The Obama administration on Tuesday called on U.S. states to ban agreements prohibiting many workers from moving to their employers’ rivals, saying it would lead to a more competitive labor market and faster wage growth.
The administration said so-called non-compete agreements interfere with worker mobility and states should consider barring companies from requiring low-wage workers and other employees who are not privy to trade secrets or other special circumstances to sign them.
Vice President Joe Biden in a statement said he had heard from a teacher in Nebraska who was barred from taking a summer job selling pet food to earn extra money. Among others, Biden also mentioned a salesman in Connecticut who was laid off and forced to spend his retirement savings because he was prohibited from accepting other sales jobs.
“(Workers) can’t reach their true potential without freedom to negotiate for a higher wage with a new company, or to find another job after they’ve been laid off,” Biden said.
Nearly every state allows non-compete agreements, and legal battles over their validity are common. Courts in determining whether the agreements are lawful generally focus on the length of time they are in effect, their geographical limits and whether employees had access to trade secrets.
The issue drew attention from some lawmakers and advocacy groups in June when the attorney general of Illinois filed a lawsuit claiming non-compete agreements signed by employees of fast-food franchise Jimmy John’s were unlawful. The company said it would stop using the agreements in order to settle the case.
The Obama administration on Tuesday also urged states to ban non-compete agreements that are not proposed before a job offer or promotion is accepted and said employers should not be able to enforce the agreements when workers are laid off.
The White House said 20 percent of U.S. workers are bound by non-compete agreements, including 14 percent of those earning less than $40,000 per year.
But many businesses have legitimate reasons for requiring workers to sign the agreements, and states should not simply ban them for wide swaths of the work force, Beth Milito, senior legal counsel at the National Federation of Independent Business, said in an interview on Tuesday.
“There need to be individualized assessments of the agreements that consider the industry and the geographical location,” she said.
(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York; Editing by Tom Brown)
Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle fake accounts scandal
Wells Fargo has agreed to pay US regulators $3 billion to settle three investigations into the bank's damaging fake accounts scandal, the Department of Justice said on Friday.
The fine settles criminal and civil liability in the case in which the nation's fourth largest bank between 2002 and 2016 pressured employees to meet unrealistic sales goals that led to creating millions of accounts or credit cards without consent.
Wells Fargo admitted it collected millions of dollars in fees and interest, harmed the credit ratings of certain customers, and misused personal information, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Donald Trump Jr. one of only 3 people who wants to legally kill an Alaskan grizzly bear this year
According to a report from Reuters, Donald Trump Jr. has been awarded an out-of-state permit from Alaska to hunt and kill a grizzly bear this year making him one of only three who applied for one of the 27 permits available.
The report states the son of President Donald Trump has "been granted the right to hunt a grizzly bear in northwestern Alaska near the Bering Sea town of Nome, a state official said on Friday."
Ryanair CEO branded a racist after controversial statement about Muslims
Muslim men should be profiled at airports as terrorists will "generally be of a Muslim persuasion", Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said in an interview published Saturday, sparking accusations of racism.
"Who are the bombers?" the budget airline's controversial chief executive said while discussing airport security in the interview with the Times newspaper.
"They are going to be single males travelling on their own... If you are travelling with a family of kids, on you go; the chances you are going to blow them all up is zero."
"You can't say stuff, because it's racism, but it will generally be males of a Muslim persuasion. Thirty years ago it was the Irish."