Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Brent Hunsberger at The Oregonian At Work Blog had this entry yesterday concerning legislation Oregon is considering to curtailing the use of non-competition agreements:
Two bills in the Oregon Legislature -- Senate Bill 248 and House Bill 2257 -- aim to void noncomplete clauses under some circumstances, including when a worker gets laid off. The House bill has the backing of Oregon Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner but drew opposition from the American Electronics Association, a high-tech trade group, which says says it could compromise trade secrets.
It could well be that such legislation is in response to increasing litigation over such clauses:
Now comes Jay Shepherd, author of Gruntled Employees blog, reporting that the number of published court decisions in cases involving noncompete clauses has increased 37 percent between 2004 and 2006 and 81 percent in the past decade.
It seems that an employer should be able to protect proprietary information from unfair use by competitors, but many non-compete clauses are much broader than that and seem to unnecessarily staunch the productive flow of information and knowledge from company to company through mobile employees.