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1. I write a lot about monopoly power, but what I don't usually do is offer things you can do about it. But today I will. This is on something that many scholars and activists have worked on, called a non-compete contract. A non-compete is a favorite toy of the Bob's.
2. A non-compete is a specific employment contract or clause in a contract that prohibits you from choosing to work for someone else in the same or a similar industry for a period of time. mattstoller.substack.com/p/free-our-doc…
3. The extent of non-competes is so extreme that it’s likely holding down wage growth and preventing the formation of new companies. The stories are endless. Doctors and nurses who are fired can’t tell their patients what happened. nytimes.com/2019/03/15/bus…
4. Journalists with noncompetes can't write for someone else. But it's everywhere in the economy, from camp counselors to engineers to check-cashing workers to hair stylists to cheer coaches. cjr.org/business_of_ne…
5. Roughly 20% of Americans now have a non-compete agreement. papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Papers.cf…
6. These empower every mini-Napoleon in American life. One story is that of an employer who "waved around the temporary restraining order she’d obtained" against someone who had gone looking for another job, intimidating employees stuck with low wages or bad work schedules.
7. I've heard from small business owners who tell me it makes them afraid to hire someone who might be a perfect fit, for fear they'd be sued by another litigious employer.
8. Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission has authority to ban “unfair methods of competition,” so it can just make these agreements illegal with a rule. And after years of work by scholars and activists, the FTC finally opened up a workshop. And they are taking comments.
9. You can offer feedback here on non-competes. Tell them your experience, or just your views. You can do it anonymously too. regulations.gov/docket?D=FTC-2…

The FTC takes these comments seriously, not because they are nice, but because they are afraid of the public. So chime in.
10. My write-up on non-competes is here. mattstoller.substack.com/p/free-our-doc…
@Amanda_Jaret @sandeepvaheesan 12. In terms of advocacy on non-competes, @Jane_R_Flanagan and @TerriGerstein have also done important work. If you *really* want to delve into the weeds, the FTC workshop transcript is out. ftc.gov/system/files/d…
@Amanda_Jaret @sandeepvaheesan @Jane_R_Flanagan @TerriGerstein 13. Very common. I also hear from people in sexist or discriminatory work environments who can't leave. Someone told me a line worker died at their company because of inadequate safety practices. This person wanted to leave as a result. But couldn't.
@Amanda_Jaret @sandeepvaheesan @Jane_R_Flanagan @TerriGerstein 14. I've also heard from a few people who both had to sign non-competes, and used them as employers. I can see a few narrow reasons for them, but mostly they are really problematic.
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