Employment Law Update: Federal Trade Commission Eliminates Non-Compete Clauses

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission issued a new Rule putting an end to employment-related non-compete clauses. In its justification for the rule, the FTC called non-compete clauses “an unfair method of competition” and stated it is a “violation for [employers] to… enter into non-compete clauses (“non-competes”) with workers.” In today’s very competitive labor market, the new FTC Rule creates a significant disruption for employers.

When is The FTC Elimination of Non-Compete Clauses Set to Take Effect?

This new FTC provision—set to take effect in 120 days—renders existing non-compete agreements unenforceable. Existing non-compete agreements with senior executives will remain enforceable, although employers cannot require newly hired senior executives to sign such an agreement.


After the Rule takes effect, employers are required to deliver personal notice to employees (past and present) who signed a non-compete agreement informing them agreements are no longer enforceable. In the notice, employers must inform employees they are free to accept any job or start any business, even if it is directly competitive with the employer.

Is The FTC’s Elimination of the Non-Compete Clauses Optional For Employers?

Compliance with the FTC Rule is not optional. Employers should consider new ways they can protect against a former employee gaining a competitive advantage by using the employer- provided training, the relationships made possible by the employer, or the confidential information learned from the employer. RMP can assist you in navigating this disruption and can provide advice on how to most effectively protect your vital business interests going forward.

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RMP: Your Employment Law Attorneys

RMP Attorneys At Law has an experienced Employment Law Attorney team dedicated to helping you navigate these changes. If you have any questions or would like guidance, reach out to one of our employment attorneys, Tim Hutchinson, Seth Haines, Larry McCredy, or Taylor Baltz or call  479.443.2705.