The Federal Trade Commission and the National Labor Relations Board said on Tuesday that they have created a new partnership to protect workers from anti-competitive, unfair and misleading practices, with areas of “mutual interest” including non-compete clauses and confidentiality agreements.
The agencies said in a statement that the new “memorandum of understanding” between the two agencies describes ways in which the Commission and the Management Board will work together on issues such as labor market concentration, unilateral contract terms and the development of the labor force economy.
The statement said, in addition to non-compete clauses and secrecy provisions, other areas of mutual interest identified in the memorandum include the scope and effect of labor market concentration; labor force development related to the gig economy and other alternative work arrangements; statements and disclosures about income and expenses in connection with the gig and other work; the impact of algorithmic decision-making on workers; the ability of workers to act collectively; and employee classification and treatment.
The statement said the FTC̵7;s priorities include cracking down on anti-competitive contract terms “which put workers at a disadvantage by leaving them unable to freely negotiate the terms of their employment.”
It said the FTC “is investigating whether some of these terms, especially in the take-it-or-leave-it context, may violate the law.”
President Biden issued an executive order a year ago ordering the FTC to explore the issue of non-competitors, but there has been little federal action, although states have been active on the issue.