LANSING, Mich.—Today, Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) introduced HB 6031, a bill that would protect workers from being forced to sign non-compete agreements for what are legally referred to as “unskilled” or “semi-skilled work,” such as those jobs in the fast-food industry, janitorial services, or gig-economy delivery businesses.

Companies hiring workers across Michigan, particularly in service industry positions, often require them to sign non-compete agreements, banning them from utilizing any skills gained in those jobs on behalf of another employer within a certain area, including on their own behalf as a new small business owner.  Such non-compete agreements have been banned by statute in California, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, while some companies — such as the sandwich chain Jimmy John’s — have removed them from use in Illinois and New York after legal battles with those states’ Attorneys General.

“The use of non-compete agreements for workers who do the jobs that make our lives easier, such as making our coffees and lunches, and cleaning our office buildings is utterly ridiculous. This practice traps individuals into stagnant wages and robs them of their ability to achieve the American Dream,” said Rep. Manoogian. “It’s time for companies to be honest with their employees, lawmakers, and the public: there’s nothing proprietary in need of protection in these jobs.”

“I’m proud to stand with working Michiganders today to against corporations seeking to eliminate competition — both from other multinational companies and from former employees looking to become small business owners — through the unscrupulous use of these unfair agreements.”

HB 6031 was introduced alongside several other bills aiming to eliminate corporate payroll fraud. The bills have been referred to committees for debate.

Rep. Mari Manoogian represents the communities of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, and the eastern portion of West Bloomfield Township. In addition to serving as Deputy Whip for the Michigan House Democratic Caucus, she is also the Minority Vice Chair of the House Committee on Energy and is a member of the House Committee on Commerce and Tourism.