News Roundup on Georgia Non Compete Law Amendment Vote

by admin | cary ichter on November 1, 2010

With Georgia’s election upcoming this Tuesday, Amendment One and its impact on Georgia’s non compete law and agreements has been receiving substantial news coverage. We’ve gone through recent news stories and summarized them below to help you get a better grasp on how potential changes in the interpretation of non compete clauses may affect your contracts. It is imperative that all current contracts be reviewed and revised in light of these changing circumstances in Georgia.

Online in the Atlanta edition, there is an article describing Amendment One and quoting state Representative Penny Houston (R-Nashville):

Currently, the state constitution bars contracts that restrict or lessen competition…However, if approved by voters, this amendment would strike that language and allow judges to ensure restrictive employment agreements are enforced…As a result, Georgia may be able to attract new businesses because it will be easier for those businesses to use non-compete employment contracts.

Alternatively, the Augusta Chronicle has published an editorial arguing against the ballot measure. In an article describing opinions on all proposed Amendments, the newspaper argues that the amendment would stack the deck in favor of big business and allow the enforcement of contracts that are legally flawed.

In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a piece going through all five proposed amendments attempts to provide a matter of fact summary of the provisions, along with a quick explanation of both proponents’ and opponents’ arguments.

More coverage from the AJC includes a long piece going in depth on the history of legislative action behind Amendment One as well as the opinion of some local Georgia law professors on the possible impact of the amendment on Georgia’s non compete agreements.

A lively debate has sprung up around an article arguing that the Amendment would make Georgia less competitive. The editorial in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution argues that the text of the Amendment as it will appear on the ballot is misleading, and ignores certain flaws.

For a more opinionated piece, see the Pro and Con debate in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where Edward D. Buckley and Tom Stubbs take on Cynthia Richard in arguing whether the proposed amendment allows “employees to leave with privileged information” or rather “strangle[s] employee rights and inhibit[s] job changes.”

The Rome News-Tribune breaks down all proposed ballot amendments, and provides some interesting background as to Amendment 1’s support from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

For a more detailed analysis of Amendment One and its impact on intellectual property protection and the state of the law on this issue across the country, see an article in the Savannah Morning News. The piece does a good job of looking to both political support and opinions from a local attorney.

Regardless of your opinions on this Amendment and how you intend to vote, it is imperative to update and review current contracts to take into account changing political dynamics and laws in Georgia affecting non compete agreements. Contact us today!

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