A noncompete agreement is designed to prevent an employee from leaving his or her employer to work for a competitor. For decades, many companies required senior management to sign those agreements to protect information about the inner workings of their organizations. However, noncompete agreements are becoming more common down the economic ladder, barring blue-collar workers’ mobility and bargaining power in the workplace.
A recent report by the New York Times examined how noncompete agreements lock in workers. The report features the story of Keith Bollinger from Conover, North Carolina. Bollinger worked for decades as a factory manager and endured years of legal battles with his former employer when he accepted a position with a competitor. Host Frank Stasio talks with Conor Dougherty, reporter for the New York Times, about the effects of noncompete agreements on workers.