AZ non-compete bill becomes law May 29, 2002

Since the non-compete clause was determined unlawful and banned in Arizona; what about (media) contracts signed before this law went into affect?

1 answer  |  asked May 15, 2003 6:46 PM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

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Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
Courts will have to decide about media non-competes

Your question pits two important legal principles against one another. On the one hand, legislation generally cannot be applied retroactively to impair the obligations of existing contracts. Employers will undoubtedly try to argue that this constitutional provision protects their right to enforce the agreements they made before the statute was passed prohibiting these agreements. On the other hand, the passage of the statute gives employees the argument that such agreements violate the public policy of Arizona and therefore should not be enforced by the courts. This is the classic kind of clash of principles that leads to appeals, which leads to published decisions, which advances the law in small, incremental steps. I'll be interested to see if the issue shows up in the courts.
For others who may be reading this answer, please note that the statute only deals with broadcast employers. For any other employer in arizona, non-compete agreements are still allowed if they meet the other requirements the courts have put on them.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  May 16, 2003 3:30 PM [EST]

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