FTC and DOJ to Hold the Next Workshop on Noncompetes

The FTC and DOJ announced yesterday that, on December 6 and 7, they will be hosting “Making Competition Work: Promoting Competition in Labor Markets,” a two-day workshop “to discuss efforts to promote competitive labor markets and worker mobility.” It will be webcast on the FTC’s website.

The press release announcing the workshop says that “a series of panels, presentations, and remarks will address competition issues affecting labor markets and the welfare of workers, including: labor monopsony; the increased use of restrictive contractual clauses in labor agreements, including non-competes and non-disclosure agreements; . . . the role of other federal agencies in ensuring fair competition in labor markets . . . .” Catch that? It’s not just noncompetes (and, presumably, no-poach agreements) — NDAs are on the list. (I am guessing that this is intended to address NDAs used in the settlement of employment disputes, as opposed to NDAs used to protect trade secrets, but we’ll see.)

The press release continues, “Panelists will be invited to discuss potential steps antitrust enforcers can take to better target enforcement resources, improve public guidance, and pursue a ‘whole of government’ approach to ensuring fair competition for workers and consumers by leveraging interagency resources.” Should be interesting!

If you want to submit comments, you may do so through December 20, 2021, by submitting them at Regulations.gov.

For those who have been following this, I am checking whether a letter that I and a group of nearly 60 lawyers and paralegals submitted back in July will be considered submitted for this. If not, I plan to resubmit it before the deadline. If you are interested in being added as a signatory, please email me ASAP.