Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced the Freedom to Compete Act, legislation that would protect entry-level, low-wage workers from non-compete agreements which limit their employment opportunities, and restrict their ability to negotiate higher wages and benefits. Specifically, the Freedom to Compete Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) to prevent employers from using non-compete agreements in employment contracts for certain non-exempt employees. A one-pager of the bill is available here.
“Non-compete agreements that arbitrarily restrict entry-level, low-wage workers from pursuing better employment opportunities are egregious and outdated in the twenty-first century American economy,” Rubio said. “My bill would empower these workers by preventing employers from using non-compete agreements in employment contracts. I hope my colleagues will join me in passing this bill so we can enhance the upward mobility of our low-wage American workers.”
The Freedom to Compete Act would:
- Apply only to employees who do not qualify for the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime exemption for bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees;
- Prohibit an employer from enforcing, or threatening to enforce, a non-compete agreement with a non-exempt employee;
- Prohibit an employer from entering into, extending, or renewing a non-compete agreement with a non-exempt employee; and
- Be enforced by the Department of Labor under the existing FLSA framework for minimum wage and overtime violations.