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Total Articles: 5

New York Attorney General Answers White House’s Call: Promises Bill to Curb Non-Compete Use

On the same day that the White House released its “State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements,” encouraging states to adopt best practice policies in the enforcement of non-compete agreements, New York State’s Attorney General announced that he plans to introduce legislation in 2017 to curb the use of these agreements. According to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s October 25 press release, the new bill promises to “curb the rampant misuse of non-compete agreements, which depress wages and limit economic mobility by banning workers from employment at a competitor for a mandated period after leaving a job.” Currently, New York does not have any statutes regarding the use of restrictive covenants, so agreements are only subject to judicial common law.

NY Attorney General Schneiderman Declares “War” on Non-Compete Agreements That He Perceives as Overbroad

In an initiative that is virtually without precedent in New York, in the past two months (June 15, June 22 and August 4) Attorney General Schneiderman announced agreements with three separate companies in three different industries under which they each agreed to stop utilizing non-compete agreements that applied to a broad range of their employees.

New York Court Refuses to Enforce Agreement's Covenant Not to Compete Where Employer Breached the Agreement First

Executive Summary: The right to enforce a covenant not to compete may be lost when the employer first violates the terms of the same agreement, says a New York appeals court. In Fewer v. GFI Grp. Inc. et al., 124 A.D.3d 457, 2015 WL 176227 (First Dep't. Jan. 15, 2015), the Appellate Division covering New York County rejected GFI's attempt to enforce the covenant not to compete contained in the employment agreement of former derivatives desk president Donald Fewer because GFI breached the terms of the same agreement by demoting Fewer before he resigned. That breach also cost GFI the chance use the "employee choice" doctrine as an independent basis for enforcement of its non-compete provision.

New York City Employers Are Subject to Strict Liability for Supervisors’ Unlawful Discriminatory Conduct, Court Rules

New York City employers cannot rely on the affirmative defense, available under federal and state law for claims of sexual harassment and retaliation by a supervisor, which shields employers from liability when the employer exercises reasonable care to prevent and correct any discriminatory action and when the employee fails to take advantage of established complaint procedures. The New York Court of Appeals held on May 6, 2010, in Zakrzewska v. The New School, No. 09-0611-CV, 2010 WL 1791091 (May 6, 2010), that the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) imposes strict liability on an employer for unlawful discriminatory practices engaged in by an employee or agent who exercises managerial or supervisory responsibility.

New York Governor Signs Broadcast Employees Freedom to Work Act.

On August 6, 2008, Governor Paterson signed the Broadcast Employees Freedom to Work Act into law, effective immediately, which bans broadcasting industry employers from conditioning employment of non-management broadcast employees on the signing of post-employment non-compete agreements. Any broadcasting industry employer who violates this law may be civilly liable to the broadcast employee for damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.