NEWARK, N.J. — Bill A3715 successfully moved through the NJ Assembly Labor Committee with all Democrats voting in favor in a 6-3 party-line vote today. The bill, which was introduced on May 2nd by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, seeks to limit the negative effects of restrictive covenants and no poach agreements on low-wage workers. Restrictive covenants impede workers’ professional and financial growth and reduce worker’s bargaining power. By regulating restrictive covenants, this bill aims to promote fair competition in the labor market.
“We are pleased with today’s outcome. We hope to see this bill move swiftly through the legislature to be passed into law,” said Kevin Brown, Executive Vice President, and NJ State Director. “A reform in restrictive covenant and no-poach agreements would benefit low-wage workers the most. In the case of our members, whether they work as concierge, security, custodial, maintenance, and other service workers, they will be able to pursue better professional and financial opportunities.”
The Biden Administration has made this issue a top priority. On July 9th, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. This order charged the Treasury Department, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, and the Federal Trade Commission to explore the impact of the lack of labor market competition on the labor market.
“Today, we stood with all working New Jerseyans,” said Assemblyman Moriarty. “Employers should not enforce a restrictive covenant that would prohibit any worker from exercising their trade, leaving the employee without a job, income, or the ability to find work in his or her field. These collusive agreements between companies are unjust and should be declared illegitimate under the law.”
In addition to this bill and filling the FTC Complaint against Planned Companies, 32BJ is also supporting efforts in New York.
With 175,000 members in 11 states, including more than 13,000 in New Jersey–32BJ SEIU is the largest property services union in the country.