On September 10, 2020, Tom Wallerstein was quoted in Law360 on developments for employee mobility attorneys to watch out for in the home stretch of 2020, including possible Federal Trade Commission (FTC) action to limit employers' use of noncompetes in contracts with their workers.
According to the article, the FTC hosted a workshop on a possible rulemaking in January. A coalition of 19 attorneys general then wrote to the FTC in March, urging the agency to step in and "address the abusive use of [covenants not to compete] in the workplace." But since the coronavirus pandemic struck, the agency has been largely silent on the potential rulemaking.
"That's all kind of still in limbo, but we definitely would be expecting some FTC action down the pike," said Wallerstein. "I think everything's kind of on hold because of the election and COVID, and no one's really going to do anything until they see how that all shakes out."
Wallerstein noted that the FTC and U.S. Department of Justice warned employers in April that the agencies will be "on alert" for anticompetitive conduct that harms workers, including noncompetes.
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