In Four Years, 16 States Have Changed Their Non-Compete Laws, Affecting Thousands of Companies

In the words of Heraclitis, “there is nothing permanent except change,” and we have certainly had a lot of changes in non-compete laws around the country in the last few years. Since the White House issued a call to action to state legislators asking them to reign in the use of non-compete agreements in 2016, 16 states proceeded to amend their non-compete statutes to add additional protections for employees.

*This graphic was created by Elena Dolgikh, my brilliant scientist sister.

Employers in any of the following states who have not updated their employment agreements and employee exit and on-boarding procedures in the last four years, are running the risk that their non-compete and non-solicitation restraints will not be enforceable when the time comes to enforce them:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Main
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington

In addition to the individual states taking action, there have been several attempts to pass a federal statute that, in one form or another, would restrict non-compete agreements only to higher-earning employees. While those attempts have failed, earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission held a public workshop dedicated to the discussion of whether it should use its rule-making authority to issue nationwide restrictions on the use of non-compete agreements. The decision from the FTC is expected later this year.

You can read more about the development of non-compete movement here here. Such movement is expected to continue this year, fueled in part, by the rising unemployment rates, job scarcity, and economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leiza Dolghih is the founder of Dolghih Law Group PLLC.  She is board certified in labor and employment law and has 16+ years of experience in commercial and employment litigation, including trade secrets and non-compete disputes. You can contact her directly at or (214) 531-2403.

One comment

  1. What if the agreement was signed in 2018 in Florida, but no benefit was paid ever to the employee for compensation as the no compete contract states?
    So Now the employee left the job some 3 years later and is being threatened by the former employer?

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