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FTC Final Rule Banning Worker Noncompete Provisions: Employer Impact, Legal Challenges, Preparing for Compliance

Covered Entities and Workers; Effect on Other Restrictive Covenants; Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will provide an in-depth look at the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) long-anticipated final rule banning worker noncompete provisions with few exceptions. The panel will examine the impact on businesses, address interaction with state law, and, given the expansive scope of the rule, address what counsel and clients should be doing now to prepare for compliance despite legal challenges.


On Apr. 23, 2024, the FTC published its long-anticipated final rule banning the use of noncompete clauses in the workplace for most workers with limited exceptions. Despite immediate legal challenges, given the scope and impact of the final rule, counsel and their clients should understand the rule's requirements and begin preparing for compliance in the event that the rule fully survives judicial scrutiny. Timing will be important.

The final rule effectively covers any person or business operating for profit within the FTC's jurisdiction and imposes a prospective ban on new noncompete agreements with any worker, broadly defined to include employees, independent contractors, externs, interns, volunteers, apprentices, and sole proprietors. The rule also invalidates all existing noncompete provisions except for those with "senior executives" who are narrowly defined in the rule.

The rule defines "noncompete clause" as a term or condition that prohibits, penalizes, or prevents workers from seeking or accepting work after the end of their employment. The FTC states that whether a given contractual provision constitutes a "noncompete" clause is a fact-specific inquiry. Therefore, whether other restrictive covenants such as non-solicitation clauses can fall within the rule's purview although these are not specifically addressed.

Before the rule's effective date, employers will be required to provide written notice to current or former workers that their noncompete clause cannot be legally enforced and will not be enforced against the worker. There are limited exceptions to the ban.

Listen as our expert panel provides an in-depth look at the FTC's final rule banning the use of worker noncompete provisions. The panel will discuss the impact on businesses, address the current state of the rule's implementation including any legal challenges, and describe the rule's interaction with state laws. The panel will also offer best practices for preparing for compliance.



  1. Introduction
    1. FTC Act Sections 5 and 6(g)
    2. History of the FTC final rule
  2. FTC final rule
    1. Purpose
    2. Covered entities and workers
    3. Noncompete clauses defined
    4. Existing noncompete provisions currently in place
    5. Limited exceptions
    6. Employer notice requirement
    7. State law interaction
  3. Legal challenges
  4. Preparing for compliance
    1. Contract review and revision
    2. Protecting trade secrets and other confidential information
    3. Giving notice
    4. Other considerations
  5. Practitioner takeaways


The panel will review these and other important considerations:

  • What businesses and workers are covered by the final rule?
  • How does the rule define noncompete clauses?
  • How will the rule affect other restrictive covenants?
  • What action does the rule require of employers?
  • What actions can businesses take to protect trade secrets and confidential information in light of the final rule?
  • What interaction will the final rule have with state laws related to noncompete provisions?
  • How should counsel and their clients begin preparing for compliance?


Beck, Russell
Russell Beck

Beck Reed Riden

Mr. Beck is a business, trade secrets, and employee mobility litigator, nationally recognized for his trade secrets and...  |  Read More

Fink, Benjamin
Benjamin I. Fink

Berman Fink Van Horn

Mr. Fink is known for his work in noncompete, trade secret and competition-related disputes. He has represented...  |  Read More

Kennedy, Paul
Paul J. Kennedy

Littler Mendelson

With more than 30 years of experience, Mr. Kennedy is a trial lawyer first, who has experience with a wide range of...  |  Read More

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