Noncompete Misconceptions May Be Inhibiting Reform

By Russell Beck and Erika Hahn (December 17, 2019, 3:29 PM EST) -- Federalism is alive and well.

For almost 200 years, noncompetes have been governed by state law.[1] Over just the past several years, bills to modify noncompete laws have been introduced in no fewer than 29 states.[2]

Nineteen of those states have enacted legislation modifying their laws[3] — seven this year alone. Some have strengthened noncompetes, while others have made it harder to enforce them. Seven have recently exempted low-wage workers from noncompetes (with varying methods of determining who qualifies for the exemption): Illinois,[4] Maine,[5] Maryland,[6] Massachusetts,[7] New Hampshire,[8] Rhode Island[9] and Washington.[10] Oregon had such a ban since 2008.

Instructively, while many...

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