PA Chamber Opposes FTC Rule Banning Noncompete Agreements

HARRISBURG – Today, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Luke Bernstein released the following statement in response to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent vote to ban employer noncompete agreements:

“The FTC has neither the statutory authority nor a sensible reason to attempt to ban noncompete agreements,” Bernstein said. “Employers will often seek to include these agreements in employment contracts to protect their proprietary information or justify significant investments they make in recruitment. Noncompete agreements already have limits and may be deemed unenforceable if found to be unduly restrictive. This kind of administrative micromanagement, however, sets an alarming precedent for America’s job creators, and the PA Chamber fully supports the U.S. Chamber’s efforts to block the FTC’s extreme overreach and prevent this unnecessary and unlawful rule from taking effect.”

Last April, the PA Chamber co-signed a letter to the FTC urging the commission to withdraw its proposed rule and revert to the authority expressly granted to it by Congress.

PA Chamber Statement on Gov. Shapiro’s PLA Directive

HARRISBURG – Today, PA Chamber Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Alex Halper released the following statement in response to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s recent announcement of a new directive for the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for state projects.

PLAs typically require private companies to commit to using unionized labor as a prerequisite to be considered for contracts to work on a public construction project.

“We will carefully review the details of this directive and how it’s implemented, and we appreciate the governor stating that bidding processes will be open to both union and non-union contractors,” Halper said. “In our experience, however, PLAs have historically been used to force companies whose employees are not members of a union to either forgo bidding on a project or be forced to replace their own employees with a union. This type of mandate is unfair and it discriminates against a significant portion of private sector workers who opt to not be represented by a union.”

“The Commonwealth ought to consider bids for public projects based on merit and cost effectiveness,” Halper continued. “Project labor agreements, on the other hand, have been shown to raise projects costs with no discernible benefit to safety, or keeping projects on-time and on-budget.”