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District of Columbia Is Poised to Postpone Non-Compete Law Until October 2022

The D.C. Council (the “Council”) is poised to further postpone the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-563) (the “Act”). On March 1, 2022, Councilmember Elissa Silverman introduced emergency legislation (B24-0683) that would push back the Act’s applicability date from April 1 to October 1, 2022. Councilmember Silverman simultaneously introduced and the D.C. Council adopted an emergency declaration resolution (PR24-0603) allowing the measure to proceed directly to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s desk for signing after a single reading.

As we previously reported here and here, the Act prohibits employers from requiring or requesting that an employee sign any agreement containing a non-compete provision. In response to concerns raised by the employer community, Councilmember Silverman introduced an amendment (Bill 24-256) that would, among other things, clarify the Act’s effect on conflict of interest and confidentiality provisions. Although the Council previously delayed the Act’s applicability date from October 2021 to April 1, 2022, the Council had not been expected to vote on the amendment by April 1. This second postponement provides additional time to move Councilmember Silverman’s amendment through the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and D.C. Council, and gives employers a few more months to make necessary changes within their own business practices to be in compliance.

Despite this resolution to delay the applicability date, and the Council’s intent to clarify the Act, District employers should continue to prepare for the implementation of the ban on non-compete acts. While some contours of the ban may change when the Council acts upon the proposed amendments, the Act itself is unlikely to be repealed. We will continue to monitor and provide updates as the amendments continue through the legislative process.