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In brief

California’s regulators have made employment noncompetes (and knowing which employees are bound by them and how!) a key compliance item.

Effective 1 January 2024, AB 1076 amends Section 16600 of the state’s Business and Professions Code to “void the application of any noncompete agreement in an employment context, or any noncompete clause in an employment contract, no matter how narrowly tailored.” In addition, the law requires employers to notify certain current and former California employees that any agreement containing a noncompete provision is void.
 


Well, easier said than done! This obligation has sent many employers scrambling to figure out where their noncompete provisions live, whether in employment agreements, PIIAs, or equity and incentive award plans and agreements—and, which employees required notice. 

In this video, our Employment & Compensation lawyers share practical considerations for providing notice (even if late—the deadline was Valentine’s Day!), and tips for reviewing documents to locate potentially unlawful restraints—including in the compensation context where noncompetes often lurk but aren’t always immediately thought of. 

Speakers: Robin Samuel, Amanda CohenSinead Kelly and Victor Flores.

Key resources

Follow the latest developments affecting US and multinational employers by subscribing to The Employer Report blog. Our video chats from The Employer Rapport series are linked on the right sidebar of the blog, providing timely, conversational updates for multinational employers. 

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Related episodes

You may access all related episodes from The Employer Rapport here.
 

Author

Amanda Cohen is a partner in Baker McKenzie's labor and employment practice group. Amanda advises clients on the full range of domestic and cross-border employment matters facing multinational employers, as well as the employment law aspects of corporate transactions.

Author

Victor Flores is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Employment & Compensation Practice, with a focus on Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits.

Author

Sinead Kelly is a partner in the Firm's Compensation practice. She advises on US executive compensation and global equity and has practiced in the compensation field since 2005. She regularly speaks and publishes on compensation-related topics and is a contributing author to Lexis Practice Advisor and Wolters Kluwer’s “Practical Guide to SEC Proxy and Compensation Rules,” as well as a founder of the Firm's Compensation Connection blog. She is on the Advisory Board of the Certified Equity Professionals Institute (CEPI) of Santa Clara University and is a member of the Firm's Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain working groups. Sinead has been recognized by Chambers USA for Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, most recently in 2024, where Chambers states that she is “extremely intelligent, responsive and solution-oriented.” She is a Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer for 2024, and is ranked by Legal 500 as a "Leading Lawyer" for Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plan Design.

Author

Robin Samuel leads Baker McKenzie’s US Labor & Employment team, is co-chair of the Firm’s Workforce Redesign service line, and is a Steering Committee member for the North American Employment and Compensation practice. Robin also serves on the California offices’ leadership team. Robin is a Chambers-ranked attorney for California employment law, a Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star, and a 2023 L.A. Business Journal Top 100 Lawyers award recipient. Robin is a frequent author and speaker for organizations such as SHRM, ACC, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

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