Noncompetition agreements are common tools used by employers to prevent former employees from unfairly competing against them. Traditionally, many states have allowed employers to require employees to sign noncompetes as long as they were reasonable in scope and protected an employer’s legitimate business interests. In turn, employers often required every employee to sign a noncompete even when it was unlikely that certain employees, particularly those in lower-wage positions, really posed much of a future competitive threat. In recent years, in response to the overuse of noncompetes by employers, several states have passed legislation limiting their use – with the trend most acutely taking hold in the area surrounding Washington, D.C. Is the activity in the DMV an anomaly, or does it demonstrate the larger national picture?
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