IMAGE: Dana Nessel

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and 18 other Attorney General’s submitted a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) encouraging them to limit the use of abusive non-compete clauses in employment contracts.

They feel the clauses continue to negatively impact low-income workers while limiting job mobility and opportunities for advancement for all affected workers.

“Nearly 12 percent of all workers with an annual income of $40,000 or less and no college degree are bound by a non-compete clause which limits their professional growth and fosters an anti-competitive approach to business,” Nessel said. “We are calling on the FTC to do the right thing and take action on these clauses that have negatively impacted Michigan’s workforce and unfairly burdened workers with little to no bargaining power.”

Nessel said the clauses in employment contracts prevent workers in many industries from moving from one business to another, or from starting their own business. She said that clauses can stop someone who works at a big chain coffee shop from leaving to work at a local artisan shop where the schedule or the management is better.

30 million Americans are currently restricted by non-compete clauses, Nessel said.

She said employers use these clauses instead of less harmful ways to protect their interests such as nondisclosure agreements, better compensation, and benefits for employers to retain workers by becoming better places to work, instead of using scare tactics.

To read a copy of the letter, click here.

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