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So what does this mean that a non-competition clause is “clear”? In fact, this means that the agreement must indicate precisely what the employee cannot do in the future, for how long and where. The example “the worker cannot work as a commercial lender for a year after the termination of his employment, somewhere within 50 miles of the bank” is much clearer and more applicable than simply saying, “The worker must not compete with the employer.” A bipartisan bill, the Workforce Mobility Act, would prohibit non-competition bans, with the exception of certain scenarios such as the protection of trade secrets. Heidi Shierholz, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said there`s a big reason people think twice before signing competition bans: “Your employer knows you don`t have external options,” she said. The applicability of non-competition clauses is governed by general state law. In addition, many states have passed laws regulating the use and limitations of such provisions. In some legal systems, non-competition prohibitions are totally or largely unenforceable, regardless of the impact that competition may have on an employer`s business. In California, for example, provisions [1] that restrict post-employment behaviour are generally null and void. Other jurisdictions that limit the use of non-compete clauses outside the business environment are North Dakota [3] and Oklahoma. [4] Different sectors are also subject to specific restrictions, including lawyers, doctors and the financial industry. Finally, employers in a growing number of states such as Illinois,[5] Maine,[6] Maryland,[7] New Hampshire,[8] Rhode Island,[9] and Washington are prohibited from using non-compete clauses with low-wage workers. “In New York State, judges refuse to impose non-compete bans on people because they don`t want to deprive them of the opportunity to earn a living,” said Sal Khan, head of financial services at headhunting firm Howard-Sloan Search.

For which positions and collaborators do you really need a non-compete clause to protect your company`s trade secrets, business wills and confidential information (keeping in mind that non-competitions with low-wage workers, employees who do not have access to trade secrets, and employees who probably don`t attract customers to a competitor are now easier to verify)? Bankers are mobile individuals, often to the chagrin of the banks that employ them. This is why bankers are notoriously hostile to non-competition agreements and may be reluctant to sign them. But in a highly competitive sector such as banking, the advantage of a non-compete agreement can be very great. A person does not often consider leaving a job as soon as they accept a job. Thus, a new recruitment could be ready to sign a non-compete agreement at the beginning of its hiring for a rather modest sign-on-bonus.