If you have a current non-compete agreement with your Missouri employer, it is no longer valid. There's a new ruling that instantly makes these type of arrangements illegal for all but the top executives.

Non-compete agreements are so common these days that even employees who don't have access to proprietary information are often required to sign them. That will no longer be the case. The Wall Street Journal is among the outlets reporting that the Federal Trade Commission just ruled that non-compete agreements violate worker freedom and individuals ability to compete for higher-paying jobs.

The FTC ruling will not only forbid companies from requiring new employees to sign non-compete agreements, but immediately invalidates current ones. The ruling even goes so far as to require companies to notify all affected employees that their current non-compete agreement will no longer be enforced.

The decision appears to be based on the belief by the commission that non-compete agreements violate a 110-year-old law that reduces competition.

The stunning decision today means if you work for a company in Missouri that required you to commit to not moving to a competitor, you will no longer be required to honor that commitment.

The reports do say that there will almost certainly be court challenges by businesses to try and make this FTC ruling get rolled back, but as of this writing, non-compete agreements are zonked. It will be interesting to see if this will result in an increased movement of employees in the workforce trying to take quick advantage of their newfound freedom.

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