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Have you ever signed a noncompete agreement? New York could become the fifth U.S. state with a blanket ban on the labor contracts used to prevent employees from leaving a company and working for a competitor, or starting their own. And it could be the broadest ban yet, fueling more states to pass similar legislation.
The bill follows the buzz of the Federal Trade Commission’s proposal earlier this year to ban noncompetes at the national level.
“This will reinvigorate [the momentum], especially if it goes through,” says William Stonehouse III, cofounder of [Recruiting] firm Crawford Thomas Recruiting, “and really propel it as we get into election season.”
New York state legislators fast-tracked a bill to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk last week that aims to ban noncompete agreements, putting the state in line to be not only the latest to prohibit the contentious contracts, but the one with the broadest ban yet and the spark to fuel momentum for passing similar bills in other states.
“Whenever a very large, economically important state like New York chooses to act, you can expect that there are going to be ripple effects for other states [that] are engaged in the same competition for talent,” says John Lettieri, cofounder and CEO of the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), a bipartisan public policy organization that is a big advocate for noncompete bans.
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