Rep. Ilana Rubel was joined by local business leaders at the State Capitol Tuesday to call on legislators to repeal Idaho’s non-compete law, which was passed in 2016.
The bill amended Idaho code to require state courts in non-compete agreement cases to rule that employers who hold those agreements suffer "irreparable harm" when an employee takes another job.
Rubel, D-Boise, said that because of how the law reads, the Idaho business community is stunted and difficult for employees to navigate.
"We want to reform it, get rid of the part they added in 2016 and track more of the trends that are happening nationally. I'd like our law to quite frankly look more like Utah where there are less stringent barriers on employees changing jobs," said Rubel.
Rubel also spoke about supporters of the law who say it is important to protecting trade secrets.
Her response to those claims is that there are already other laws in place to protect trade secrets.
She believes repealing the state law won't affect that, and that non-compete agreements are simply damaging.
"They are a way to lock employees into their job and prevent them from going somewhere else, and they are often about wage suppression because an employer can get away with paying you under market wage if you don't have the freedom to look for another job," Rubel said.
Rubel says she is hopeful that the 2018 session will include discussions on changing the law.