As the federal government considers a ban on noncompete agreements in labor contracts, the Washington Post has new reporting on the people harmed by these clauses. Noncompetes ban high and low-wage workers from leaving their job for a competitor or starting a competing business for months and even years after leaving their current employer.
The Washington Post talked to people in five states – including a doctor, hair stylists, and dancers – about the lawsuits and financial troubles they’re dealing with because of alleged non-compete violations companies are hitting them with.
In one case, a Minneapolis couple was fired from their jobs as caretakers at a condo after they led a class-action wage-theft lawsuit against their employer. The couple is barred from taking other caretaker jobs for a year.
“That was really a problem for us,” Kevin Borowske told the Washington Post. “We don’t have any income.”
In another, a hairstylist in New York left the salon she was working at to open up her own business. Soon after – the Post reports – the hairstylist’s former employer sued her and is trying to get her to shut down. The suit alleges the hairstylist broke the non-compete agreement by opening a new salon within 10 miles of the one she used to work at.
“We barely get by to pay our bills,” Shelbie Brennen told the Washington Post. “This has become an extreme hardship in so many ways.”
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