Low-wage Noncompetes as Constitutional Violations
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Employers in a variety of fields are increasingly imposing non-compete agreements on their workers as a condition of their at-will employment. These employees are working at or near minimum wage, in positions that require little to no advanced technical skills. Major news sources have highlighted this issue while covering recent employment litigation between Jimmy Johns and a pair of its former employees. This issue is not limited to one fast food chain. Indeed, there is a growing trend, in jurisdictions where employment contracts are legally enforceable, to require low-wage, unskilled workers to execute non-compete agreements as a condition of their hire as at-will employees. This presentation will identify how the extension of post-employment restrictive covenants, specifically non-compete agreements, to workers earning low wages and performing unskilled work improperly infringes on their constitutional right to seek better employment opportunities without suffering overly burdensome penalties.
Ayesha Bell Hardaway is an Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in the Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic. As a member of the faculty, Hardaway has taught as a clinician in the areas of health law, civil litigation and criminal justice. Her research and scholarship interests include the intersection of race and the law, constitutional law, criminal law, health law and civil litigation. Her upcoming article on reparations will be published by the New York University Review of Law & Social Change later this month. Prior to joining the law school faculty, Hardaway practiced in the Litigation Department of Tucker Ellis LLP. Her six years at the firm were devoted to defending major electrical, automotive and pharmaceutical manufacturers during all phases of litigation as trial counsel and National Coordinating Counsel. Hardaway represented those clients in state and federal courts throughout the country. Before her time at Tucker Ellis, Hardaway was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Cuyahoga County and handled a variety of criminal matters, including juvenile delinquencies and general felonies. Hardaway was recently selected to serve on the Independent Monitoring team appointed to evaluate police reforms to be implemented by the Cleveland Police Department under a federal consent decree.
The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44114