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SHRM Newsletter: Legislative Alert
Posted on Mar. 1, 2016

This is Utah SHRM Legal-mail no. 2016-4 prepared for Salt Lake SHRM, the Human Resources Association of Central Utah (HRACU), the Northern Utah Human Resources Association (NUHRA), the Color Country Human Resources Association (CCHRA), the Bridgerland Society for Human Resource Management and Utah at-large members of the national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).




LEGISLATIVE ALERT…NONCOMPETE BILL CONTROVERSY: The Utah Legislature has been considering a bill (HB 251) that originally would have banned noncompetes, but it has been significantly modified to basically incorporate the Utah case law requirements for an enforceable noncompete agreement. You can read a copy of the bill here:  There currently is much controversy over this bill, and many concerns about it within the business community. Here (below) is an update from the Salt Lake Chamber about it, as well as a link to an editorial about it from the Deseret News. If this bill impacts your business, please contact the Chamber or your legislators and tell them about your concerns. Here is the Chamber message:


From: Lane Beattie []
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2016 11:27 AM
Subject: Regarding H.B. 251


Dear Chamber Member,

I want to give you an update regarding H.B. 251 Post Employment Restrictions Amendments (non-compete agreements). As it currently stands, this bill would make non-compete agreements illegal in Utah – leading to significant ramifications for Utah businesses. For more information regarding this bill, see the attached non-compete issue brief.
This issue is the single highest priority for the Chamber in this legislative session, as we continue to work to ensure that preserving reasonable and responsible uses of non-compete agreements remains a tool for you and your businesses. We are working directly with Rep. Schultz, the bill's sponsor, to find common ground on a path forward. We should have further developments to share in the coming days.
What you can do: Inform the discussion. The Legislature needs to understand this critical issue, and it's potential negative impact on your business. We ask that you constructively share information about the non-competes your companies are using with your elected representatives. Specifically, please share: what the impact to your business would be if you were unable to use non-competes. Make sure the individual selected to represent you has an informed and educated opinion as the issue progresses through the legislative process. As you educate legislators, we ask that you keep conversations constructive. If you need help finding your representatives, please click here
Additionally, the Deseret News published an editorial this morning on the issue that echoed many of your concerns and the need to carefully protect our state’s premier business climate.
Our staff has worked in close concert with business leaders and employment attorneys who have already spent a considerable amount of time on this issue. Under my direction, Abby Albrecht and Michael Parker have led our efforts with support from Heidi Walker and Jason Mathis. They will be your main points of contact through the end of the session. We want to also acknowledge our working partnerships with Utah Technology Council, Utah Manufacturers Association, BioUtah and many other business associations and business leaders who are helping to unite the voice of the business community around this issue. I want to also acknowledge The Governor’s Office of Economic Development, who has added great support with a fact-based approach to build consensus and work towards a solution on this issue with the Legislature.
Again, I appreciate all of your engagement. We will continue to update you on further developments as they occur.


Lane Beattie
President & CEO 


HOW TO CONTACT YOUR UTAH LEGISLATORS: The Utah Legislature opened its annual session on Monday, January 25, 2016 and runs through March 10, 2016. You can be heard on the bill outlined above and other issues by contacting your legislators directly. Click here for contact information on members of the Utah House of Representatives: Click here for a list of Utah State Senators:

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mikeAttorney Michael
Patrick O'Brien

Mike O’Brien is an experienced and accomplished employment attorney, media lawyer and courtroom litigator.  He is active in SHRM and has received the highest possible reviews from rating services like Martindale - Hubbell (AV rating), Chambers USA, Utah Business Legal Elite, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal USA, and SuperLawyers.  HR Executive Online has named him as one of America’s most powerful 100 employment lawyers, but keep in mind, this does not mean he is good at moving heavy furniture.

Awards and Recognition


OBrien Best

Chambers 2011 Attorney

Super Lawyers
Michael Patrick O'Brien

Best Lawyers In America, “Salt Lake City Best Lawyers Employment Law Lawyer Of The Year,” 2011-2012

Best Lawyers In America, First Amendment Law, Labor And Employment Law, 2005-2012

Chambers USA, Labor & Employment, 2003-2011

Employment Lawyer Of The Year, Utah State Bar, 2001

Human Resources Executive, Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Lawyers In America, 2010

Mountain States Super Lawyers, 2007-2012

Utah Business Magazine, Legal Elite, Labor And Employment, 2006-2012