An Act relative to regulating trade secrets and noncompetition agreements

This legislation adopts the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and regulates noncompetes by: (1) prohibiting noncompetes for certain workers, including students, minors, independent contractors, employees terminated without cause, and employees earning less than twice the average weekly wage; (2) permitting noncompetes only where the agreements are entered into with appropriate notice, supported by fair and reasonable consideration, narrow in size and scope, limited to 12 months, and supported by garden leave clause where the employer pays 100 percent of the employee’s annualized earnings, including bonuses and benefits, or other consideration equal or greater than the garden leave; and (3) prohibiting courts from reforming noncompetes or using the doctrine of inevitable disclosure to validate an unenforceable noncompete.

 

An Act providing a safe harbor for self-employed individuals

This legislation seeks to amend independent contractor law by creating a safe harbor for those who legitimately qualify as self-employed, which includes (1) individuals or business entities who satisfy the federal/IRS balancing test for being an independent contractor, (2) individuals or business entities conducting a franchise business under FTC rules and regulations, and (3) individuals or business entities for whom a court has determined that state independent contractor law is federally preempted.

 

An Act protecting employees who receive wages by payroll debit cards

According to a report from New York’s attorney general, 10.8 million workers will receive $70 billion in wages by payroll debit cards in 2017. Using payroll cards allows employers to cut their payroll processing costs by as much as 65 percent, and yet employers are still passing on costs associated with the cards to their employees. Many workers who are paid by payroll card, most of them low-wage earners, have also found that they cannot access their wages without paying a fee for every transaction. This legislation requires consent before an employee is paid by payroll card, guarantees employees local access to one or more ATMs that offer free withdrawals, and at least one method of withdrawing their total wages free of charge. The bill also prevents employees from being charged a variety of fees for using their payroll cards.

 

An Act relative to the honoring and cashing of checks

This legislation requires a bank to honor and cash a check drawn on the bank, if the person presenting the check provides adequate identification information, the bank has no reason to suspect the check is forged, and the check is for an amount less than $2,500. It also creates a $500 fine for each violation of the requirement.