Utah Non-compete study results now available

The Salt Lake Chamber in collaboration with a working group of legislators and members of the business community, released the findings from a study conducted in response to the passage of H.B. 251, post-employment restrictions amendments, during the 2016 Utah General Legislative Session.

The findings release key issues concerning non-compete agreements to better inform policymakers and business leaders.

In stakeholder discussions and negotiations regarding H.B. 251, it became evident that better information was needed around this issue, and the concept for a balanced and fair research study became obvious. In order to conduct this research, the Salt Lake Chamber worked with the Utah Legislature, the Labor and Employment Section of the Utah State Bar, industry associations, and chambers across the state for a comprehensive, fair, and impartial study of employer and employee perspectives on this issue.

The study, conducted by Cicero, was over several months, and included 2,000 employees and 937 employers responding. Employees from a broad variety of private companies (both large, medium and small in size) were eligible. Employers of diverse industries and sizes were also eligible. Focus groups were also conducted by the Cicero group as were interviews of potential investment firms.

We want to commend all of the stakeholders involved in this process for their efforts and support to shed light on this complex issue. The full methodology is set forth in the survey results and is available:HERE.

Key Developments:

Good information should drive good policy decisions. All stakeholders have been very committed to the research first process. They have supported this unprecedented effort at collecting Utah specific information that will then drive their policy decisions. The results of the study demonstrate that H.B. 251 in 2016 is working, addresses concerns from both sides of the issue, and creates a balance between protecting the interests of both employees and employers.

Due to this and our collaborative process, there has been agreement for no further legislation regarding non-compete agreements during this legislative session.

Late last night, Representative Schultz issued a full statement to his colleagues in the House and Senate regarding the survey results and to share this decision to not proceed with further legislation this session. To view the statement: CLICK HERE.

In response, Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber said: “We applaud the statesmanship of Representative Schultz, Representative Hawkes, Speaker Hughes, Senator Adams and our business leaders to come to this agreement. We will also continue work in good faith efforts with the working group and other stakeholders, to utilize this research and take the sufficient time outside the legislative session to consider further legislation that further enhances the balance between protecting the interests of both employees and employers.”

Digesting and understanding the research results will be a large task given the comprehensive and unique nature of the survey itself. While there is academic research and writing on this topic, this type of specific employee/employer responses seems unique and provides a needed perspective. It is certainly full of important information for Utah legislators and the business community to absorb and consider.

For more information on this issue head towww.slchamber.com/noncompetestudy