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SHRM Statement on FTC Noncompete Ruling

ALEXANDRIA, Va. —Emily M. Dickens, SHRM Chief of Staff and Head of Government Affairs, issued the following statement in response to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) non-compete ruling:

“While SHRM shares the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) interest in promoting a well-functioning labor market that fosters the ability of workers to earn higher wages, we do not support the FTC’s sweeping blanket ban on the use of non-compete agreements.   

SHRM has consistently advocated for allowing parties to consent to well-structured non-compete agreements versus a blanket ban on such agreements. Blanket bans on non-compete agreements pose significant challenges for HR professionals tasked with safeguarding their employers' intellectual property and preventing unfair competition. Employers devote substantial resources to providing training and educational support to their employees.  

We recognize and appreciate the FTC's commitment to advancing worker mobility. However, we firmly believe that this objective can be achieved without disregarding employers' rights to protect their investments in training and intellectual property. 

This is why SHRM crafted its regulatory comment to feature member stories that show the value of these agreements when used responsibly. We offered the FTC less restrictive alternatives, such as establishing a minimum salary threshold for workers, limiting the types of employees who can enter into non-compete agreements, or even prohibiting the use of non-competes in certain industries. SHRM's approach is rooted in balance. We believe in striving for equilibrium between the FTC's objective of enhancing worker mobility and employers' legitimate interests in training employees and safeguarding confidential information. 

As the leading voice for HR professionals and business executives, SHRM represents nearly 340,000 members who are dedicated to fostering positive collaboration and nurturing workplace cultures where both workers and employers thrive.” 

About SHRM

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