A government agency is taking steps to, once again, shift employer-employee power dynamics.
This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it would move to ban noncompete clauses, allowing workers to switch jobs as they please.
Noncompete clauses typically prevent workers from taking new positions at rival companies during a specific time frame or starting their own companies, often keeping professionals from finding jobs with better pay and benefits.
“The freedom to change jobs is core to economic liberty and to a competitive, thriving economy,” said Lina M. Khan, FTC Chair.
Employers state that noncompetes help protect proprietary company information. However, President Biden argues that this type of restriction doesn’t just impact big trade secrets.
“A recent study found one in five workers without a college education is subject to non-compete agreements,” Biden said in a 2021 speech. “They’re construction workers, hotel workers, disproportionately women and women of color.”
According to the FTC, banning noncompetes could bring annual wages to around $300 billion, opening up new and innovative workplace opportunities for professionals.