New Hampshire, (July 22, 2019) – On July 10, 2019, the Governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu, signed a bill that prohibits non-competition agreements for employees who make 200% or less of the federal minimum wage, which translates to $14.50/hour.
S.B. 197 will go into effect on September 8, 2019, and will apply to any agreements that prohibit low-wage workers from: (1) working for another employer for a specified period of time; (2) working in a specified geographical area; or (3) working for another employer that is similar to such low-wage employee's work for the former employer who is a party to the agreement.
The statute, which was passed with strong bipartisan support, declares all non-compete agreements between employers and low-wage workers "void and unenforceable."
Notably, the statute does not address non-compete agreements with independent contractors and does not state whether it will apply retroactively to agreements with low-wage workers that were signed prior to the statute taking effect on September 8, 2019.
Companies who have employees in New Hampshire should review and update their non-competition agreements in light of the new statute and, where such agreements are no longer available, make sure that they have other measures in place for those employees who are exposed to proprietary information in the course of their duties.
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