On December 22, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed the bill New York lawmakers delivered to her, which proposed a ban of nearly all types of noncompete agreements in employment. In so doing, she called for modifications to the legislation that would protect "middle-class and low-wage workers" from noncompete agreements, while balancing companies' interests in using such agreements with higher-wage earners

Quick Hits

  • The governor vetoed the noncompete ban bill, calling for modifications that would prohibit employers from imposing noncompete agreements on middle class and low-wage workers.
  • Given New York's "highly competitive economic climate," she noted, "the Legislation's one-size-fits-all approach" could not meet companies' legitimate interests.
  • The governor reiterated her commitment to "banning non-compete agreements for anyone making below the median wage in New York."

New York lawmakers had passed a noncompete ban in June 2023 and delivered it to the governor on December 12, 2023. In vetoing the bill, Governor Hochul noted that she has "long supported limits on non-compete agreements for middle-class and low-wage workers, protecting them from unfair practices that would limit their ability to earn a living."

She further emphasized that, in connection with the bill, her "top priority was to protect middle-class and low-wage earners, while allowing New York's businesses to retain highly compensated talent. New York has a highly competitive economic climate and is home to many different industries."

Next Steps

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the New York and Unfair Competition and Trade Secret blogs.

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