It’s always interesting to take a look at other states to see how they deal with non-compete legislation. We’ve discussed Masschusetts and most recently doctor non-competes in New Mexico. Hawaii is the latest state to enact new noncompete legislation targeting workers in a “technology business”. This is how the Hawaii legislature defined “technology business”:
Basically, folks that work in a technology business can no longer be subjected to a non-compete and can also solicit other “technology business” workers to come and work with them somewhere else. Now of course, those employees cannot use their previous employer’s trade secrets at their new job. The statute does not prohibit non-solicitation clauses that prevent a former employee from calling on previous customers.
Tailoring non-compete legislation to certain professions is neither new nor novel. Texas has sepcific requirements for doctors that include buyout provisions. The Hawaii statue basically eliminates any barriers to job change for technology business workers but still prevents them from using trade secrets or calling on former employees. The inside story on the language in the statute, the carve out of broadcast/phone companies, and the why/how behind the legisation would be interesting to hear. We’ll continue to montior these types of changes on our end. No changes appear to be in the pipeline for Texas non-compete statute.