Over the course of the past several years, several states have banned or severely restricted the ability of businesses to bind low-wage workers to post-employment restrictive covenants. Since 2007, Oregon has banned non-compete agreements for all employees except those who are exempt (as defined by the state’s overtime payment statute) and whose annualized compensation at the time of termination exceeds the median income of a four-person family, as determined by the United States Census Bureau for the most recent year available at the time of the employee’s termination ($56,119 per year based on most currently-available data). In 2016, Illinois passed a statute banning non-compete agreements with low-wage workers (defined in Illinois to be non-governmental workers making less than the greater of the prevailing federal, state, or local minimum wage or $13 per hour). In 2018, contained within a wider-ranging non-compete bill, Massachusetts also banned employers from entering into non-compete agreements with non-exempt employees, as those employees classification is defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), as well  as employees under age 18, paid or unpaid student interns, or other short-term student employees who are enrolled in school.

While such legislation trickled out over the last several years, 2019 has seen five additional states enact prohibitions on utilizing non-compete agreements for certain low-wage employees, with at least seven other states and the District of Columbia considering similar non-compete legislation.


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On July 11, 2019, Governor Sununu signed S.B. 197 into law. S.B. 197 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee who makes 200% of the federal minimum wage ($14.50) to sign a non-compete agreement restricting the employee from working for another employer for a specified period of time or within a specific geographic area. Any

On February 21, 2019, the New Hampshire Senate, in a bipartisan voice vote and without debate, passed Senate Bill 197, which would prohibit employers from requiring low-wage workers to enter into non-compete agreements, and makes such agreements void and unenforceable.

The Bill applies to “Low-wage employees,” which is defined to include (i) employees who make less than or equal to twice the federal minimum wage, i.e., $14.50 per hour based on the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour; and (ii) “tipped employees” under New Hampshire Revised Statute § 279:21, who make less than or equal to twice the tipped minimum wage (statutorily set at 45 percent of the federal minimum wage), i.e., $6.54 per hour. 
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A recent New Hampshire decision serves as a reminder that courts may treat non-compete provisions differently in the context of independent contractor agreements compared to employment agreements.

Summary.  The Presiding Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court held earlier this month that, under the circumstances of the case before him, a non-compete covenant imposed restraints

Please join us for our sixth trade secrets webinar of the year entitled Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Legislative Update.

The webinar will be September 20, 2012 from noon to 1:00 p.m. central.

The past year has seen significant statutory changes to several jurisdictions’ laws regarding trade secrets and restrictive covenants and pending legislation proposed

By Ryan Malloy and Robert Milligan

The New Hampshire legislature recently passed a new state law that will require the disclosure of non-compete and non-piracy agreements to potential employees prior to making offers of new employment and to existing employees with an offer of change in job classification. Governor Lynch signed the bill on May

In a recent decision, Wilcox Indus. Corp. v. Hansen, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63668 (D.N.H. May 7, 2012), a federal judge for the District of New Hampshire interpreted the New Hampshire Uniform Trade Secrets Act’s (the “NHUTSA”) preemption provision to preempt all non-contract claims based on unauthorized use of information even if the information

Recently, state legislatures in both Idaho and New Hampshire have proposed significant legislation relating to trade secret and non-compete agreements. Each of these bills has the potential to significantly impact employers and their hiring processes.

Idaho

In the Idaho state senate, a bill was recently introduced to amend the Idaho Trade Secrets Act. The proposed