In full transparency, the following is a media release from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office. She was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. She is a Democrat. (stock photo)
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sent a letter to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) calling out the organization for its opposition to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) proposed rule that would ban employers’ use of noncompete agreements.
The senators are calling on the Chamber to explain why it is undermining its stated values by opposing this business-, worker-, and consumer-friendly policy.
“This rule would drastically improve conditions for workers, small businesses, and the entire economy, benefiting all Americans. But the Chamber, which purports to believe in a ‘future …(that) gives everyone the opportunity to build a better future for themselves,’ is already saber-rattling about opposing a simple rule that would allow America’s workers, businesses, and entrepreneurs the freedom to build that future,” wrote the senators. “The Chamber owes its member organizations, and the American public, an explanation for its intention to oppose this rule and defend a deeply exploitative and unfair method of competition that harms workers and businesses.”
In the letter, the senators note that the FTC is acting under its authority to ban noncompete agreements, which stifle competition and harm workers, entrepreneurs, and new businesses. The Minneapolis Federal Reserve found that “more than one in seven workers (…) have non-compete contracts with their current or most recent employer”, including 12% of workers who earn $20 or less. Workers are unable to work new jobs and start new businesses – leading to a lack of competition in the labor market and a less dynamic and innovative economy.
The senators call out the Chamber on its threat to sue the FTC to stop its noncompete bans as exactly the type of “frivolous litigation” that the organization claims to oppose, and pushed back on the Chamber’s description of noncompetes as a tool for “fostering innovation and preserving competition” as demonstrably false, representing “exactly the kind of Washington-insider doublespeak that big business has been using for years to justify anti-worker and anti-consumer policies.”
Senators Warren and Whitehouse are calling on the Chamber to provide answers about its efforts to oppose the FTC’s proposed rule to ban noncompete agreements and the work its member organizations have done to challenge this rule by March 13, 2023.