Biden Issues Executive Order on Promoting Competition

On Friday, July 9, 2021, President Biden signed a sweeping Executive Order to promote competition across the US economy. The Executive Order urges more than a dozen federal agencies to crack down on competition problems across a variety of industries.

What Employers Should Know

First, it must be noted that the Executive Order includes only requests by the Biden Administration to implement changes and does not have any immediate impact on employers. Specifically, the Executive Order implores the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to ban or otherwise limit non-compete agreements and to eliminate “unnecessary, cumbersome occupational licensing requirements.”

Nonetheless, the Executive Order does not include specifics as to the breadth of any restrictions the Biden Administration would ultimately want. Even if the FTC responds to the Order’s request to limit non-compete agreements, it is unlikely that any groundbreaking rules will be implemented in the near future, if ever. Additionally, the Executive Order encourages the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the FTC to publish more stringent and detailed antitrust guidance to prohibit employers from joining together to suppress wages and benefits by sharing wage and benefit information with one another.

Although the Executive Order has no immediate effect on employers, it is prudent for employers to begin to plan how the changes described above may alter their workplace rules. For additional information on this or any related topic, please contact any of the KDDK labor and employment law professionals.

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