Low-wage employees; covenants not to compete, civil penalty. (SB1387)

Introduced By

Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) with support from co-patron Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Covenants not to compete; low-wage employees; civil penalty. Prohibits an employer from entering into, enforcing, or threatening to enforce a covenant not to compete between the employer and a low-wage employee. The employer is subject to a civil penalty of $10,000 per violation. The bill defines "low-wage employee" as either (i) an employee, intern, student, apprentice, or trainee whose average weekly earnings are less than the average weekly wage of the Commonwealth or who is employed without pay or (ii) an independent contractor who is compensated for his services at an hourly rate that is less than the median hourly wage for the Commonwealth for all occupations as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The measure defines "covenant not to compete" as an agreement that restrains, prohibits, or otherwise restricts an individual's ability to compete with his former employer. The bill allows any low-wage employee subject to such a covenant not to compete to bring a civil action against an employer and seek appropriate relief, including enjoining the conduct of any person or employer, ordering payment of liquidated damages , and awarding lost compensation, damages, and reasonable attorney fees and costs. The bill requires all employers to post in the workplace a notice of the bill's prohibition or a summary of the notice approved by the Department of Labor and Industry and provides that an employer is subject to a warning for a first offense and to a civil penalty for a subsequent offense for failure to post such notice or approved summary. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/08/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19100439D
01/08/2019Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/14/2019Impact statement from DPB (SB1387)
01/14/2019Reported from Commerce and Labor with amendment (11-Y 1-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
01/16/2019Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/17/2019Read second time
01/17/2019Reading of amendment waived
01/17/2019Committee amendment agreed to
01/17/2019Engrossed by Senate as amended SB1387E
01/17/2019Printed as engrossed 19100439D-E
01/18/2019Read third time and passed Senate (37-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
01/22/2019Placed on Calendar
01/22/2019Read first time
01/22/2019Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/08/2019Impact statement from DPB (SB1387E)
02/12/2019Passed by indefinitely in Commerce and Labor (12-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)