U.S. Chamber of Commerce to challenge NLRB’s noncompete ban as a “blatantly unlawful overreach”

It should come as no surprise that immediately following the May 30 memo by National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel, Jennifer A. Abruzzo, stating that most noncompetes (and some no-recruit agreements and confidentiality agreements) violate the NRLA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced that it opposes and will challenge the “blatantly unlawful overreach.” 

The Chamber’s announcement says as follows: 

Whatever one thinks about the merits of noncompete agreements, every American should be disturbed by the idea that one government lawyer can simply decide that noncompetes are unlawful and therefore with the support of three commissioners declare illegal an employment practice that has legally existed for over 200 years. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will utilize all available tools to fight this extreme and blatantly unlawful overreach.

The statement is similar in many ways to the Chamber’s announcement that it intended to challenge the FTC’s proposed rule to ban noncompetes. That announcement, as you may recall, resulted in certain Senators asking the Chamber for information about its objection. We’ll see what comes of this one. 

Of course, unlike the FTC’s proposed rule, Ms. Abruzzo’s memo is not a rule – but it does take effect immediately.

So, if you haven’t already taken steps to review your agreements and to implement a proper trade secret protection program, now is the time. Here is a primer and checklist for protecting trade secrets and other legitimate business interests