WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and vice chair of the House Antitrust Subcommittee in the 117th Congress, issued the following statement on a new rule proposed today from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prohibit non-compete clauses in employment agreements and contracts:

“President Biden and his administration continue to cement their legacy as antitrust champions. This new proposed rule from Chair Khan and the FTC represents a major pro-worker move and advances the President’s vision of a fair and equitable society that lessens market concentration, and supports small businesses, innovation, and workers. Nearly half of private businesses force non-compete clauses on workers as just another way to exert employer control and deny workers their basic right to seek another often higher-paying job in their chosen field. When employers don’t have to compete for potential employees against other offers, they can decrease wages and keep them low, knowing their workers cannot quickly secure better pay and working conditions elsewhere. As President Biden said, capitalism without competition isn't capitalism; it’s exploitation. If this rule is finalized, it would increase worker wages by nearly $300 billion across the economy, including in both low-wage and high-wage industries, and support the creation of new start-ups and small businesses. 

“Prohibiting non-competes removes a key lever of power used to keep the labor market rigged against workers. That’s why as a member of the House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, I championed a focus on market concentration, including the importance of limiting non-compete agreements in our recommendation for policies to build a fair economy, and it was ultimately included in the Select Committee’s final report. I’m thrilled to see Chair Khan and the FTC continue to take advantage of the commission’s unique power to put government to work for working people and take on monopoly power and market concentration.”