Staying on top of the activity over the Biden Administration’s efforts to ban noncompetes can be a full-time job.
Yesterday (June 1), the Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability announced “an investigation into President Biden’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appointee Chair Lina Khan.”
The announcement says in part as follows:
FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson recently resigned from her role after concerns about the integrity of the FTC under Chair Khan’s leadership, citing abuses of power and disregard for the rule of law and federal ethics standards. In a letter to top officials at the FTC, Chairman Comer is requesting documents and communications to understand these allegations and Chair Khan’s actions in this role.
Chair Comer’s letter provides in part as follows:
The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating matters raised by Commissioner Christine S. Wilson’s February 14, 2023, announcement of her unexpected resignation from the Federal Trade Commission (Commission or FTC). Commissioner Wilson declared her intent to resign over deep concerns that the Commission, under current Chair Lina M. Khan’s leadership, is abusing its power and disregarding the rule of law, due process, and federal ethics laws. We seek documents and information to shed light on Commissioner Wilson’s allegations and determine the extent to which the Commission has deviated from its mission to protect America’s consumers.
* * *
These matters raise questions whether the FTC under Chair Khan has become a rogue agency—particularly given Chair Khan’s drive at the beginning of her tenure to “bulldoz[e] procedural safeguards,” “consolidate agency power,” “unilaterally assert and expand regulatory authority,” and “abandon bipartisan and open processes.” We also are concerned whether departures from prior norms under Chair Khan are due to White House influence. President Biden, after all, called upon Chair Khan to play a leading role in implementation of his Executive Order 14036 on “Promoting Competition in the American Economy.”
To kick off its investigation, the letter asks the FTC for nine categories of documents that the Committee wants delivered by June 15.
We’ll see what happens next – including whether the Committee starts an investigation of the NLRB over the General Counsel’s memorandum finding that noncompetes (and other agreements) violate the NLRA, a.k.a., the NLRB’s “blatantly unlawful overreach.”
*Thank you to Erika Hahn for her ongoing help ensuring that I am on top of all of the recent developments.