Where noncompetes could be banned next

Maine is poised to be the next state to ban noncompete agreements, the National Law Review reported March 25. 

Currently, four states have noncompete bans — California, Minnesota, North Dakota and Oklahoma — and six states have pending legislation that could ban noncompetes — Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Here's where the legislation stands in each state:


Legislation in the Illinois House would make noncompetes unenforceable. The bill applies to nonsolicitation agreements, sale-of-business noncompetes and agreements prohibiting trade secret disclosures, among others. It would ban noncompetes no matter where and when the agreement was entered. 

The bill was introduced and referred to the Rules Committee on Feb. 9. 


Legislation in Maine would ban all noncompetes except for when a business is sold, when a shareholder sells his shares or when a partnership is dissolved. 

The bill has passed the House and Senate and was sent to the governor's desk March 19. She is expected to sign the bill into law. 


Although Massachusetts already strictly curtails noncompetes, it is looking to further restrict them in a Senate bill that would make noncompete agreements void and unenforceable. 

The bill was referred to the Committee on Senate Rules on March 4. 


A bill in the Michigan House would ban any agreement that prohibits an employee from any employment after termination. 

There has been no activity on this bill since it was referred to the Committee on Labor in May 2023.

Rhode Island:

A bill in the Rhode Island House would make noncompetes unenforceable except in the sale-of-business context. 

It was introduced and referred to the House Labor Committee on March 13.


A Wisconsin Assembly bill would make employee noncompetes void but would not apply to nondisclosure agreements or noncompetes that are limited to intellectual property owned or licensed by the employer.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Labor and Integrated Employment on Oct. 12. 

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