COLUMBUS— Today, State Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) delivered sponsor testimony to the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee on Senate Bill 228, which would prohibit the use of non-compete provisions in employment contracts in the broadcast industry. In Ohio, nearly two dozen radio and television personalities are out of work, in their chosen field, due to non-compete clauses.

During the testimony, Senator Williams said, “This legislation was introduced on behalf of Ohio broadcasters who would like the flexibility to continue to work and live in Ohio immediately after leaving an employer without taking a hiatus from the broadcast industry.”

Eight states and the District of Columbia have enacted some form of legislation barring non-compete agreements in the broadcast industry, including California, Connecticut, Montana, Illinois, North Dakota, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. Non-compete provisions allow the broadcast industry to circumvent competition for talent among those they compete against in a given media market. This practice causes the employee to either remain with an employer through the completion of their contract, or move to another media market not in direct competition with their employer.

“Non-compete agreements inhibit competition, and serve to tie an employee to an employer without regards for the employee’s true market value,” remarked Senator Williams, “By not taking any action in this area, and by way sanctioning these agreements, the government is essentially putting its thumb on the free market scale.”

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