Utah broadcast noncompete bill heads to governor

Utah lawmakers passed a bill Monday to restrict the use of noncompete contracts in Utah's broadcast media.

The bill passed with a vote of 55-11 in favor of technical amendments the Senate made to HB241. The bill will be sent to Gov. Gary Herbert for consideration.

Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, called the contracts unfair and lopsided.

The governor will look closely at the bill when it gets to his desk, said Herbert spokesman Paul Edwards.

"Gov. Herbert wants to carefully consider the potential unintended consequences of this modification to our contract law," Edwards said.

Noncompete contracts prevent employees from working for a competitor for a prescribed amount of time. Utah law limits the time to one year.

The bill would restrict noncompete contracts to employees who make more than $47,500 a year. If an employee is fired for just cause or quits, the noncompete would be enforced. If fired without cause or if the employee's contract was not renewed, it would not be enforced.

Major TV stations in Utah oppose the bill, arguing that they invest thousands of dollars in developing and promoting their on-air personalities to build their brands.

Photo uploaded to Panoramio by user Chanilim714.

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