federal non-compete ban legislationOn September 1, 2022, Representative Mike Garcia (CA-25) introduced H.R. 8755, titled The Restoring Workers’ Rights Act (the “RWRA”), which would effectively ban non-compete agreements for non-exempt (low-to-mid wage) employees nationwide. If enacted, the RWRA would follow similar legislation in states such as Illinois, Colorado, Washington, and others that have imposed statutory income minimums that must be met in order for employers to bind employees to post-employment restrictive covenants.
Continue Reading California Representative Mike Garcia Introduces Federal Bill Barring Non-Compete Agreements

aesthetician non-compete lawsuitA Superior Court in Massachusetts has allowed an aesthetician’s lawsuit to proceed against her former employer after it sought to enforce her allegedly void restrictive covenant.

After being terminated by defendant Vanity Lab, the plaintiff and aesthetician Tori Macaroco established her own business providing aesthetician services. Macaroco then received a cease-and-desist letter from a New York law firm, citing the contract she signed as a Vanity Lab employee that contained various restrictive covenants preventing her from “solicit[ing] any employees or patients/customers of Vanity Lab, attempt[ing] to persuade any customer, patient, or employee from leaving Vanity Lab’s services, or reveal[ing] any of Vanity Lab’s confidential information.” The letter also stated that Macaroco was prohibited from practicing as an aesthetician for one year following the end of her employment with Vanity Lab. The letter further advised Macaroco that Vanity Lab would take legal action to enforce its rights in the event of a breach of her contract.
Continue Reading Aesthetician’s Proactive Suit Puts a Wrinkle in Spa’s Attempts to Mar Her Reputation

Nearly five years ago, the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (“MNAA”, also sometimes abbreviated as the “MNCA”) went into effect. That statute ushered in new requirements for non-competes in the Bay State (including not only residents of Massachusetts, but also those who are merely employed in Massachusetts). Among the MNAA’s requirements is a forum selection provision that purports to require civil suits related to non-competes to be brought exclusively in the county in which the employee resides, or if both parties agree, in Suffolk county in Massachusetts.

Despite being in effect for nearly a half-decade, there have been relatively few published cases interpreting the MNAA (see here and here for a synopsis of a couple of those cases). Recently, however, a federal judge in Virginia weighed in on the statute’s forum requirement, determining that a suit against a Massachusetts employee could proceed in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia, rather than be dismissed and re-filed in Massachusetts.
Continue Reading Massachusetts’ “Provincial” Forum Selection Requirement May Not Trump Reasonable Foreign Forum Selection Clause

On March 8, 2022, Excel Sports Management, LLC commenced an action in the Supreme Court of New York, Commercial Division, alleging that its former Vice President of Basketball Partnerships, Eric Eways, resigned his employment in favor of employment with Klutch Sports Group, LLC, in violation of a restrictive covenant in his employment agreement. The non-compete, governed by New York law, prohibited Eways from working for Klutch and other specifically-named competitors for eight months post-separation.   
Continue Reading New York Appellate Court Reverses Lower Court’s Denial of Preliminary Injunction and Enjoins Former Employee from Working with Rival Sports Management Agency

minnesota non-compete legislationOn February 22, 2022, the Minnesota legislature came one step closer to banning non-compete clauses under certain circumstances. On that date, the Minnesota House Labor, Industry, Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee passed HF999.

HF999 renders non-compete clauses in Minnesota void and unenforceable unless either of two circumstances are present: (1) upon termination, the employee earned an annual salary that is more than the median family income for a family of four in Minnesota (as determined by the most recent US Census Bureau data), or (2) the employer agrees to pay, on a pro-rata basis, fifty percent of the employee’s highest annual salary over the past two years for the duration that the employee is subject to the non-compete clause.
Continue Reading Minnesota Advances Partial Ban on Non-Compete Clauses

The ongoing saga of DC’s controversial Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (the “Act”) logged another chapter last week when the DC Council passed a further amendment delaying the effective date of the Act from April 1, 2022, until October 1, 2022. The Act, which was originally passed in December 2020, would prohibit employers from utilizing non-compete agreements, a statutory ban which has been adopted in certain other states, but would also prohibit employers from utilizing anti-moonlighting provisions or other “duty of loyalty” policies for DC employees. This latter prohibition would be a first-of-its-kind ban, and would prohibit employer policies which are generally viewed as both reasonable and non-controversial, even in states that have taken a negative view toward post-employment restrictive covenants.
Continue Reading The Effective Date of DC’s Non-Compete Ban Delayed Yet Again

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Trade secrets are critical intellectual property, and the threat to trade secrets continues to increase year after year. It’s vital for companies to protect trade secrets, both in the US
Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar! Protecting Trade Secrets and Enforcing Restrictive Covenants Internationally

Please join Seyfarth at the 2021 AIPLA Trade Secret Summit, which is being held November 8-9, 2021 at the headquarters of SolarWinds in Austin, Texas.

Boston Partner Erik Weibust is Chair of the AIPLA Trade Secret Committee and he will be offering welcoming remarks and moderating a panel entitled “Expert Advice: Practical tips for working with experts in a trade
Continue Reading Join Seyfarth at the 2021 Trade Secret Summit in Austin, Texas

For the fourth time in six years, Oregon is in the news again for an update to its non-compete laws.

Prior Oregon Law

Oregon last updated its non-compete laws just two years ago, with a statute that requires employers to provide terminated employees with a signed, written copy of their non-compete within 30 days of termination. That new obligation was in addition to other Oregon-specific requirements, including:

  1. Similar to Massachusetts’ 2018 law, the employer must inform the employee that a non-compete is a condition of employment in a written employment offer received at least two weeks before the employee’s first day, or the agreement must entered into upon a “bona fide” promotion;
  2. The employee must be engaged in administrative, executive, or professional work and must (a) perform predominantly intellectual, managerial or creative tasks, (b) exercise discretion and independent judgment, and (c) be salaried;
  3. The employee’s gross annual salary and commissions at the time of termination exceeds the median family income for a four-person family; and
  4. The duration of non-compete duration could not exceed 18 months.


Continue Reading Oregon Blazes a Trail of Non-Compete Amendments

The Massachusetts Superior Court recently held in Now Business Intelligence, Inc. v. Donahue that a temporary reassignment during a business slowdown, consisting of the addition of certain non-billable duties, does not constitute a material change invalidating a non-compete agreement. The dispute centered on Now Business Intelligence, Inc.’s (“NBI”) ability to hold its former employee, Sean Donahue (“Donahue”), liable for breach of his covenant not to compete.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Superior Court Axes an Attempt to Expand the Scope of the Seminal Non-Compete Law Concerning Material Change in Employment