President Biden’s Executive Order and Impact on Employment Issues

On July 9, 2021, President Biden issued an “Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.” The Order focuses on antitrust issues and contains provisions directly affecting labor and employment issues that companies should be aware of.

The Order directly addresses wage collusion and agreements to unduly limit workers’ ability to change jobs. President Biden requested that the Federal Trade Commission exercise its rulemaking ability to curtail the use of non-compete clauses and other agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki had previously stated that “roughly half of private sector businesses require at least some employees to enter into non-compete agreements.” The Order makes clear that it is the President’s intent to prevent suppression of wages.

President Biden’s Order indicated that the goal of his administration is to have the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission “enforce the antitrust laws fairly and vigorously.” You can expect that the DOJ and the FTC will become more aggressive in antitrust enforcement than the last Administration.

If you have any questions related to the President’s Order, please contact Jeff Jacobovitz, chair of AGG’s Antitrust and Competition practice and former Federal Trade Commission attorney, at 202-677-4056.