This past June, Senators Al Franken of Minnesota and Chris Murphy of Connecticut introduced The Mobility and Opportunity for Vulnerable Employees (MOVE) Act, a bill which would ban non-compete agreements for employees earning under $15 per hour or minimum wage, whichever is higher. The bill would also require employers to disclose to job seekers in advance if they will require an employee to sign a non-compete once hired.
Large Companies are Using Non-Competes to Keep Their Workers’ Salaries Low
Last year popular political news source and blog The Huffington Post reported that Jimmy John’s sandwich shops were allegedly using non-compete agreements as a way to dissuade their employees from seeking higher paid jobs elsewhere. Online retail giant Amazon was also discovered to be using non-compete agreements to prevent low paid warehouse workers from finding employment at competitors. In response to the Jimmy John’s discovery, Congress has asked both the Labor Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the use of the contracts. Amazon, meanwhile, has stated it would halt the practice of asking workers to sign non-compete contracts.
One in Ten Low Wage Workers are Required to Sign a Non-Compete
Non-compete contracts are justifiably common for high level executives or employees who have access to sensitive proprietary information which would damage their company in the hands of a competitor. The issue the MOVE Act attempts to address is that when non-competes are utilized for lower wage employees, it becomes clear that they can be a way to manipulate workers into staying in their low paying jobs. Ten percent of low wage workers are required to sign such contracts and are therefore unable to seek better paying employment within their field. As a result, workers are seemingly stuck in poverty without a fair opportunity to climb out. The MOVE Act intends to help break down some of the barriers which stand in the way of low wage earners as they try to build a better life for themselves.
Philadelphia Non-Compete Lawyers at the Law Offices of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Offer Experienced Reviews of Non-Compete Agreements
For the time being, until the MOVE Act passes through Congress, no employees are specifically exempt from their company requiring a non-compete agreement. However, under most state laws, non-compete contracts must be considered reasonable. If you have been asked to sign an agreement you feel is unreasonable, or would like experienced Philadelphia non-compete lawyers to review a non-compete contract, contact Sidkoff, Pincus & Green today. Conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia, we represent both employers and employees in various employment matters advocate for employees. Call us at 215-574-0600 today to schedule a confidential consultation or contact us online.