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Debate intensifies over NY’s proposed ban on noncompete agreements

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  • Staff Report 

As the end of the year approaches, a significant legislative decision looms for Gov. Kathy Hochul: whether to sign a bill that would effectively ban noncompete agreements in New York.

These clauses, often included in employment contracts, limit where individuals can work after leaving a job.

The bill’s sponsors argues that noncompetes unfairly restrict workers’ ability to pursue better economic opportunities and career changes, affecting a wide range of professions from home health aides to fitness instructors.

However, the proposal to outlaw noncompete agreements has met with staunch opposition from state business leaders and financial firms. They contend that such a ban could negatively impact the state’s economy by driving businesses away, particularly in the era of increased remote work.

The Business Council proposed an amendment to exempt workers earning $200,000 or less from the ban, but this suggestion was rejected by both Hochul’s office and sponsors.

Despite the Business Council’s reported $1 million campaign to veto the bill and widespread business community concerns, supporters believes that ending noncompete agreements is crucial for promoting free market principles and worker mobility in New York.

The bill’s fate remains in the hands of Gov. Hochul, who continues to review the legislation.