Amazon lobbies to exempt employees from labor protections

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Many of Amazon’s Seattle-area employees would be exempt from new labor protections passed by the state Senate after lobbyists for the tech giant pushed to lower the salary threshold for the rules.

The protections would partially prohibit non-compete clauses — controversial agreements used to block employees from going to work for competitors or launching rival startups.

The bill passed the Washington state Senate on Tuesday with the salary threshold of $100,000 sought by Amazon. Employees above the threshold would be exempted from the protection.

Glassdoor.com, a company that tracks top firms, said the median salary for Amazon employees in Seattle is about $113,000.

Other provisions require some protections for workers making more than $100,000, including an 18-month limit on any non-compete clauses they sign and a requirement that workers must be compensated while they are barred from working.

The measure now heads to the state House for consideration.

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