Senate Bill #2087 (2020)

AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - NONCOMPETITION AGREEMENTS - BROADCAST EMPLOYEES

Prohibits the inclusion of noncompete agreements in broadcast industry employment contracts that are entered into after January 1, 2021.

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Changes since original draft

  • 2020 – S 2087
  • 2020 – S 2087 AS AMENDED
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  • LC003485
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  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2020
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - NONCOMPETITION AGREEMENTS
  • - BROADCAST EMPLOYEES
  • Introduced By: Senators Lombardi, Nesselbush, Ciccone, Conley, and McCaffrey
  • Date Introduced: January 21, 2020
  • Referred To: Senate Judiciary
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Sections 28-59-2 and 28-59-3 of the General Laws in Chapter 28-59 entitled "Rhode Island Noncompetition Agreement Act [Effective January 15, 2020]" are hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 28-59-2. Definitions. [Effective January 15, 2020.]
  • As used in this chapter:
  • (1) "Associated broadcast entities" means entities that provide reporting services to broadcast television or radio stations, including, without limitation, subcontractors that provide weather, sports, traffic, and other reports for broadcast or cablecast;
  • (2) "Broadcast employee" means any employee of a broadcast industry employer, except those employees whose services primarily include sales or management functions;
  • (1)(3) "Business entity" means any person as defined in § 43-3-6 and includes a corporation, business trust, estate trust, partnership, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision or agency, or any other legal or commercial entity.
  • (4) "Broadcast industry employer" means the owner or operator of one or more broadcast television or radio stations, including any associated broadcast entity, but excluding cable stations or cable networks;
  • (5) "Broadcast television or radio station" means an entity that is owned or operated either by holding a Federal Communications Commission television or radio license for the station, or by operating a station through a local service, sales, marketing, or outsourcing agreement;
  • (6) "Cable network" means an entity that distributes programming to two (2) or more local cable systems;
  • (7) "Cable station" means an entity that produces or transmits programming to one or more local cable systems; and
  • (2)(8) "Earnings" means wages or compensation paid to an employee in the first forty (40) hours of work in a given week, not inclusive of hours paid at an overtime, Sunday, or holiday rate.
  • (3)(9) "Employee" means an individual who works for hire, including an individual employed in a supervisory, managerial, or confidential position, but shall not include an independent contractor.
  • (4)(10) "Employer" means any person, business entity, partnership, individual proprietorship, joint venture, firm, company, or other similar legal entity that employs one or more employees, and shall include the state and its instrumentalities and political subdivisions, public corporations, and charitable organizations.
  • (5)(11) "Forfeiture agreement" means an agreement that imposes adverse financial consequences on a former employee as a result of the termination of an employment relationship, regardless of whether the employee engaged in competitive activities, following cessation of the employment relationship. Forfeiture agreements do not include forfeiture for competition agreements.
  • (6)(12) "Forfeiture for competition agreement" means an agreement that by its terms or through the manner in which it is enforced, imposes adverse financial consequences on a former employee as a result of the termination of an employment relationship if the employee engages in competitive activities.
  • (13) "Local cable system" means a cable system, as defined in 47 U.S.C. 522, as from time to time amended, operating in the state.
  • (7)(14) "Low-wage employee" means an employee whose average annual earnings, as defined in subsection (2), are not more than two hundred fifty percent (250%) of the federal poverty level for individuals as established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services federal poverty guidelines.
  • (8)(15) "Noncompetition agreement" means an agreement between an employer and an employee, or otherwise arising out of an existing or anticipated employment relationship, under which the employee or expected employee agrees that he or she will not engage in certain specified activities competitive with his or her employer after the employment relationship has ended. Noncompetition agreements include forfeiture for competition agreements, but do not include:
  • (i) Covenants not to solicit or hire employees of the employer;
  • (ii) Covenants not to solicit or transact business with customers, clients, or vendors of the employer;
  • (iii) Noncompetition agreements made in connection with the sale of a business entity or all or substantially all of the operating assets of a business entity or partnership, or otherwise disposing of the ownership interest of a business entity or partnership, or division or subsidiary of any of the foregoing, when the party restricted by the noncompetition agreement is a significant owner of, or member or partner in, the business entity who will receive significant consideration or benefit from the sale or disposal;
  • (iv) Noncompetition agreements originating outside of an employment relationship;
  • (v) Forfeiture agreements;
  • (vi) Nondisclosure or confidentiality agreements;
  • (vii) Invention assignment agreements;
  • (viii) Noncompetition agreements made in connection with the cessation of or separation from employment if the employee is expressly granted seven (7) business days to rescind acceptance; or
  • (ix) Agreements by which an employee agrees to not reapply for employment to the same employer after termination of the employee.
  • (9)(16) "Trade secret" means information as defined in § 6-41-1.
  • 28-59-3. Enforceability. [Effective January 15, 2020.]
  • (a) A noncompetition agreement shall not be enforceable against the following types of workers:
  • (1) An employee who is classified as nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201-219;
  • (1) An employee who is classified as nonexempt and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201-219;
  • (2) Undergraduate or graduate students who participate in an internship or otherwise enter a short-term employment relationship with an employer, whether paid or unpaid, while enrolled at an educational institution;
  • (3) Employees age eighteen (18) or younger; or
  • (4) A low-wage employee.
  • (b) No broadcast industry employer employment contract for the services of a broadcast employee may contain a provision requiring that such broadcast employee:
  • (1) Refrain from obtaining employment in a specified geographical area for a specified period of time after termination of employment with that broadcast industry employer;
  • (2) Disclose the terms or conditions of an offer of employment, or the existence of any such offer, from any other broadcast industry employer following the expiration of the term of the employment contract; or
  • (3) Agree to enter into a subsequent employment contract with the broadcast industry employer, or extend or renew the existing employment contract, upon the same terms and conditions offered by a prospective employer.
  • (c) Any person who is aggrieved by a violation of this section may bring a civil action in the superior court to recover damages, together with court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.
  • (b)(d) This section does not render void or unenforceable the remainder of a contract or agreement containing the unenforceable noncompetition agreement, nor does it preclude the imposition of a noncompetition restriction by a court, whether through preliminary or permanent injunctive relief or otherwise, as a remedy for a breach of another agreement or of a statutory or common law duty.
  • (c)(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude an employer from entering into an agreement with an employee not to share any information, including after the employee is no longer employed by the employer, regarding the employer or the employment that is a trade secret.
  • (f) The provisions of this section shall apply to employment contracts entered into, renewed, or extended on or after January 1, 2021.
  • SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.
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  • LC003485
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  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - NONCOMPETITION AGREEMENTS
  • - BROADCAST EMPLOYEES
  • ***
  • This act would prohibit the inclusion of noncompetition agreements in broadcast industry employment contracts that are entered into after January 1, 2021.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC003485 ========

Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for Approval of Amendment

February 11, 2020 at 4:43pm
Yeas: 30 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 8 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Archambault NV
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone NV
Sen. Conley Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Crowley NV
Sen. Cruz NV
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag NV
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Lynch Prata Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. McKenney Y
Sen. Metts Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan NV
Sen. Murray NV
Sen. Nesselbush Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Satchell Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sheehan Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde NV

Floor vote for Passage as Amended

February 11, 2020 at 4:44pm
Yeas: 31 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 7 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Archambault NV
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone NV
Sen. Conley Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Crowley NV
Sen. Cruz Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag NV
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Lynch Prata Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. McKenney Y
Sen. Metts Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan NV
Sen. Murray NV
Sen. Nesselbush Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Satchell Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sheehan Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde NV