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President Biden Seeks to Limit Non-Compete Agreements

Client Alert

Today, President Biden announced he would issue an Executive Order that calls on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to adopt rules to curtail worker non-compete agreements. Interestingly, a week ago, the FTC approved changes to its Rules of Practice to modernize and expedite the way it issues Trade Regulation Rules. 

If you have followed our alerts, we predicted the elimination of non-competes would probably happen. In 2016, then-Vice President Biden was a vocal opponent against non-compete agreements. He led the Obama administration’s initiative seeking to limit or eliminate non-compete agreements. In his presidential campaign, Biden promised to “work with Congress to eliminate all non-compete agreements, except the very few that are absolutely necessary to protect a narrowly defined category of trade secrets....”

Since this is not an act of Congress, the question will be the extent and timing of any FTC rules.

The FTC enforces and administers a wide variety of federal consumer protection laws and regulations that prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices. It also develops policy initiatives on issues that affect competition, consumers, and the U.S. economy. 

Once the Executive Order is issued, it will be interesting to determine the authority under which the FTC will issue its rules. We anticipate that the FTC will assert authority under its broad power to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive acts or practice (“UDAP”) and unfair methods of competition (“UMC”). On January 9, 2020, the FTC held a workshop to examine whether there is a sufficient legal basis and empirical economic support to promulgate an FTC rule that would restrict the use of non-compete clauses in employer-employee employment contracts. After the workshop, the FTC extended the public comment period through March 10, 2020, but the Commission has not issued any subsequent guidance on the subject.

Stay tuned for additional information. With the announcement of the Executive Order, the outcome of the FTC non-compete analysis should soon be released. 

For additional information or strategic planning on non-competes or other restrictive covenants, contact Jeffrey C. Miller, jcmiller@bmdllc.com 216.658.2323 or any member of the BMD L+E team.


Community Banks: Collaboration, not isolation, is the key to protecting/ enhancing the cannabis business you pioneered

As we prepare for the plenary session of the informal institutional cannabis lenders community announced in my previous article, I am pleased to advise that participants now include 5 of the best-known dedicated loan funds; a select group of commercial banks ranging in size from single state community banks to mid-size regionals making cannabis loans into the mid-8 figures; and, a syndicator of credit union cannabis loans.

Inflation Reduction Act: Healthcare Provisions

On August 16, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (the “Act”), a landmark climate, healthcare, and tax bill. Though the Act’s climate provisions have received most of the media attention, the healthcare aspects of the Act present some of the most significant changes to the American healthcare system since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

The Current State of Assignment of Benefits Litigation in Florida

On May 25, 2022, Florida lawmakers approved property insurance reforms that remove attorney’s fees, with respect to assignment of benefits (“AOB”) property insurance litigation. One-way attorney’s fees are a longstanding problem in Florida and the reforms come at a time when AOB litigation increasingly affects homeowners in a negative way.

Proposed Community Revitalization Grants for Ohio Projects

Jason A. Butterworth client alert ohio tax credits historic preservation tax credits community revitalization grants

Ohio Senate Bill 225 Paves the Way for Greater Investment in Opportunity Zones and Historic Districts

Ohio Senate Bill 225 is poised to make dramatic enhancements to certain tax credit programs in Ohio, specifically those surrounding investments in “Opportunity Funds” and historic buildings. Signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in June 2022, the Bill is positive news for real estate developers working to revitalize Ohio communities with investment and rehabilitation projects.