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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate may soon be taking on noncompete agreements, after a rare bipartisan bill to declare them illegal in most instances was introduced and has gained support.

What it means: The Workforce Mobility Act would ban the use of noncompete agreements except in connection with the dissolution of a partnership or the sale of a business.

Why it matters: Previously a rare clause, companies have recently been instituting noncompete agreements into the contracts of "janitors, receptionists, customer service workers, fledgling journalists, even employees of a day care center," according to analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

  • A 2015 study found that 40% of Americans have had a noncompete agreement at some point in their careers.

The big picture: "Workers’ inability to leave their jobs because of non-compete agreements and similar limitations has also contributed to the wage stagnation of recent decades," legal experts Jane Flanagan and Terri Gerstein write for EPI's Working Economics blog.

  • "Two studies released just last month found that non-compete agreements adversely affected wages and job mobility."
  • "Non-compete agreements aren’t really about trade secrets anymore. They’re about limiting workers’ bargaining power."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in U.K.

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat.
  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.

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