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Non-compete limits, modified by Amazon, signed into law

SEATTLE — New rules for non-compete contracts have been signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee in Washington state, adding protections for workers — but with changes pursued by online retailer Amazon.

The contracts, which bar a worker from joining a competitor after leaving a job, are set to be prohibited for workers making less than $100,000 annually. They are allowed above that threshold, but with additional protections, including a time limit and a requirement to compensate employees bound by the contracts after being laid-off.

Lobbying from Amazon played a key role in setting the income threshold in the bill: The company pushed to have it lowered to $100,000, exempting many of its Seattle-area employees, who make a median salary of about $113,000, according to, a company that tracks top firms.

Inslee signed the legislation Wednesday.

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