Today my office released a first-of-its-kind analysis of tens of thousands of “crime guns” recovered by law enforcement, illustrating gun trafficking trends that undermine New York’s strong laws.
The ground-breaking analysis shows that 74 percent of all crime guns recovered by law enforcement originated out-of-state, and nearly nine out of ten (86 percent) of recovered handguns come from out-of-state.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the initial financing for nearly 600 new affordable apartments across the city, paid for by $10 million in settlements with property owners who violated the law. The new homes will serve formerly homeless New Yorkers, low-income families, veterans, seniors and people with mental health and substance abuse challenges.
Answering White House’s Call For States To Reform Laws On Non-Competes, A.G. To Introduce Bill That Bans The Harmful Pacts For Low-Wage Workers, Requires Higher Compensation For Workers Who Sign Agreements, And Establishes Right To Damages For Unlawful Non-Competes
A.G.’s Proposal Builds On Groundbreaking Settlements With Jimmy John’s, Law360 To End Non-Compete Agreements
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Tuesday that he will introduce legislation in Albany next year to curb the rampant misuse of non-compete agreements, which depress wages and limit economic mobility by banning workers from employment at a competitor for a mandated period after leaving a job.
Attorney General Schneiderman’s announcement follows a Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements issued Tuesday by the White House as part of the President’s initiative to increase economic competition. While growing numbers of states have moved to curtail the misuse of non-competes in recent years, A.G. Schneiderman’s bill marks the most comprehensive proposal yet to protect workers from these harmful constraints. The proposal includes a ban on all non-competes for low-wage workers; a requirement that employers offer extra compensation to employees who sign non-competes; and a first-of-its-kind provision granting employees the right to seek liquidated damages when subjected to unlawful non-competes.
“Workers should be able to get a new job and improve their lives without being afraid of being sued by their current or former employer,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My proposed bill will protect workers’ rights to seek new and better opportunities, particularly low-wage workers who have been locked into minimum wage jobs due to non-competes. It will also ensure that businesses can hire the best worker for the job.”
A.G. Schneiderman’s proposal builds on a string of settlements earlier this year that banned non-competes at companies including the fast-food chain Jimmy John’s, the legal news site Law360, and the medical services company EMSI. Additional investigations by the A.G’s office are ongoing.
A.G. Schneiderman’s proposed bill:
Prohibits the use of non-competes for any employee below the salary threshold set by Labor Law Section 190(7), currently $900 per week;
Prohibits non-compete agreements that are broader than needed to protect the employer’s trade secrets or confidential information;
Requires non-compete agreements to be provided to employees before a job offer is extended;
Requires employers to pay employees additional consideration (money) if they sign non-compete agreements;
Limits the permissible time duration for non-compete agreements; and
Creates a private right of action with remedies including liquidated damages for violations.
Non-compete agreements present particular challenges for low-wage and rank-and-file workers, who are increasingly subject to these restrictions. Such workers may be deterred by non-compete agreements from seeking new employment, but may never have the opportunity to meaningfully negotiate such agreements and may lack the means to challenge a non-compete agreement in court.
“Locking an employee into a low-wage or dead-end position through non-compete clauses goes against the principals of the labor movement, the free-market economy and good government policy,” said Senator Diane J. Savino. “As the Senate sponsor of the NY MOVE ACT (Mobility and Opportunity for Vulnerable Employees) which would set regulations on non-compete clauses for low-wage workers, I support the Attorney General’s efforts to protect workers from these career-killing agreements and look forward to working on this issue in the coming legislative session.”
"Attorney General Schneiderman’s leadership and insight is invaluable in being able to get this important reform done, which will make New York more competitive and stimulate the creation of greater economic growth for our citizens,” said Senator Andrew Lanza. “I am currently the author of a bill addressing this issue in the New York State Senate, and I look forward to continued work with the Attorney General in the next session.”
“Requiring low-wage workers to sign non-compete agreements as a condition of employment is a practice that must end immediately,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection. “Employers use practices like these to hinder workers’ ability to move up in the world by using their experience to find better paying jobs; this legislation will help remove barriers for those currently stuck in their low-wage jobs so they can work toward a better life for themselves and their families. I introduced legislation in 2015 to address this matter and I am very pleased that the Attorney General is now introducing legislation as well to deal with this very serious issue.”
"Since I first entered the Assembly in 2013, I have carried legislation that paral
As head of the Department of Law, the Attorney General is both the “People's Lawyer” and the State's chief legal officer. As the “People's Lawyer,” the Attorney General serves as the guardian of the legal rights of the citizens of New York, its organizations and its natural resources. In his role as the State's chief legal counsel, the Attorney General not only advises the Executive branch of State government, but also defends actions and proceedings on behalf of the State.
The Attorney General serves all New Yorkers in numerous matters affecting their daily lives.The Attorney General's Office is charged with the statutory and common law powers to protect consumers and investors, charitable donors, the public health and environment, civil rights, and the rights of wage-earners and businesses across the State.
The Attorney General's authority also includes the activities and investigations of the State Organized Crime Task Force and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. While the Attorney General acts independently of the Governor, the Governor or a state agency may request the Attorney General to undertake specific criminal investigations and prosecutions.
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Over 650 Assistant Attorneys General and over 1,700 employees, including forensic accountants, legal assistants, scientists, investigators and support staff serve in the Office of the Attorney General in many locations across New York State. – less