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Amazon Lobbies Against Worker Protections

Lawmakers lower salary threshold to enforce non-compete agreements

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New legislation passed in Washington state Senate that would partially prohibit companies from enforcing non-compete clauses against employees heads to the State House for final approval. Within that bill, Amazon (Seattle) has lobbied state lawmakers to include a key threshold that leaves many of its employees exempt from the proposed law’s protections.

Amazon ensured a salary threshold of $100,000 was included in the bill, meaning many of its workers – who make a median of $113,000 per year at its Seattle headquarters (according to Glassdoor.com) – are exempt. The retailer had the salary threshold lowered from its original proposal at $180,000.

Non-compete clauses are popular among the tech industry and beyond, under which companies seek to protect themselves from employees who may leave to work for competitors or launch their own rival companies armed with trade secrets and insider knowledge. California, home to tech mecca Silicon Valley, prohibits non-compete agreements.

Amazon defended its lobbying efforts to the Associated Press.

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