Pennsylvania Bill Would Do Away With Non-Compete Clauses

Sponsor says law would help increase employment, keep jobs in-state.

A Berks County Democrat is proposing to do away with non-compete clauses in employment contracts, saying they quash innovation and drive workers out of state.

“In particular, small businesses are being harmed most because they cannot afford to incur the cost of paying an employee while the employee waits for a non-compete period to expire,” Rep. Thomas Caltagirone said in a memorandum last week to fellow legislators. “Under the current archaic indentured servitude system, businesses, workers and our economy suffer.”

It’s not clear that non-compete clauses are used widely in Pennsylvania. Some experts say that state law already restricts their use to a small set of circumstances, with limits on how long they last and even the locations where they’re applicable.

It’s also unclear how Caltagirone’s nascent bill would further restrict their use. His description of the bill: “My legislation would deem non-compete language in employment agreements to be against public policy.”


“My bill will provide these employees with more mobility and allow employees with in-demand skills to take better paying more prestigious jobs while maximize their God-given potential,” he wrote. “What’s more, these types of agreements presently force highly qualified individuals to depart Pennsylvania in order to advance their careers. I want to provide every employee in Pennsylvania with the opportunity to stay in the state and maximize their earning capacity. This bill will do that.”

Caltagirone and his staff members were not available for immediate public comment on Monday. A spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania of Chamber of Business and Industry said that agency would not comment until a specific bill is on the table.

No word on when the bill will be introduced.

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