Noncompete Notice Requirements — Updated for D.C.’s anticipated amendment

We recently updated our chart of the notice requirements mandated by each state for companies using employee noncompetes. However, just days later, Washington, D.C.’s Council passed an amendment that will fundamentally change Washington, D.C.’s planned new noncompete law, including the notice requirements. The amendment appears to be a foregone conclusion, and the law, as amended, is set to become effective on October 1, 2022.

Accordingly, we have now updated the chart in anticipation of D.C.’s law changing.

By way of background, as we have explained before, the day an employee shows up for their first day of work is often the day they learn that a noncompete is a requirement of the job. But, according to a 2015 study by Professors Evan Starr, J.J. Prescott, and Norm Bishara, providing advance notice that a noncompete will be required actually leads to 11% more training and 6.6% more job satisfaction.

Oregon was the first state to require such advance notice, and since then, seven other states — Massachusetts (2018), New Hampshire (2019), Maine (2019), Washington (2020), Virginia (2020), Illinois (2021), and Colorado (as of August 10, 2022) — and Washington, D.C. (2021, though updated and likely effective October 1, 2022) have all followed suit. But, the requirements vary wildly.

To help keep track, below is a (downloadable) state-by-state chart of the substantive notice requirements and their timing.

We will continue to keep you posted if and as things develop.

In the meantime, you may also want to check your agreements more generally to make sure you are complying with the noncompete laws in all states in which you have employees. Our 50-state noncompete chart (created in 2010 and updated regularly since to keep track of the ever-changing noncompete laws) can serve as a starting point. (Please note that our 50-state noncompete chart will be updated shortly; you can always find the current version here.)

 

*A huge thank you to Erika Hahn for all of her extraordinary help in monitoring all of the bills!