would limit non-competes to a geographic area commensurate with where the employee works during the last 2 years of their employment, and to the kinds of work the employee performs during those 2 years. The duration of a non-compete would typically be limited to no longer than one year like under Massachusetts law, except that the Connecticut bill would permit a covenant of up to two years where the employer pays the employee’s base salary and benefits.
Continue Reading It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again—Connecticut Borrows Heavily from Massachusetts Law in Proposed Non-Compete Legislation

Nowadays, it seems like non-compete legislation is being passed at a breakneck speed. We saw numerous new laws on the books in the last year, and dozens more are being considered in various states. Many citizens are in favor of tamping down on non-competes, and a fair number of practitioners (including many on the Seyfarth team!) agree that certain rules regarding restrictive covenants are reasonable and appropriate, including limitations on non-competes for low-wage workers and rules requiring some advance notice to incoming employees being asked to sign restrictive covenants. But some in the business community seem to be saying: not so fast.

Most recently, the New Hampshire legislature is debating a new bill introduced in January that, as originally drafted, would have invalidated non-competes if an employer required vaccination as a condition of employment and an employee refused to comply with the vaccine mandate. Introduced by a number of Republican representatives, this proposed law was an unsurprising reaction to the Biden administration’s vaccination push. While some in the business community weren’t happy with that proposed new law, they were willing to accept itbut are extremely unhappy with an amended and substantially broadened version of the bill that passed the House of Representatives just a few weeks ago. The amended bill would invalidate non-competes if an employer “makes any material change in the terms of employment,” perhaps a surprising move for Republican legislators, who are often pro-enforcement of restrictive covenants. This appears to be a clear nod to Massachusetts’ common law “material change” jurisprudence, a one-of-its-kind doctrine (at least for now) that requires employers to issue new agreements upon a material change in an individual’s employment—whether that be a promotion, demotion, change in compensation, change in responsibilities, or any other material change in the employee’s working conditions.
Continue Reading New Hampshire Looks to Jump on the “Material Change” Bandwagon—and Employers Are Pushing Back

restricive-covenenat-legislation-trendsOver the past 10–15 years, we have seen an explosion of legislative activity related to restrictive covenants. This activity is happening not only in state legislatures but on the federal level as well. While each proposal is different, we’ve certainly seen trends emerge, including required notice provisions, fee shifting, and choice of law and venue requirements.

One of the most prevalent trends is the move towards banning non-competes (and sometimes, other restrictive covenants) for so-called “low-wage workers.” To date, 10 states have implemented a low-wage ban of sorts: Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.[1]
Continue Reading More States Eye Low-Wage Non-Compete Bans

Yet another state has made it harder for businesses to implement restrictive covenants—this time with criminal penalties.

Colorado’s restrictive covenants statute already provides that it is unlawful to “use force, threats, or other means of intimidation to prevent any person from engaging in any lawful occupation,” and further states that non-competes are invalid unless they fall into one of four categories:

  1. Covenants made in connection with the purchase and sale of a business (or the assets of a business);
  2. Covenants made for the protection of trade secrets;
  3. Covenants for the recovery of expenses incurred in educating and training employees who were employed for less than 2 years; and
  4. Covenants for executive and management personnel (and their professional staff) and officers.

That has been the law in Colorado for years—but a new, draconian portion of the statute will go into effect in just over a month.
Continue Reading Colorado Criminalizes Attempts to Curb Competition

This July, several Seyfarth attorneys signed a letter in response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. On December 20, 2021, following the FTC’s and DOJ’s virtual workshop on “Making Competition Work: Promoting Competition in the Labor Markets” in early December, Seyfarth partners Dawn Mertineit, Robert Milligan, Kate Perrelli, and Erik Weibust
Continue Reading Seyfarth Partners Sign on to New Letter Urging Caution on Federal Regulation of Non-Competes

In the final webinar for 2021, Seyfarth attorneys Dawn Mertineit, Eric Barton, and Joshua Salinas discussed new legislation and the enforcement of non-competes. Any company that seeks to use non-compete and non-solicitation agreements to protect its trade secrets, confidential information, client relationships, goodwill, or work forces needs to stay informed of the varied and ever-evolving standards in each state.

As
Continue Reading Webinar Recap! Overview of Non-Compete Legislation and Enforcement Issues from 2021

Thursday, December 16, 2021
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mountain
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific

REGISTER HERE

In this installment of our 2021 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, our team will focus on new legislation and the enforcement of non-competes. Any company that seeks to use non-compete and
Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar! Overview of Non-Compete Legislation and Enforcement Issues from 2021

Peloton has come out on top of the litigation leaderboard yet again. As we previously blogged about here, Peloton is no stranger to trade secret litigation. Peloton recently won dismissal of a “mirror image” declaratory judgment counterclaim asserted against it by rival ICON Health (“ICON”) in a Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) matter pending in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
Continue Reading Mirroring Peloton Won’t Result in Victory

As changes in restrictive covenants laws sweep the nation, Nevada is one of the latest jurisdictions to update its non-compete statute. Last month, the state legislature amended the Nevada Unfair Trade Practices Act to add new requirements for enforceability of non-competes.

The amendment makes the following changes in Nevada law:
Continue Reading Nevada Amends Non-Compete Statute Protecting Low-Wage Workers and Imposing Award of Attorneys’ Fees for Certain Violations