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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Supreme Court Decides Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court decided three cases, holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e-2, bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender identity.

In each of the three cases, an employee was fired shortly after revealing that he or she was homosexual or transgender. Each plaintiff brought suit under Title VII, alleging unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex. The Eleventh Circuit held that Title VII does not protect against discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation, while the Second Circuit held that it did. The Sixth Circuit held that Title VII protects against discrimination on the basis of transgender identity.

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