Washington Senate votes to restrict non-compete contracts

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Lawmakers in the Washington Senate have approved a partial block on non-compete contracts for workers in the state, with exceptions for high-paid positions.

The bill would void contracts forbidding employees from working with competitors, but it contains an exception for employees making more than $100,000 per year.

Lawmakers approved the bill on a 30-18 vote Tuesday, sending it to the state House.

Often included as part of a job offer, non-compete agreements typically forbid employees from joining a competitor within a specified time period after leaving a job.

While common in industries dependent on trade secrets and intellectual property, the contracts garnered media attention after reports they were being used for fast food and grocery workers.

Supporters of the measure, which passed with bipartisan support, criticized use of the contracts for low-wage workers but called them appropriate for use especially by tech companies.

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