Jul 17, 2017

When you can't leave your job

Kelsey DeLaney/Creative Commons

One of the non-negotiable legal and cultural axioms across California is the right to change jobs — feelings and friendships can suffer, but tech workers especially can be loyal to a company one day, and working for its rival across town the next. Among the winners are workers, whose pay usually rises the most when switching jobs.

But not in Idaho, which has the strictest law in the U.S. hobbling such job promiscuity, per The New York Times. The law, signed last year, bolsters the enforceability of the "non-compete clause," language often inserted into the fine print of employment contracts — from tech workers to hair dressers — to make it harder for people to leave to a rival company.

Why it matters: Employers say such restrictions help protect their efforts to build their businesses. Worker advocates, however, say that they unfairly hold down wages and infringe on a basic freedom — the right to work where you want. The debate over non-competes comes amid a growing trend in which Americans are much less likely to move around for work — not from where they live, and not where they work.

One dimension of the debate over non-competes is whether they help or hurt the local business environment. Bigger companies say they are defending their investment in a highly competitive environment. But non-compete critics say workers are less likely to move to a tech company in a state like Idaho, since they could be stuck in a job; tech entrepreneurs, too, have a more difficult time getting a business started when finding employees is harder.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 6,889,889 — Total deaths: 399,642 — Total recoveries — 3,085,326Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

George Floyd updates

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

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In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.