New Noncompete, Nonsolicit, No-Recruit Low-Wage Thresholds (2024)

We finally have all the information necessary to update all of the minimum compensation thresholds that must be satisfied before an employee can be subject to a noncompete and other restrictive covenants in 2024.

As a reminder eleven states and Washington, D.C. have adopted such minimum compensation thresholds or other criteria.

In order of effective date, they are: Oregon (2008; updated 2022), Illinois (2016; updated 2022), Massachusetts (2018), Maine (2019), Maryland (2019; updated 2023), New Hampshire (2019), Rhode Island (2020), Virginia, (2020), Washington (2020), Nevada (2021), Colorado (2022), and Washington, D.C. (2022).

In six of these states and D.C., the thresholds are to be determined annually: ColoradoMaine, Oregon, Rhode Island, VirginiaWashington, and Washington, D.C. In addition, although not determined annually, Maryland increased its threshold effective October of last year.

The remaining states either have no planned increases for this year (Illinois, New Hampshire) or use a different standard (Massachusetts and Nevada).

Some of these states also have thresholds for the use of other restrictions: nonsolicitation agreements (Colorado and Illinios); no-recruit agreements (Illinois); no-service agreement (Virginia); and conflict-of-interest/anti-moonlighting policies and restrictions (Maryland and Washington, D.C.).

The details are set out below, along with a new, more detailed chart with the updated numbers.

New thresholds for 2024

Colorados wage threshold went up 10% to $123,750. In addition, the threshold for use of customer nonsolicitation agreements is going up to $74,250 (i.e., 60% of $123,750).

Maine’s threshold is 400% of the federal poverty level for an individual ($15,060 for 2024), i.e., $60,240.

Maryland’s threshold increased effective October 1, 2023 to 150% of state minimum wage. The minimum wage in Maryland is $15.00 per hour, which means that the threshold is $22.50 per hour (i.e., roughly $46,800). Note that Maryland no longer makes a distinction between large and small employers for these purposes.

Oregons threshold increased according to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, West Region (All Items). The 2023 CPI was 4.3 percent. Accordingly, as set forth in the state’s employer information page,* the new threshold is $113,241.

Rhode Island’s threshold is 250% of the poverty threshold (though Rhode Island has separate criteria as well), which is $37,650.

Virginia bases its wage threshold on the average weekly wage in Virginia. The 2024 average weekly wage threshold is $1,410 per week. (Note that there are nuances to be aware of, specifically, (1) “interns, students, apprentices, or trainees employed . . . at a trade or occupation in order to gain work or educational experience” are exempt; (2) independent contractors have a separate calculation; and (3) anyone “whose earnings are derived, in whole or in predominant part, from sales commissions, incentives, or bonuses paid to the employee by the employer” are not covered by the exemption.)

Washingtons wage threshold is adjusted annually for inflation and this year increased by 3.29% to $120,559.99. (In addition, the threshold for independent contracts increased to $301,399.98.)

Washington, D.C.’s threshold took effect on October 1, 2022, and increased for the first time this year. The increases (which will now be annual) are based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, which this year appears to be 3.6 percent. But the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) applied a very slightly lower percentage (go figure), presumably a rounding issue. According to DOES, the 2024 threshold is $154,200 (and $257,000 for medical specialists).

State thresholds staying the same (in 2024) 

Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, and New Hampshire will all remain the same in 2024.

Illinois will remain at $75,000, and is not scheduled to increase until 2027. (The statute establishes thresholds in five-year increments.)

Massachusetts bases its criteria on whether the employee is exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. While the FLSA includes a minimum salary threshold that could change, no change is likely anytime soon. (Massachusetts has other criteria as well, but they will not change, absent a statutory amendment.)

Nevada bases its exemption on whether the employee is paid hourly.

New Hampshire bases its threshold on the federal minimum wage (specifically, two times the federal minimum wage, which is $14.50 per hour) or the state tipped minimum wage, whichever applies.

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The chart below provides all of the wage thresholds (and other criteria) applicable in 2024. 

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We know 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 hope you find all of these resources useful. More are coming.

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.

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*Thank you Reeves N. Gillis and Melissa McDonagh for each providing Oregon’s official threshold information and information confirming Washington’s increase.