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Adams and Reese Construction Team Co-Leader and Partner Trent Cotney discussed the news of FTC’s final rule banning noncompete agreements in an article published by Roofing Contractor.

The ban, which may be legally challenged, is set to go into effect in 120 days, affecting an estimated 30 million employees currently bound by these agreements.

If the rule becomes official later this year, any new noncompete agreements would be prohibited for all workers. For existing noncompete agreements, most would not be enforceable after the effective date. However, for senior executives, existing noncompetes would remain in place. Senior executives are defined as those earning more than $151,164 each year and holding policy-making roles. Under the new rule, noncompete agreements will be illegal and employers are required to inform workers (other than senior executives) that any current agreements are void.

“It will be interesting to see how this rule fairs in litigation,” writes Cotney. “It is possible that a lower court could negate the new rule, and the matter could go as far as the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2022, the Supreme Court asserted the “major questions doctrine,” essentially saying that if a federal agency wants to solve a significant political or economic problem, it must have congressional support. We may see a similar argument in opposition to the ban.”

Cotney is a leading member of one of the largest construction practices in the country with Adams and Reese’s roster of more than 80 attorneys serving the construction industry.

A Partner in the Adams and Reese Tampa office, Cotney represents construction and infrastructure clients, including general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, architects, engineers, roofers, developers, and other professionals. He is an EU arbitrator for construction-related disputes. Cotney is also experienced in construction litigation and arbitration, including OSHA defense, lien law, bond law, bid protests, and construction document review and drafting.

Cotney is ranked among the top construction attorneys in Florida by Chambers USA and ranked by Best Lawyers, and Super Lawyers in Florida, Texas, Mid-South, and Illinois. Cotney is a board-certified construction lawyer licensed in eight states and Washington, DC.