Northern California Employment & Personal Injury Law Blog

Employment & personal injury law news, insights, and information.

How Will the Trump Administration Affect Employment Law?

Donald Trump’s first few weeks in office have been exciting. But what significance will his presidency have on work rules?

Now, we don’t really know. First, most laws are created not by presidents, but by legislators. Second, most employment laws are created by state law, not federal law. In California, most state laws are more worker-friendly than similar federal laws.
Trump has said that he will re-write rules that will affect workers in many ways:

  • reduced business “regulation” (regulation is really just a law)
  • immigration
  • religion
  • employment law enforcement bodies (like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
  • minimum wage and leave rules
  • health benefits

It remains to be seen how his presidency will affect the rights of workers.

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Covenants not to compete

In California, unlike many states, a contract clause or term (or “covenant”) that requires an employee not work in a way that competes with a prior employer is unenforceable or illegal. So if an employee works at Coca Cola, he can leave and go work for Pepsi, even if there is a contract signed by the employee saying that he will not leave and go work for a competitor.
 
There are some exceptions. The former Coke employee cannot provide Pepsi with confidential information or trade secrets. Also, there are some very narrow exceptions regarding the sale of a corporation that don’t apply to the vast majority of employees.

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