Part 1: How Should Employers Handle Current Noncompete Disputes with Departing Employees?

This three-part blog series is intended to identify and respond to three of the most frequently posed questions by employers in response to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Final Noncompete Rule (the “Noncompete Rule”).

We previously reported on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Noncompete Rule and the currently pending litigation challenging the Noncompete Rule.  In one of those cases, which was brought in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas and consolidated with the lawsuit filed by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the plaintiffs filed a Motion for Stay and Preliminary Injunction. The court has indicated that it intends to rule on that motion by July 3, 2024.

If the court does not enter an injunction or stay order, the Noncompete Rule is scheduled to go into effect on September 4, 2024.  The pending effective date has led employers to ask the first of three frequently asked questions: “How should we handle current noncompete disputes with departing employees?”  The short answer is: At the present time and as long as it is consistent with applicable state law, employers may continue to enforce noncompetes with their departing employees.    

If a court does not enjoin or stay the Noncompete Rule, and it goes into effect on September 4, 2024 (or sometime thereafter), one exception to the Noncompete Rule is that it does not affect pending litigation where the cause of action related to a noncompete accrued prior to the Noncompete Rule’s effective date. Thus, employers can seek court intervention relating to a noncompete so long as the breach occurred prior to the effective date of the Noncompete Rule.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the series.

Gianna Dano, a Summer Associate in Epstein Becker Green’s Newark office (not admitted to practice) contributed to the preparation of this piece.

Back to Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility Blog

Search This Blog

Blog Editors


Related Services



Jump to Page


Sign up to receive an email notification when new Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility posts are published:

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.