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Now on Spilling Secrets, our podcast series on the future of non-compete and trade secrets law: Health care employers face unique challenges and considerations when deciding whether to litigate non-compete agreements with physicians. However, in such a quickly evolving legal landscape, the decision to take the matter to court is not always clear.

In this episode of Spilling Secrets, Epstein Becker Green attorneys Katherine G. RigbyErik W. WeibustDaniel L. Fahey, and Jill K. Bigler discuss the unique challenges involved in litigating physician non-competes.

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On April 16, 2024, the FTC announced that it will hold a special Open Commission Meeting on April 23, 2024 to vote on its proposed rule to ban the use of non-compete clauses in employment contracts, which has been pending since January 2023.  

As we reported then, the proposed rule, as drafted, would prohibit employers throughout the United States from entering into noncompete agreements with their employees. The rule would also apply retroactively, requiring employers to rescind all preexisting noncompete agreements and to notify all employees who had been subject to such agreements ...

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On March 29, 2024, Maine Governor Janet T. Mills vetoed a bill that would have banned all employee noncompete agreements in the State of Maine.  Both chambers of the Maine legislature passed L.D. 1496, An Act to Prohibit Noncompete Clauses, that if enacted, would have banned employers from entering into noncompete clauses with employees and would have permitted noncompete agreements in Maine in only three limited circumstances: (i) the sale of a business; (ii) a shareholder in a limited liability company who sells or disposes all of the shareholders shares; or (iii) member of a ...

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Ohio has long recognized the enforceability of non-compete agreements. Broadly speaking, a court can do one of three things with an unenforceable non-compete agreement: (1) the court can apply the “red pencil” doctrine and invalidate the entire agreement; (2) the court can apply the “blue pencil” doctrine and strike the unenforceable provisions; or (3) the court can modify the non-compete agreement to make it enforceable.

In 1975, the Ohio Supreme Court adopted a rule of “reasonableness” when determining whether to enforce a non-compete agreement, holding in ...

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Washington State is making a few important amendments to its existing noncompete statute.  The amendments go into effect on June 6, 2024.

Back on January 1, 2020, Washington state enacted a noncompete statute that set limits on the use of noncompetition agreements, including the following:

  • Non-competition provisions for workers who earn less than certain annual thresholds: (currently $120,559.99 for employees and $301,399.98 for independent contractors) are unenforceable.
  • Non-competes exceeding 18 months are unenforceable.
  • Excluded from the definition of ...
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Now on Spilling Secrets, our podcast series on the future of non-compete and trade secrets law:

As college basketball madness sweeps across the nation this March, we’re seizing the opportunity to explore the intriguing intersection of trade secrets law and the sports world.

In this episode of Spilling Secrets, Epstein Becker Green attorneys Peter A. SteinmeyerJames P. FlynnDaniel R. Levy, and Susan Gross Sholinsky appeal to both sports fans and lawyers alike to examine the strategic use of non-compete agreements across various sports. From scrutinizing non-competes in football and dissecting no-poaching arrangements in golf to unraveling compelling trade secrets in boxing, the team embarks on an examination of the legal dynamics shaping competitive sports.

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On January 1, 2022, amendments to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act, 820 ILCS 90/1, et seq. (the “Act”), became effective, trumpeting reforms and limitations on an employer’s ability to enter into covenants not to compete and covenants not to solicit with certain categories of employees whose actual or expected annualized rate of earnings fall below certain thresholds.

Now, just two short years later, the Illinois state legislature has introduced four different bills containing proposed amendments to the Act that would undermine, if not completely obliterate, the Act’s ...

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Last summer, the New York State legislature made waves when it passed a bill that effectively would have banned noncompete agreements.  New York’s Governor vetoed that bill in late December 2023.  This year, however, it is expected that the legislature will consider, and maybe pass, a less draconian bill that the Governor may be more likely sign.  Instead of an outright ban, such a bill might limit the use of noncompetes by, for example, prohibiting noncompetes only for certain types of employees, such as low wage earners.

While the business and legal communities await the state ...

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Now on Spilling Secrets, our podcast series on the future of non-compete and trade secrets law: Restrictive covenants are evolving at a record pace right now at both the federal and state levels. Employers are struggling to keep up, and that’s especially true in the health care industry.

In this episode of Spilling Secrets, Epstein Becker Green attorneys Katherine G. RigbyErik W. WeibustGlenn P. Prives, and Denise Merna Dadika discuss restrictive covenants in relation to physician groups and other health care organizations employing direct care providers.

Explore Epstein Becker Green's 50-State Noncompete Survey, now featuring a 50-state health care supplement.

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In a bombshell ruling last year that upended longstanding Delaware law, the Delaware Chancery Court ruled in Ainslie v. Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P., 2023 WL 106924 (Del. Ch. Jan. 4, 2023), that forfeiture-for-competition clauses, under which departing employees must forfeit certain long-term incentive compensation if they join a competitor, are akin to post-employment noncompetes and other restraints of trade.  As a result, the Chancery Court determined these forfeiture provisions should be analyzed under a reasonableness standard rather than the employee choice doctrine ...

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