What you need to know about wage thresholds for noncompetes — updated chart for D.C.

Our chart of the wage thresholds and other criteria that must be satisfied if a noncompete is to be used for a particular employee has been updated to reflect a brand new noncompete law in Washington, D.C.

As of October 1, 2022, Washington, D.C. now prohibits the use of noncompetes for most employees earning under $150,000 ($250,000 for so-called “medical specialists,” i.e., physicians who have completed their residency).

In total, there are now eleven states (plus D.C.) with such criteria. In order of adoption, they are: Oregon (originally in 2008, though later updated in 2021), Illinois (in 2016, though updated in 2021), Massachusetts (in 2018), Maine (in 2019), Maryland (in 2019), New Hampshire (in 2019), Rhode Island (in 2020), Virginia, (in 2020), Washington (in 2020), Nevada (in 2021), Colorado (in 2022), and Washington, D.C. (in 2022).

To help keep track of the changes, we have again updated our chart summarizing the current criteria in each of the states and now D.C. (Note that the specific dollar values may be subject to increase for inflation or otherwise, though the chart is current as of the date of posting.)



Wage Criteria (October 2022)

Maine400% of the federal poverty level ($54,360 (est.))
Maryland$15 per hour or $31,200 annually
MassachusettsNonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act
NevadaPaid solely on an hourly wage basis, exclusive of tips or gratuities
New Hampshire$14.50 per hour (2x federal minimum wage) or tipped minimum wage, whichever applies
Rhode Island250% of the federal poverty level for individuals ($33,975 (est.)) or nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act
VirginiaAverage weekly wage in Virginia ($67,080† (est.))
Washington$107,301.04 ($268,252.59 for independent contractors)
$150,000 ($250,000 for medical specialists)

The laws are continuing to change around the country, so it is critical to stay on top of them.

This year alone, there were 98 state bills pending, seven federal bills,1 and D.C.’s various bills. As we near the end of the year, we saw eight noncompete law changes in five states and D.C. More broadly, there have been 42 changes in 28 states plus D.C. in the last decade-plus.

Given all the changes, it is advisable 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; the most current version will always be available here. (Please note that the chart will be updated shortly for D.C.)

We know first hand how hard it is to keep up with the ever-changing requirements around the country. To help, we have created the following resources (available for free):

We also have a 50-State and Federal Trade Secret Law Chart, providing a comparison the trade secrets laws nationally to the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (downloadable PDF).

We hope you find all of these resources useful.

And please note that we are grateful for all of the input we’ve received over the years, and welcome any suggestions for improvements that you may be willing to share.

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


[1] The seven federal bills (at a high level) are as follows:

  • The VA Hiring Enhancement Act (H.R.3401) — to void noncompetes for physicians going to work at VA hospitals;
  • The Workforce Mobility Act of 2021 (H.R.1367) — to ban employee noncompetes;
  • The Workforce Mobility Act of 2021 (S.483) — to ban employee noncompetes;
  • Freedom To Compete Act (S.2375) — to ban noncompetes for workers who are not exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act;
  • FTC Whistleblower Act of 2021 (H.R.6093) — to void noncompetes for whistleblowers to the FTC;
  • Employment Freedom for All Act (H.R.5851) — to void noncompetes for any employee who is fired for not complying with their employer’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate;
  • Restoring Workers’ Rights Act of 2022 (HR-8755) — to ban noncompetes for workers who are not exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The original post included a weekly threshold. However, given the wording of the statute, the weekly threshold likely does not apply and has been removed. 

Please note that this number has been corrected based on Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry announcement of the weekly threshold of $1,290 per week for 2022.