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Business & Economy

Companies Clash With Workers Over New Non-Compete Proposal

Bob Nelson
L-R Josh James of DOMO, Brandon Tidwell of Signal Peak Ventures, Ryan Smith of Qualtrics, Dave Elkington CEO of and Representative Mike Schultz of Hooper.

A bill to restrict employers’ ability to require employees to sign a non-compete agreement is suddenly drawing the attention of a large number of business owners and employee rights advocates.

The agreements are meant to keep employees from going to a competitor with trade secrets or starting their own business that competes with an employer. George Adondakis is general counsel for Utah-based food distribution giant Nicholas and Company. He says he is very concerned about this legislation because they regularly have very open meetings at the executive level.

“Our concern is, absent some sort of stronger non-compete that is proposed, people will take our information and our trade secrets and go work for the competitor and use those against us,” says Adondakis.

HB 251 is sponsored by Representative Mike Schultz, a Republican from Hooper.  He says the bill will still protect the intellectual property of companies while addressing the concerns of employees.

“That’s one of the original reasons I got involved with this is people want to go out and start their own business and live the American dream and they’re handcuffed to one of these non-compete agreements it make it hard to do that,” says Schultz.

HB 251; Post Employment Restrictions Amendments, which has already gone through one major re-write, was due to be heard by the Senate Business and Labor Committee late last Friday.

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