FTC Sets Public Forum on Proposed Rule to Ban Noncompete Clauses

FTCThe FTC is proposing to ban most noncompete agreements for employers in a rule that would preempt state law, which it will discuss in a Feb. 16 forum for consumers, businesses and industry stakeholders.

02/03/2023 12:30 P.M.

2 minute read

The Federal Trade Commission is hosting a public forum on noncompete agreements on Thursday, Feb. 16, in connection with its proposed rule to prohibit employers from using the agreements.

The proposal was released in January based on, according to the FTC, preliminary findings that noncompete agreements are an “unfair method of competition” and violate the Federal Trade Commission Act. It also responds to an executive order from President Joe Biden directing the FTC to develop a proposed rule on noncompete agreements, ACA International previously reported.

A comment period on the proposed rule is underway.

Trade associations representing several industries, including ACA, have requested the FTC to extend its comment period on the proposal to allow the variety of impacted entities enough time to submit their comments and for the FTC to process comments and public feedback and consider revisions to the proposed rule.

The organizations seeking an extension of the FTC’s comment period by 60 days say it is needed to assess the potential consequences of the rulemaking and develop insightful comments for the FTC to deliver, according to the request (PDF).

The forum, held from noon to 3 p.m. EDT, will be webcast on the FTC’s website, transcribed, posted online, and included as part of the public record. The complete agenda (PDF) is available on the FTC’s website.

The commission will hear from a panel of speakers impacted by noncompete restrictions, as well as business owners who have experience with noncompete agreements, according to a news release from the FTC.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to comment online by signing up to speak through a webform. Public comment will be accepted on a first come, first served basis during the time available.

Comments on the proposal, which can be submitted through, are currently due March 20, 2023. In the two weeks after the comment period opened on Jan. 8, the FTC received more than 2,200 comments. As of Feb. 2, that number is at about 9,600, showing the importance of this issue for businesses and consumers.

For questions on the proposed rule or to provide input for ACA’s comments, contact ACA’s advocacy team at [email protected].

If you have executive leadership updates or other member news to share with ACA, contact our communications department at [email protected]. View our publications page for more information and our news submission guidelines here.

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If you have executive leadership updates or other member news to share with ACA, contact our communications department at [email protected]. View our publications page for more information and our news submission guidelines here.


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