After heated debate between legislators and among the business community, the Utah state legislature has passed HB 251, the Post-Employment Restrictions Act.  As passed, the Act prohibits “post-employment restrictive covenants” with restrictive periods longer than one year.  The Act defines a “post-employment restrictive covenant” (also identified in the statute as a “covenant not to compete” or “non compete agreement”) as

an agreement, written or oral, between an employer and employee under which the employee agrees that the employee, either alone or as an employee of another person, will not compete with the employer in providing products, processes, or services that are similar to the employer’s products, processes, or services.

The Act prohibits employers and employees from entering into post-employment restrictive covenants of more than one year and declares such agreements void.  The Act specifically requires that non-competition must comply with other requirements for enforceability that have developed under common law.  Finally, the Act provides that employers who unsuccessfully attempt to enforce such agreements are liable for actual damages, court or arbitration costs, and attorney fees.
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