Government Sanctioned Worker Servitude

The use of non-compete, post-employment restrictions, non-compete clauses, non-compete contracts, non-competition agreements, trade secret protection agreements, restrictive covenants and more have the same objective, to limit an employee’s future job opportunities. The stated employer goal is to limit exposure to the possible loss of trade secrets and to prevent employees from stealing customers only to begin new startups using those same customers. To curb this perceived problem employers increasingly require employees sign restrictive agreements that come into effect after an employee voluntarily or involuntarily leaves a company.

This corporate practice is a growing phenomenon in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury (DOT), this practice stagnates wages, forces employees to stay in unwanted jobs, limits entrepreneurial startups, and helps corporations profit from suing former employees who have broken the terms of the employment contract. Because of this growing trend (14% of U.S. workers) many jurisdictions and legislatures are creating laws to strengthen employee’s rights, however at the same time lawmakers across the country are reluctant to put forth legislation to end or curtail this practice.

Instead lawmakers are trying to walk the line of appeasing both employers and employees. This non stance will help to ensure employees are on the losing end of current & future litigious battles with previous employers. Utah Republicans Representative Mike Schultz and Senator Stuart Adams (Majority Whip) in a press conference moved to ensure constituents signing non-compete clauses wasn’t tantamount to servitude, they said “you’re already owned by government and corporations, you just don’t know it, now we’re making it obvious, just sign the agreements because you’re chattel, now get back to work losers, while you still have a job”.

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