Colorado Increases Its Criminal Penalty for Violations of Its Noncompete Law

On July 6, 2021, the Colorado legislature passed S.B. 21-271 in an effort to reform the sentencing provisions related to a number of petty offenses and misdemeanors. As a result, several Colorado laws related to labor and employment are affected, including Colorado’s statute addressing restrictive covenant and noncompete agreements, C.R.S. § 8-2-113. Under C.R.S. § 8-2-113, it is unlawful to intimidate workers in order to limit their ability to engage in lawful work; and covenants that restrict trade, such as noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements, are void unless the covenants fit within limited exceptions provided under the statute. Effective March 1, 2022, the penalty for violating the noncompete statute will be increased to a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 120 days in jail, or a fine of up to $750, or both.

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Top 10 Non-Compete Law Developments of 2021

The top 10 non-compete law developments in 2021 demonstrated a continued hostility by lawmakers and courts toward noncompetition and no-hire agreements, as well as the need for employers to stay current on the diverse state-specific limitations governing restrictive covenants, new federal activity in the area and ongoing case law developments. In light of these trends, national employers would do well to (1) be selective in identifying those categories of employees required to sign such agreements, (2) rely on allowable choice-of-law and venue provisions to maximize the chances of enforceability, (3) keep a keen eye on likely federal developments in the year ahead and (4) avoid no-poach agreements with employers as a poor substitute for narrowly tailored employee non-compete agreements.

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State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q4 2021

The fourth quarter of 2021 continued the trend of increasing regulation of the workplace by state and local governments. Although it is not possible to discuss all state and local laws, this post provides an overview of recent and upcoming legislative developments to help you and your organization stay in compliance. (Please note that developments related to issues such as minimum wage rates and COVID-19 are not included.)

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Part 28 of the “The Restricting Covenant Series”: Worldwide Noncompete Restrictions

Grab your passports, compass and other essential travel gear, as this edition of The Restricting Covenant Series navigates through the treacherous waters of noncompete agreements and their geographic reach.

First Stop: New Jersey

Ah, the Garden State. Home to the most diners and shopping malls. Where the state bird is the American goldfinch, the state flower is the violet, but alas there is no official state song (perhaps a New Jersey native such as Bruce Springsteen, John Bon Jovi or Queen Latifah will change that). Who would ever want to leave? Well, suppose you worked for a New Jersey company that required you to sign a noncompete with a geographic restriction that prohibits you from competing in business against your employer anywhere within the entire Garden State after your employment ends (that’s right, all 365 exits and entrances on the Garden State Parkway). Could such a statewide geographic restriction be enforced? The short answer is: Maybe.

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State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q3 2021

2021 continues the trend of increasing regulation of the workplace by state and local governments. Although it is not possible to discuss all state and local laws, this update provides an overview of recent and upcoming legislative developments to help you and your organization stay compliant. (Please note that developments specifically related to minimum wage rates and COVID-19 are not included.)

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President Biden Targets Non-Compete Agreements in New Executive Order on Promoting Competition

As part of “a whole-of-government effort to promote competition in the American economy,” President Biden’s July 9 Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy encourages the Federal Trade Commission to ban or limit non-compete agreements. In doing so, President Biden continues — and potentially accelerates — what to date has been a piecemeal effort conducted almost exclusively at the state level to limit, and in some cases prohibit, the use of non-competes, particularly for low-wage workers.

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