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What the new FTC ruling on Non-Compete Agreements Means for Eyecare Businesses

Non-compete agreement

What the new FTC ruling on Non-Compete Agreements Means for Eyecare Businesses

Non-compete agreements for eyecare professionals have undergone a significant shift. In April 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) implemented a new rule that significantly restricts the use of non-compete clauses for most employees, including many in the eyecare field.

What does this mean for your business or clinic?

This sweeping regulation extends to employees at every level within a company, marking a pivotal departure from conventional practices. Here’s the latest update:

· New Non-Compete Agreements Banned: The FTC rule prohibits employers from entering into new non-compete agreements with any employee, regardless of position.

· Existing Agreements (Mostly) Invalidated: The vast majority of existing non-compete agreements will no longer be enforceable after the effective date of the rule. Exceptions are limited, with only a small number of senior-level executives potentially retaining enforceable clauses.

· Notice Required: Employers must notify current and former employees (other than senior executives) that existing non-compete agreements will not be enforced.

What impact does this have on my practice?

This new rule presents both challenges and opportunities for eyecare businesses. Here’s how it might affect your practice:

· Challenges:

o Increased Employee Turnover: With the removal of non-compete restrictions, employees may be more inclined to explore other opportunities, potentially leading

to more frequent staff changes. This can disrupt patient care continuity and require additional resources for recruitment and training.

o Loss of Control Over Patient Base: In some cases, departing employees might take established patient relationships with them, impacting practice revenue.

· Opportunities:

o Focus on Building a Strong Employer Brand: Creating a positive work environment that fosters professional growth, work-life balance, and competitive compensation becomes paramount. Attract and retain top talent by prioritizing employee well-being and offering a compelling value proposition.

o Invest in Employee Development: Provide opportunities for continuing education, skill development programs, and career advancement paths within your practice. Employees who feel valued and have clear growth prospects are less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere.

o Strengthen Your Company Culture: Fostering a collaborative and supportive work environment builds employee loyalty and reduces turnover.

Moving Forward

The FTC’s rule emphasizes a shift toward a more competitive labor market for eyecare professionals. By focusing on building a strong company culture and fostering employee satisfaction, eyecare businesses can still attract and retain top talent in this evolving landscape.

The new FTC ruling on non-compete agreements presents a unique challenge for eyecare businesses. But fear not! imatters, your trusted eyecare recruitment partner, is here to help you through these new challenges. Contact us today to access top talent in eyecare.

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