In our opinion: Defeat the noncompete bill — it will hurt the people it seeks to help

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  • Hull West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 14, 2018 8:33 a.m.

    I thought the free market was supposed to function primarily by means of incentives. Non-compete agreements seem coercive by nature.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 2:31 p.m.

    The "why only one industry" argument is a good one. The rest is anti-worker nonsense. Imagine if non-compete agreements were widespread and infected fields that people specialize in. What if you couldn't be an auto mechanic for another company for years after you left one? What if you couldn't be a veterinarian for another clinic for years after you left one?

  • mal murray, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 11:04 a.m.

    Donald has outed the vast majority of media as being in the fake news business. This is not a time to try to gain sympathy for fake news outlets.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 13, 2018 9:26 a.m.

    Perhaps they need a non-transit bill if one is raised and educated in Utah then they can’t migrate out of state until they they have paid their share of state and church tax.

  • James E Tooele, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 7:51 a.m.

    Sorry DN, no one is buying it. If a company wants to protect its investment they need to offer a competitive salary package. Thanks to a change in leadership, our nation is once again becoming an employee's market where labor is valued and employers are in competition for workers. Non-compete contracts simply lock employees in jobs stopping the free-flow of labor and holding down wages.

    But what about high-tech? Won't they view Utah as anti-business? High-tech is about the only industry left in California and they don't recognize non-compete contracts at all. I think we'll be ok. But keep the 0.05 BAC for DUI. That'll help regulate the inflow of refugees from California.

  • Chancey Sandy, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 5:01 a.m.

    All non-competes should include post-employment compensation equal to the time frame they are written for. If the employee, his training or position is so valuable that the company is worried about the danger they pose when they go to a competitor, there should be something in it for the employee. Non-competes are especially unfair during times of increased unemployment, which is probably why a pro-business legislator would think to try and pass one now when unemployment percentages are low.

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 8:02 p.m.

    Should we be surprised that the Media Elites are opposed to a measure that would protect and empower media employees? All three arguments raised in this piece are bunk.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 6:30 p.m.

    i worked for a company in salt lake decades ago, that said we couldn't work for a competitor for 2 years. The supreme court ruled that an employer can't keep a worker from finding work in his chosen field. Why do these issues raise their ugly heads, once the courts have ruled???

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 6:23 p.m.

    Non compete agreements should only come with guaranteed contracts for employment.

  • riptide FR, 00
    Feb. 12, 2018 6:21 p.m.

    Non-compete clauses are completely one-sided in any industry, including journalism and media. Only the employer receives benefit, not the employee, not the employee's family, not the community. Claiming that getting rid of non-compete clauses "harms the people it is trying to protect" is completely disingenuous. The employer wields much greater bargaining power than the employee during any hiring process, and to an even greater degree any time the job market gets tight. And when non-compete clauses can be sprung on employees even AFTER they have been hired, when they no longer have any bargaining power whatsoever, and have already passed up other opportunities to accept employment, it is both coersive and immoral. Post-employment non-compete clauses should be non-enforceable in all industries, including the media.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 5:40 p.m.

    I found the editorial's arguments less-convincing than I'd like. That said, I'm still opposed to the bill. I did find the "why one industry" argument compelling. But, even more so is why must this be legislated? An employee should be able to be a good negotiator. If they require a non-compete, you counter with limitations: geographic area, time, what businesses are included, what does and does not trigger it (leaving the company vs. being force out), minimum salary increases, etc. You make sure that you receive fair benefits in exchange for the fair protection that the employer is asking of you.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 12:58 p.m.

    Here's an idea, Deseret Media, how about instead of contracts that limit what a person can and cannot do; how about provide benefits that keep them wanting to work for you instead of going to a competitor.

    Non-compete contracts are TERRIBLE for people in all industries. They may be great for the bottom line to big businesses though; who can pay bottom dollar and ensure their workers stay on just to make a living.

    Sounds like your company is lobbying against the public; for and on behalf of the rich. Just propaganda to ensure plutocracy is strengthened.

  • HSTucker Holladay, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 12:35 p.m.

    "dissemination of news through broadcast and digital mediums."

    Wow, the Deseret News uses mediums? I thought their targeted readership was only the living.

  • EternalIyImpermanent Costa Rica, 00
    Feb. 12, 2018 11:46 a.m.

