Yesterday, the Utah House of Representatives defeated H.B. 81, Post-employment Restrictive Covenant Amendments (49-22-4) in support of our ongoing process.

Much of the floor debate focused on waiting for the results of the non-compete study that is being conducted by the Cicero Group. The study was part of the compromise with House Leadership brokered last year by a working group of business leaders in conjunction with the Salt Lake Chamber, Utah Technology Council, Utah Manufactures Association, BioUtah and other trade organizations.

We appreciate the members of the House that defeated the bill in support of the comprehensive study on non-compete and other post-employment restrictive covenants.

This is a complex issue that has the potential, if not handled diligently, to undermine Utah’s years of effort to promote the best business environment in the nation. The value of the study is to ensure that all parties have data to make an informed decision.

The study has included outreach to nearly 30 business associations and chambers, and more than 2,000 Utahns and almost 1,000 Utah employers have completed a survey. Focus groups are currently in process, as well as in-depth interviews with companies critical to our economic development efforts. All parties involved have understood and committed to doing the research right, instead of quickly. The study will be completed Feb. 24, 2017.

We look forward to a full discussion on this issue, only after the business community has the ability to review and respond to the research on this complex issue. Until then we will not support any further legislation that restrict the responsible and reasonable uses of non-compete agreements and other post-employment restrictive covenants.

Look for more updates at www.slchamber.com for information on the distribution of the research results.

Salt Lake Chamber Formal Position – Protecting Non-compete Agreements: We support the reasonable and responsible uses of non-compete agreements and other post-employment restrictive covenants that adequately protect both employers and employees, and are freely and openly entered into by both parties. We stand by the 2016 compromise on this issue, and before any further efforts to legislate, support completing, distributing and considering the results of the data-driven, Utah-based research on non-compete agreements.