March 5, 2021

Volume XI, Number 64

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Mayor Bowser Signs Non-Compete Ban, Congressional Review Underway

The District of Columbia is bracing for a transition.  But while employers across the country wait to see what changes the Biden Administration may bring, Washington, D.C. employers should prepare for a drastic and imminent change in their own backyard.

As we previously reported, last month the District of Columbia Council passed the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-563) (the “Act”).  On January 11, 2021, Mayor Bowser signed the legislation. It will now be sent to Congress for the congressional review period set forth by the Home Rule Act.  Absent Congress passing and the President signing a joint resolution of disapproval, which is unlikely to happen, the law will take effect after 30 legislative session days and publication in the D.C. Register, and apply upon inclusion of its fiscal affect in an approved budget and financial plan.

As a reminder, under the Act, all D.C. employers are prohibited from requiring or requesting that an employee sign any agreement containing a non-compete provision.  Nor may they implement a workplace policy that prohibits an employee (1) being employed by another person, (2) performing work or services for pay for another person; or (3) operating their own business.  The ban applies to most employees, with medical specialists who have completed a medical residency and earn at least $250,000 annually being one of the few exceptions. Notably, non-compete agreements entered into before the Act goes into effect will still be enforceable.  The Act also includes a notice requirement and provides strong anti-retaliation protections for employees who refuse to agree or fail to comply with an unlawful non-compete provision or workplace policy.  For further analysis and a detailed summary of the Act, please see our December 22, 2020 article.

While we will continue to monitor the Act throughout the congressional review period, D.C. employers who are considering entering into non-compete agreements with their applicants or employees should do so now so that they remain enforceable after the Act takes effect.

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©2020 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 15
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About this Author

Garen E. Dodge Employment, Labor & Workforce Management Attorney Epstein Becker & Green Washington, DC
Member of the Firm

GAREN E. DODGE is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. Mr. Dodge’s diverse practice covers the spectrum of labor and employment litigation. His clients include employers from a broad range of industries—including communications, education, food and beverage, hospitality, retail, and transportation, among others—as well as those that do business with federal, state, and local government agencies.

Mr. Dodge:

  • Represents employers before state and federal...
202-861-1814
Nathaniel M. Glasser, Epstein Becker, Labor, Employment Attorney, Publishing
Member

NATHANIEL M. GLASSER is a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. His practice focuses on the representation of leading companies and firms, including publishing and media companies, financial services institutions, and law firms, in all areas of labor and employment relations.

Mr. Glasser’s experience includes:

  • Defending clients in employment litigation, from single-plaintiff to class action disputes,...

202-861-1863
Brian Steinbach, Labor Attorney, Epstein Law Firm
Senior Attorney

BRIAN STEINBACH is a Senior Attorney in the Labor and Employment practice, in the firm's Washington, DC, office.

Mr. Steinbach's experience includes:

  • Advising clients on and litigating employment, labor, disabilities, non-compete, confidentiality, benefits, wage and hour, and general litigation matters before the courts, arbitrators, and administrative agencies at the federal and state level

  • Representing and advising clients in Sarbanes-Oxley and other...

202-861-1870
Maxine Adams, Labor and Employment Law Clerk, Epstein Becker Law Firm
Associate

Maxine Adams is an Associate in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green.

Ms. Adams:

  • Assists in defending clients against labor and employment-related litigation with respect to wage and hour disputes, discrimination claims, and retaliation disputes

  • Assists in counseling clients on...

212-351-3783
Eric I. Emanuelson, Jr. Law Clerk New York
Law Clerk

ERIC I. EMANUELSON, JR.,* is a Law Clerk – Admission Pending – in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. He will be focusing his practice on disability laws, employment litigation, and employment training, practices, and procedures.

Prior to joining Epstein Becker Green, Mr. Emanuelson worked as a Legal Intern at the General Counsel’s Office of the largest labor union representing federal government employees. He also served as a Legislative Aide to Connecticut State Senator Edward Meyer.

Mr...

212-351-3759
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