Sunday, July 16, 2017

NY Times -- Quit Your Job for a Better One? Not if You Live in Idaho

Big companies have devised a new way to control their workers and protect their market power: noncompete clauses. These restrictive clauses -- often buried in fine print of employment contracts -- bar employees from quitting to go work for a competitor. In the past, this kind of agreement only applied to executives, but in recent years more workers find themselves trapped by them. A recent study found that 1 in 5 American workers is stuck in a noncompete clause.

Last year, Idaho passed one of the most restrictive laws in the country. Workers there must now prove that taking a new job will not hurt their former employer.

The freedom to change jobs is essential to competition. Noncompete clauses are no way to treat workers in a modern economy. This is another byproduct of powerful corporations using their political influence to keep down worker wages and opportunities.

By Conor Dougherty