FTC extends public comment on its noncompete proposal another 30 days

The Federal Trade Commission has extended the deadline for public comment on its proposal to ban employers from imposing noncompete agreements until April 19. Originally, the deadline was March 20.

The vote to expand the comment period was approved by the FTC commissioners, 4-0. A fifth commissioner, Christine Wilson, said she would have preferred a longer consultation period.

"Given that the proposed rule is a departure from hundreds of years of precedent and would prohibit conduct that 47 states allow, I would have supported extending the public comment by 60 days," she said in a concurring statement.

The American Hospital Association is among those opposed to the proposal as it sees the banning of such noncompetes threatening healthcare labor in both the short and long term. Consequences of only applying the idea to for-profit hospital systems were also poorly understood, the AHA has said.

"The proposed regulation errs by seeking to create a one-size-fits-all rule for all employees across all industries, especially because Congress has not granted the FTC the authority to act in such a sweeping manner," the AHA said in a Feb. 22 letter to the FTC.

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