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Democrats push to repeal Idaho’s non-compete laws

More than 100 Idaho business leaders and investors have signed a letter supporting efforts to repeal Idaho’s non-compete statute.

Assistant House Democratic Leader Ilana Rubel of Boise said the repeal would encourage a pro-growth, pro-entrepreneurship attitude.

“When the law passed in 2016 there just wasn’t much attention given to the issue or understanding of the risks created by the bill. Most business owners and entrepreneurs didn’t even know about it until after the law passed,” Rubel said. “Since then, the law has gotten a lot of negative coverage and people are much more aware of the problems it creates for employees and entrepreneurs in Idaho.”

The law has been the subject of negative articles in the New York Times, Inc., and the American Institute for Economic Research.

Supporters of the repeal said that reputation discourages business and investment in Idaho companies.

The letter calls for repeal of the law, saying it unduly restricts employee mobility, which in turn stifles economic growth. And,it claims the law requires courts to find that employers who hold non-compete agreements suffer “irreparable harm” when an employee takes a job with a competitor, regardless of whether any actual harm occurs.

“Any law that stifles business growth and encourages entrepreneurs to leave the state is not good for Idaho,” Rubel continued. “It also hurts families because workers don’t have the freedom to find a better, high-paying job for fear of getting sued. No one should have to endure a lawsuit in order to start a business or take a better job. That’s simply anti-growth.”

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