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FTC Issues Rule Banning Worker Noncompete Agreements

On April 23, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted 3-2 along party lines to ban all new noncompete agreements nationwide and render existing noncompete agreements binding most workers unenforceable. The Final Rule, slated for publication in the Federal Register, provides that employers’ use of noncompete agreements amounts to an “unfair method of competition” that runs afoul of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

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For a deeper dive, join our multidisciplinary team of employment and antitrust lawyers for a webinar covering what employers need to know about the Final Rule and what to do next.

FTC’s Final Noncompete Rule: What It Means and Next Steps for Employers
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Webinar | 2:00 – 3:00 pm (EDT)

Register for the webinar here.

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Workplace Speech Policies Limit Legal and PR Risks

The rules and regulations on workplace and employee speech, interpretation and enforcement are rapidly changing. Companies must carefully factor legal and business implications into their strategy to reach the desired outcomes for their customers, workforce and brand.

In this Law360 article, Michael Sheehan, Michelle Strowhiro and Alexander Randolph examine important considerations for companies as they navigate the complexities of workplace and employee speech.

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Heightened Labor Scrutiny Looms Over Workplace Rules

A recent National Labor Relations Board decision will likely expose a broader range of workplace rules to regulator enforcement. According to this HR Dive article, introducing even ordinary workplace rules during unionization could draw new scrutiny. However, as Christopher Foster and Marjorie C. Soto Garcia explain, there are steps employers can take to mitigate risk.

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Managing Your Workforce During Market Volatility: Labor and Union Issues

Corporate transactions and investments involving union issues require concrete analysis of risk, contingencies and game plans. In a January 31, 2024, webinar, McDermott’s Labor and Employee Benefits Groups will focus on practical steps and strategies to successfully navigate and evaluate key considerations for transactions involving unionized businesses.

Discussion topics include:

  • Union notice and bargaining triggers
  • Successorship, neutrality and organizing issues
  • Multiemployer pension, withdrawal and other benefits considerations

Register for the webinar here.

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Chicago Employees to Receive 10 Days of Paid Leave

As of December 31, 2023, all employees physically working in Chicago for at least two hours in a two-week period will earn both one hour of paid leave and one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, pursuant to an ordinance passed by the Chicago City Council on November 9, 2023. The new ordinance expands the current ordinance, which requires employers to provide only paid sick leave to employees.

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California Wage Law Puts ‘Band-Aids’ on Healthcare Worker Shortages

While California healthcare workers will see their pay increase over the next several years thanks to a new state law, industry analysts say more must be done to address healthcare workforce shortages. In this Bloomberg Law article, Michelle Strowhiro offers insight into the pressures facing healthcare providers.

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Top Three Labor Trends to Watch for in Q4 2023

As we enter the last quarter of 2023, here are some of the key issues impacting employers:

1. New joint employer standard: More companies will be pulled into union organizing campaigns, contract negotiations and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proceedings involving their contractors when the NLRB issues a new joint employer rule.

2. Increased NLRB investigations and litigation: Union elections, activism and litigation at the NLRB are spiking. So far in 2023, there has been a 16% increase in unfair labor practice charges at the NLRB and high levels of union election petitions.

3. More aggressive union activity: More companies are facing pressure to accept terms, including adoption of union “neutrality agreements” which fast-track union organizing. There has been a 72% increase in strikes in 2023. Unions are expanding their ambitions, too. Physician groups are now targeted for major union organizing campaigns.

McDermott’s traditional labor subgroup advises companies and investors on union issues across industries in the United States and Europe. The team provides cross-disciplinary advising and works seamlessly with leading McDermott partners in employee benefits, antitrust, tax, corporate and healthcare practices, among others.

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