USD School of Law Professor Orly Lobel Research Impacts White House Call to Action

Professor Lobel Research Impacts White House Call to Action

Don Weckstein Professor of Labor and Employment Law Orly Lobel

Washington, D.C. (October 26, 2016) – In August 2016, University of San Diego (USD) School of Law Professor Orly Lobel was invited to the White House to present her research on non-compete restrictions. Since then, Lobel has served as a member of a White House working group to put together the call to action announced October 25 by the Obama Administration to push back against the over-expansion of non-competes and other practices, including collusive agreements to not poach employees and anti-competitive wage fixing. 

The call to action was based in part on Lobel’s research and book, Talent Wants to Be Free (Yale University Press), which argues that the spread of post-employment restrictions in the labor market not only hurts workers but also innovation and economic growth more broadly.

“My research has shown that non-competes decrease employee motivation and performance, reduce talent mobility and knowledge flow in creative industries and have an overall harmful effect on entrepreneurship and regional development,” says Professor Lobel. “I am very pleased that the White House is urging states to enact reforms to reduce the prevalence of non-compete agreements that are hurting workers and regional economies. In addition, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission announced that going forward DOJ will criminally investigate allegations that employers have agreed amongst themselves on employee compensation or not to solicit or hire one another’s employees. This is an important warning to companies that have anti-competitive gentlemen’s agreements to no recruit each other’s talent.”

In the press release, the White House states the call for action will enhance competition to benefit consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs. Beyond the recommendation of banning non-competes for most workers, the White House call for action urges states to improve transparency and fairness of non-compete agreements by, for example, disallowing non-competes unless they are proposed before a job offer or significant promotion has been accepted and provide consideration over and above continued employment.

Read the press release online.

About Professor Orly Lobel

An internationally acclaimed expert in the law and economics of human capital, Orly Lobel is the Don Weckstein Professor of Labor and Employment Law at the University of San Diego and founding faculty member of the Center for Intellectual Property and Markets. She teaches and writes in the areas of employment law, intellectual property law, regulatory and administrative law, torts, behavioral economics, health policy, consumer law and trade secrets. Her current research focuses on innovation policy and intellectual property. Lobel’s latest book is Talent Wants to be Free: Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids, and Free-Riding.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 35th nationally and 6th on the West Coast among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 24th nationally and 6th on the West Coast in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


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