    Should the calculus on invoking free market and contract principles be modified when one of the contracting parties is exempted from laws prohibiting unfair competition?

    For example, the Deseret News is protected from federal antitrust laws pursuant a Joint Operating Agreement with the Salt Lake Tribune under the Newspaper Preservation Act.

    As a result, unlike many businesses, parties to a Joint Operating Agreement may engage in price fixing, profit pooling, and market allocation. A news gathering and reporting organization not protected by a Joint Operating Agreement may not engage in such practices without the risk of running afoul of federal antitrust law.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 10:45 a.m.

    non competes are anti free market and anti family. I am under one, and although I have no plans to quit, if I did I would be out of luck. I wouldn't be able to work in my career field that I have spent 15 years building skills in, I wouldn't be able to provide for my family for 2 years, when the contract finally expired I would probably have a hard time finding employment because I would be 2 years out of date and have a 2 year gap on my resume. I'm sorry Deseret News, you won't convince me that non competes are a good thing.

  • Happy Valley Hillbilly Alpine, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 10:09 a.m.

    I once worked for a company that had non-compete clauses in the employment contracts of some key executives and sales personnel. It was stated right up front when hiring took place so the employee was aware of the implications from the time they came on board. It would typically bar the employee from working for a competitor in a similar position for a period of one year. One thing conspicuously missing from the DN opinion piece is the fact that in many cases where non-compete agreements are put in place in a contract, there is a provision that a cash payment to the employee will be made to lessen the financial impact to them. This is something that any potential employee bringing value to a company can negotiate at the hiring stage. I am opposed to any legislation of this type that applies to only one business sector. It should either cover all employers or none. Also, as TheJester stated, it is only fair that a non-compete agreement should be voided if an employee is fired, rather than when they quit for greener pastures.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Feb. 12, 2018 9:44 a.m.

    "The individual worker has security and can negotiate terms that help both the individual and the company."

    This could be part of any employment contract. What does it have to do with non-compete agreements?

  • JLindow St George, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 9:11 a.m.

    If you've ever had an employer surprise you with a non-compete agreement after you had been working for them for a year, you'd understand the coercive and one-sided nature of these agreements.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 8:28 a.m.

    Who has the power? That's the question that is raised when sexual harassment is charged. Did the person with the power use that power to coerce an employee to do something that was not in his/her the best interests?

    This sentence particularly bothers me:

    "The new bill "prohibits an employer and an employee from entering into a post-employment restrictive covenant if the employer's primary business is news media."

    Who has the power? Can the news media claim "free speech" when their goal is to squelch the "free speech" of a citizen? Can the news media claim with a straight face that they are negotiating a non-compete agreement to assist the employee in any way? Can restricting the employment opportunities of an employee serve anyone except the news media?

    How one-sided can that type of contract be?

    Who has the power? Who is using that power to force an employee to engage into a "negotiation" that harms the employee's future employment, future earnings, and future ability to care for his/her family?

    Frankly, I'm surprised and disappointed with this article.

  • TheJester American Fork, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 7:36 a.m.

    Non-compete agreements are anti-market in nature. The writer of this op-ed would lead you to believe that employees can "negotiate" the terms of their non-compete agreements, but it is a fallacy. Negotiation works when both parties have equal leverage. In company/employee relationships the leverage is heavily weighted toward the company, which possesses vastly more resources and often state and federal laws written to protect the company's position and assets.

    At a minimum, Utah's non-compete laws should be changed so that an employee who was terminated from their job by the employer will have their non-compete agreement voided. If the employer feels that the employee's value is not sufficient to keep the employee in a position the employer should have no right to dictate where that employee can work next.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 6:32 a.m.

    "We hope lawmakers will understand the implications of this bill and defeat it."

    I'm sure they understand it. What matters is who is paying them , and how much, to pass it.

  • Zabilde Riverdale, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 4:16 a.m.

    Of course a Media company is opposed to this. And funny how they get a quote from Kevin Eubank opposed to this because he hasn't run into it. Yet did he forget how his father was forced off the air for a couple years when he moved to KSL from KUTV2?

    You can protect your company against an employee leaving with Non-disclosure rules. But Non-Compete contracts force employees to stick with an employer they may not really care for or move to another market entirely.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2018 11:52 p.m.

    It's interesting that this paper favors hiring restrictions on their departing employees while it has historically favored "right to work" laws.