Halifax Noncompetes Unenforceable In Some States

The non-compete contract that former NYT Regional Media Group employees are being asked to sign or give up any chances of a job with new owner Halifax Media Holdings may not be legit, Poynter finds.

Noncompete agreements are state-specific as to what is allowed, and in fact, California doesn’t allow this type of contract, even though employees at three California papers have been asked to sign.

In Florida, this contract is at “the outer limits” of what a court might find acceptable, a Poynter lawyer said.

Plus, it’s just not cool, Poynter’s Kelly McBride said. “A noncompete clause for a small market newspaper reporter making $30,000 a year? Or less? That seems unnecessarily harsh, putting young journalists at a significant disadvantage in a brutal job market.”

The experts agreed that employees should consult a lawyer before signing this document, but they may not have that much time: according to yesterday’s Poynter article, today is the deadline for signing the contract.