ALF-CIO SEIU and Over 60 Signatories Sign a Petition to Ban Worker Non-Compete Clauses

The Open Markets Institute, the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, and over 60 other signatories — including labor organizations, public interest groups, and legal scholars — have petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to ban worker non-compete clauses. I joined the petition because non-compete clauses unfairly handcuff workers. Imposed across a wide swath of the labor force (the barista who hands you your morning coffee and the doctor who prescribes your antibiotics may be bound by one), non-compete clauses typically prohibit a worker from accepting a new job or starting a new business in the same industry upon leaving their current job. Many are unreasonably broad – lasting years and forcing workers to move. Fighting unfair non-competes are too expensive for most workers; indeed, non-competes often require workers to litigate in a jurisdiction outside of their home state. A worker should have the right to quit her job – because she is being sexually harassed or simply underpaid – and use her knowledge and skills in another job, even a competing one. Yes, employers have a right to protect their trade secrets…but trade secrets are already amply protected by both federal and state law. Non-complete clauses are an unnecessary bludgeon. And, they are bad for the economy.

Read the full petition here.

FULL LIST OF SIGNATORIES ON THE PETITION
OPEN MARKETS INSTITUTE, AFL-CIO, ARTIST RIGHTS ALLIANCE, CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY, COWORKER.ORG, DEMAND PROGRESS EDUCATION FUND, ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE, EIG, INSTITUTE FOR LOCAL SELF-RELIANCE, LAKE RESEARCH PARTNERS, MAKE THE ROAD NEW YORK, NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT LAW PROJECT, ORGANIZATION UNITED FOR RESPECT, PUBLIC CITIZEN, REVOLVING DOOR PROJECT, ROOSEVELT INSTITUTE, SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, TOWARDS JUSTICE, UFCW, AND UNITE HERE AND IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES ALAN HYDE, AMY KASTELY, ANN C. MCGINLEY, ARIANA R. LEVINSON, BARBARA BUCHOLTZ, BEN TEMPLIN, CAROL CHOMSKY, CATHERINE FISK, CHARLOTTE GARDEN, CHRIS ODINET, CHRYSTIN ONDERSMA, COLIN P. MARKS, CYNTHIA HO, DALIÉ JIMÉNEZ, EDWARD JANGER, EILEEN APPELBAUM, FRANK PASQUALE, HENRY DRUMMONDS, JANE FLANAGAN, JEFFREY W. STEMPEL, JOAN VOGEL, KAREN CROSS, KATHLEEN ENGEL, LAUREN E. WILLIS, MARTHA T. MCCLUSKEY, MEREDITH A. MUNRO, NANCY MODESITT, NICOLAS CORNELL ,ORLY LOBEL, PAMELA FOOHEY, PAUL SECUNDA, RACHEL ARNOW-RICHMAN, RICK BALES, RICHARD CARLSON, ROBERT H. LANDE, RUBEN J. GARCIA, SANJUKTA PAUL, SARA STERNBERG GREENE, SHAUHIN TALESH, SPENCER WEBER WALLER, SUSAN BLOCK-LIEB, TODD RAKOFF, V.B. DUBAL, VIVA R. MOFFAT, WILLIAM S. DODGE, AND YVETTE LIEBESMAN