OLYMPIA – Washington’s strong protections for workers against employer-imposed noncompetition agreements will grow even stronger under legislation signed into law today.

SB 5935, sponsored by Sen. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell), increases protections for workers and consumers in response to real-life situations that have arisen since the passage of landmark 2019 legislation restricting the use of noncompete clauses in Washington.

“This bill is about freedom in the marketplace for labor,” said Stanford. “It safeguards the freedom of workers to seek new jobs without undue interference from their current employer, and the freedom of consumers to follow their favorite car mechanic, doctor, or other service provider who moves to a new location.”

The 2019 legislation, also sponsored by Stanford, prohibited most noncompete agreements for workers earning less than $100,000 a year, capped the maximum length of a noncompete at 18 months, and required that employees subject to noncompetes after a layoff be compensated for any period during which noncompete prohibitions are enforced. The earnings threshold is indexed to inflation and has risen to $120,559.99.

SB 5935 goes into effect on June 6.