"Changing Currents in Employment Law" is the D.C. Bar's annual three-hour event featuring legal updates and practice tips from the area's top employment attorneys — all for CLE credit. TELG's Scott Oswald serves as faculty chair and will moderate the event on October 25, 2022. Here he previews the panel on the changing uses of non-compete agreements with panelist Christine Burke of Lorenger & Carnell PLC.
This video interview by
TELG managing principal R. Scott Oswald was published by The Employment Law Group, P.C. on August 2, 2022.
» “Changing Currents in Employment Law” will take place on October 25, 2022. Click here for more details and registration options.
(Transcribed and edited lightly by The Employment Law Group)
R. Scott Oswald:Welcome to our preview of this year’s “Changing Currents in Employment Law,” the D.C. Bar’s three-hour fast-paced fall CLE that previews cutting-edge topics in employment law from both the management and employee side perspectives.
I’m Scott Oswald. I am faculty chair of “Changing Currents in Employment Law,” and I’m joined today by Christine Burke, who is a lawyer at Lorenger & Carnell.
Christine Burke: Hi, Scott, how are you?
Oswald: I’m good. You’re speaking on a panel entitled “Competitive Landscape: New Limits on the Use of Non-Compete Agreements.”
You know, non-competes: There was a day when most of these were exclusively found in kind of executive type contracts, but now we see them proliferating in various positions and across industries. Give us kind of a top-level overview of your panel and your co-presenter.
Burke: Well, you’re right. I mean, there was a time where non-competes were reserved to executives, and then the tide really turned, and there were a lot of employers who have been trying to use non-competes for almost all of their employees, including lower-level employees. There have been a lot of states in recent years who have noticed this and tried to curb this kind of behavior by passing laws that restrict the use of non-competes.
So, during our panel, we are going to focus on the new law in D.C. The non-compete law that was passed a while ago has gone through a few changes before it ever went into effect and is now scheduled to go into effect in October. It is a little bit pared back from where it was originally, but it’s still quite significant in that it limits non-competes for all but high-wage earners effectively.
Carla Brown, my co-presenter, and I will be talking about the D.C. non-compete law and all of its contours as well as trying to compare it to some of the other more recent laws that have been passed restricting non-competes and some of the longer standing laws on non-competes in places such as California, where they’ve been banned for many years. We’ll be trying to approach it from, you know, both perspectives. Carla represents the plaintiff or employee side of things, and my practice is on the employer side.
So, we’ll talk about the laws in both D.C. and elsewhere and really try to help people on both sides of the fence understand, you know, what’s permissible and what isn’t.
Oswald: So, give us just a little peek into your panel. What kind of advice are you giving your clients, especially those who operate in multiple states, about some of the things they should consider before including non-compete clauses in their agreements with their employees?
Burke: Well, obviously, you have to start by considering where you are and where the employee is working. The law of the state where the employee is working is likely to control.
You know, a company that has employees everywhere could try to make a pretty limited non-compete that is going to be permissible in all jurisdictions and only provide non-competes to individuals who could have them in all jurisdictions. So, they don’t have to take a piecemeal approach.
Another way you can do it though is really just tailor it to wherever you are, but if that’s the case, of course, you have to be really careful that you understand the specific requirements and restrictions of your particular jurisdiction where the employee is.
Oswald: Christine, thank you. I so look forward to seeing you and Carla and your panel.
And we are looking forward to seeing each of you on Tuesday, October 25th at 6 p.m. this year – both in person at the D.C. Bar headquarters and via Zoom. You can find us at dcbar.org.