Employment Update: FTC Bans Non-Compete Provisions


The Federal Trade Commission approved the Final Non-Compete Clause Rule (“Final Rule”) on April 23, 2024. The Final Rule’s effective date is 120 days after publication in the Federal Register. This rule will ban non-compete provisions for most employees, except for the following: (i) “Senior Executives” who have existing non-compete provisions in place prior to the effective date, and (ii) for non-compete provisions entered into pursuant to a bona fide sale of a business of the person’s ownership interest in the business or all or substantially all of the business assets.

Does this impact contractors and severance agreements?

The Final Rule also applies to non-compete provisions in severance agreements, as well as for contractor agreements.

Definition of Senior Executive

Senior Executives are defined as those in “a policy-making position” with a total annual compensation of at least $151,164 in the preceding year. The compensation can include salary, commissions, and/or bonuses that were earned in the 52-week period. Compensation does not include fringe benefits.

Will existing non-compete agreements remain valid for other workers?

Existing non-compete provisions with workers other than Senior Executives are not enforceable after the Final Rule’s effective date. The Final Rule provides that notice must be given to any current or former worker who has a non-compete provision that is no longer enforceable. The FTC provides a model notice* to notify the worker that the company will not enforce any non-compete clause, that the worker is free to work for a competitor and may start their own competitive business.

Are there challenges to the rule?

The Final Rule has already been challenged in court, and it stands to see if any injunction will be issued on the implementation of the Final Rule.

What does this ban mean for my business?

If the Final Rule survives legal challenges and becomes effective, companies should have all agreements finalized with any new Senior Executives prior to the implementation of the Final Rule. Any non-compete provision (including Senior Executives) entered into after the Final Rule’s effective date will not be enforceable. For any workers who have signed non-compete provisions, the Final Rule provides a notice requirement. However, companies may also want to consider drafting an amendment to their current employee agreements to remove and rephrase any offending non-compete provisions.


Our Team will continue to monitor the developments with this decision.

If you have questions you would like to discuss with respect to non-competes or any other employment issue, please contact any of the attorneys in our Employment Law Group.

*The model notice can be found on page 566 of the final regulation: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/ftc_gov/pdf/noncompete-rule.pdf

Click here to download this alert as a PDF.

How Can We Help You?

To discuss how we can help you navigate your legal questions, problems, or concerns, please contact us today.

Scroll to Top