Guild statement on settlement over non-compete deals

06/15/2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  June 15, 2016
CONTACT: Peter Szekely, (212) 575-1580

Following today’s announcement that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office reached a settlement with Law360 under which the legal news website will stop requiring its journalists to sign non-compete agreements, NewsGuild of New York President Peter Szekely issued the following statement:

“The settlement instantly liberates dozens of journalists from legal shackles that were unfairly stifling their careers. It also warns all news industry executives that they may run afoul of the law if they make non-compete agreements a condition of employment. While the misuse of non-compete agreements harms workers in a variety of occupations, its presence in the news business is particularly troublesome. By impeding career advancement and deflating pay, these provisions discourage journalists from developing their skills, and may well diminish the overall quality of journalism. The settlement is a good start, but it would be better still if the New York State Legislature simply banned non-compete agreements for print and digital journalists, as it has already done for broadcast journalists.”

The NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, represents nearly 3000 journalists and other employees at New York area-based news organizations and other companies, including The New York Times, Thomson Reuters, the Daily Beast and Time Inc.

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