Within the last five months, the two executive arms responsible for enforcing antitrust laws—the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”)—held public workshops to examine the effect of non-compete clauses in employment contracts on the labor market. The DOJ held its workshop on September 23, 2019, while the FTC recently held its own at the top of the year, on January 9, 2020. The purpose of the FTC workshop was “to examine whether there is a sufficient legal basis and empirical economic support to promulgate a Commission Rule that would restrict the use of non-compete clauses in employer-employee employment contracts.”

Why the FTC now wants to regulate in the employment space is not readily apparent apart from attempting to capitalize on a low-hanging fruit populist issue concerning the overreporting of some companies allegedly using non-competes with low-wage workers.
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This post originally appeared on the Workplace Class Action blog

Seyfarth Synopsis: True to his word, the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has announced the first of a number of anticipated no-poach enforcement actions. While this was a civil proceeding, the Department of Justice has said that in some cases it may treat the conduct as criminal. Many executives and HR professionals are unaware that the antitrust laws apply to the employment marketplace. Thus, if they have not done so already, employers should consider the implementation of compliance programs to make sure that appropriate employees are aware of these developments and risks.
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Seyfarth Synopsis:  Criminal prosecution of “no-poaching/no-hire” agreements appears imminent.  Employers should investigate their hiring and compensation practices to ensure compliance with recent antitrust pronouncements.

Background

In October 2016, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) under the Obama Administration issued a joint Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals (“HR Guidance,” available here).  Among other things, the HR Guidance announced that so-called “naked” agreements among employers not to recruit employees or not to compete on employee compensation would be considered per se violations of the antitrust laws and prosecuted criminally. 
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Cross Posted from Employment Law Lookout.

Seyfarth Synopsis: On October 20, the DOJ and the FTC jointly issued their Antitrust Guidance for HR Professionals, stating that DOJ intends to pursue employers criminally for alleged wage fixing and no-poaching agreements.  

shutterstock_77814403On October 20, 2016, the DOJ and FTC jointly issued their “Antitrust Guidance for

A federal judge in Virginia recently held that the United States Department of Justice’s attempts to serve Kolon Industries, Inc and five of its executives with criminal summons in a high profile criminal trade secrets action were ineffective, finding, among other things, that service on its U.S. subsidiary was not sufficient.

In the complaint, which

In Seyfarth’s first installment of its 2013 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan, and Joshua Salinas will review noteworthy cases and other legal developments from across the nation this past year in the areas of trade secrets and data theft, non-compete enforceability, computer fraud, and company owned social media accounts and

By Jessica Mendelson and Robert Milligan

In December 2012, the Department of Justice released a “Summary of the Major U.S. Export Enforcement, Economic Espionage, Trade Secret and Embargo-Related Criminal Cases.”

The report includes the major export enforcement, trade secret theft, economic espionage, and embargo-related criminal prosecutions handled by the United States Department of Justice between