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Women and minorities may suffer even more disadvantages in the workplace due to non-compete agreements. This is according to a recent article in USA Today, which brings to light an important consideration related to such provisions.

Already, non-compete agreements are under increased scrutiny. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a ban on such provisions in employment agreements. According to Chairwoman Lina Khan’s statement, “noncompete clauses reduce competition in labor markets, suppressing earnings and opportunity even for workers who are not directly subject to a noncompete.”

Now, there is a push to limit such clauses for another reason: to promote equality in the workplace. The USA Today article highlights the following statement from Najah Farley, senior staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project:

“With workers of color, particularly Black workers who are already subject to severe wealth inequality in this country, you are definitely putting them in a situation that is untenable…They already have less wealth and less ability to withstand those kinds of economic barriers.” 

The public is invited to comment on the proposed rule. If adopted, this will be a seismic shift in the way employment agreements are drafted and enforced.