Dorsey – Employers Beware: Recent Developments in Employee No-Poaching Agreements


No poaching agreements among employers continue to make antitrust news, and employers and their HR professionals need to take note. Whether or not a particular agreement has a valid purpose (such as protecting an employer’s investment in employee training), no-poaching agreements limit competition for workers and (according to critics) suppress wages. Where the agreement is not reasonably related to any legitimate business relationship between the parties, courts have condemned the agreements as per se illegal—and the U.S. Department of Justice has stated that it will prosecute them as criminal violations in appropriate cases.

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