Murphy Anderson’s Mark Hanna Interviewed in Support of FTC Noncompete Ban

January 9, 2023

The FTC recently proposed regulatory action to ban non-compete clauses in employment contracts. MarketWatch’s Andrew Kershner quoted Murphy Anderson attorney Mark Hanna in an article on the subject:

“They don’t just go away. They are not easy to vacate,” said Hanna, who is Vice President of Public Policy at the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). Many workers either stick with jobs they are unhappy with, or leave and hope their ex-employer doesn’t sue or they work it out in a severance deal, he noted.

The onerous limitation on worker mobility because these clauses has driven the FTC proposal. And while tech workers are the poster children for these anti-competitive agreements, these clauses are regularly found in every profession and industry, from emergency doctors in hospitals to low wage workers, including in fast food.  Most employees don’t have the ability to negotiate these clauses, and just like forced arbitration agreements if an employee refuses the employer’s standard employment agreements, employers won’t hire them.

In Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia, non-compete clauses have been banned for low-wage employees.  In most states the agreements have be somewhat geographically and temporally limited in scope, but each state has developed vastly different rules, making it difficult for workers to determine if they are valid, without the assistance of an experienced employment lawyer.