Bill To Ban Non-Competes Advances As Senate Hearing Reveals Their Overwhelmingly Negative Impact On New York


Joint Public Hearing Uncovers the Detrimental Effects Non-Compete Agreements Have Had on New York’s Workers, Consumers, and Small Businesses

Bill to Ban Non-Competes in New York Advances from Labor Committee

ALBANY – Today, May 23, 2023, New York State Senator Sean Ryan announced that the Senate Committee on Labor voted to advance Senator Ryan’s bill (S.3100) to prohibit the use of non-compete agreements in New York. The vote coincided with a joint public hearing to investigate the impacts of non-compete agreements on New York State.

The hearing was conducted by Senator Ryan, chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, and Senator Jessica Ramos, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor. It featured written and oral testimony from 19 witnesses, including labor lawyers, the Office of the Attorney General of New York, and a publicly traded technology company. Personal testimony from a chiropractor, a tattoo artist, and a lighting designer who have been bound by non-compete agreements revealed the breadth of professions impacted by non-competes in New York.

The personal experiences and professional expertise provided as testimony outlined the overwhelmingly detrimental effects that non-compete agreements have on individuals, businesses, and the economy in New York State. Among the findings was the fact that even non-compete agreements that may technically be unenforceable serve as functional restrictions on employees who do not have the resources to fight them in a court of law. Further testimony demonstrated that non-compete agreements also often make it difficult for businesses to find qualified employees. Multiple medical professionals attested that they can also have a detrimental impact on consumers in fields such as healthcare, where they disrupt continuity of care.

Senator Sean Ryan said, “Today’s hearing was full of eye-opening testimony about the many negative effects non-compete agreements have had on our state. The testimony we heard today demonstrated unequivocally that they are not only bad for workers, but for businesses and the state economy as a whole. I would like to thank all of our witnesses for their testimony, and I would like to give a special thank you to the workers who traveled to Albany in a personal capacity to tell their stories in an effort to help ensure that other people will not have to go through the same ordeals they have endured.”

About S.3100
This bill would prevent employers from restricting their employees’ future employment options through the use of non-compete agreements. Notably, the bill does not prohibit the use of confidentiality agreements or non-solicitation agreements, leaving businesses with multiple mechanisms to protect proprietary information without unnecessarily limiting their employees’ mobility.

Select excerpts from written and oral testimony can be found below:


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