New DC Non-compete Prohibition

As of October 2022, most non-compete agreements are prohibited for DC employers.

Sonja DeWitt

3/17/20231 min read

In DC, as of October 1, 2022, almost all non-compete agreements are banned. (see DC Code § 32–581.02) That means, if you're an employer who has your employees sign an agreement that they can't leave you and work for the competition across the street, you can't do that anymore.

The only exceptions are for employees who make more than $150,000 a year (or for medical professionals who make $250,000) . In those cases, non-compete agreements are allowed with limitations.

This prohibition is not retroactive and only applies to new agreements entered into after October 1, 2022.

The new law also contains prohibitions on retaliation. An employer is prohibited from retaliating against any covered employee who:

  • Refuses to agree to a prohibited non-compete agreement.

  • Fails to comply with a prohibited non-compete agreement.

  • Asks or complains about the "existence, applicability or validity" of a policy or agreement that the employee believes is prohibited. (See DC Code, § 32–581.02 (b))

    There are, of course, a lot more complexities to this statute than can be covered in a short blog. If you need to understand whether or how this law applies to you, contact an attorney barred in DC for legal advice.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. If you need legal guidance on any of the issues addressed here, contact me or another attorney barred in DC for advice addressing your specific problem.