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  • Michael Krikorian

Out With The Old: How The FTC’s New Non-Compete Ban Affects YOU


Recent legislative changes have brought a significant shift in the veterinary landscape, particularly regarding employment contracts. One such change that's been making waves is the FTC’s ban on most non-compete clauses in employment contracts. This newfound freedom holds immense potential for newly minted veterinarians, empowering them to make more informed decisions about their career paths.


Non-compete clauses, common in veterinary employment contracts, restrict veterinarians from practicing within a certain radius of their former workplace for a specified period after leaving their job. While these clauses were intended to protect employers' interests, they often placed undue constraints on veterinarians, limiting their mobility and professional growth.


Now, with the ban on non-competes, newly graduated veterinarians have greater flexibility and autonomy in choosing their career paths. 

How To Use It:

Here's how this change can help you discern if a potential place of employment is right for you.

Career Mobility: 

Without the restriction of non-compete clauses, you're free to explore various employment opportunities without worrying about geographical restrictions. This means you can choose a job based on factors such as mentorship opportunities, work-life balance, and the chance to gain diverse clinical experiences, rather than being confined to a specific location.

Market Competition:

The removal of non-compete clauses fosters healthy competition among employers. Veterinary clinics and hospitals must now focus on creating attractive work environments and offering competitive compensation packages to attract top talent. As a result, you're more likely to find employers who prioritize employee well-being and professional development.

Transparent Work Environment: 

With non-compete clauses out of the picture, employers may be more inclined to foster transparent and collaborative work environments. They're encouraged to invest in their employees' growth and satisfaction rather than relying on contractual restrictions to retain talent. This transparency allows you to better evaluate if a potential employer shares your values and supports your career aspirations.

Negotiation Power: 

The absence of non-compete clauses gives you greater negotiation power when reviewing employment contracts. You can advocate for terms that align with your professional goals, such as opportunities for continuing education, leadership roles, or flexible scheduling. This ensures that you enter into employment agreements that are mutually beneficial and conducive to your long-term success.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities: 

For veterinarians aspiring to start their own practices or pursue entrepreneurial ventures, the ban on non-competes opens up new possibilities. You can gain valuable experience and build a client base without the fear of legal repercussions from former employers. This entrepreneurial freedom allows you to chart your own path and shape the future of veterinary medicine in innovative ways.


Potential Complications:

While the removal of non-compete clauses offers numerous benefits, it's essential to consider some potential complications that may arise.

Increased Competition: 

Without non-compete clauses, veterinarians may find themselves in more competitive environments where former colleagues or employees could potentially establish competing practices in close proximity. This heightened competition could impact client retention and practice profitability, particularly in densely populated areas.

Employer-Driven Expectations: 

In the absence of non-compete clauses, some employers may adopt alternative strategies to retain talent, such as imposing stringent non-solicitation agreements or implementing loyalty clauses. While these measures may not be as restrictive as non-compete clauses, they could still influence veterinarians' career decisions and limit their future options.


Despite these and other potential complications, the ban on non-compete clauses ultimately empowers newly graduated veterinarians to seek employment opportunities that prioritize their professional development and well-being. By carefully evaluating prospective employers and negotiating favorable terms, veterinarians can navigate the job market with confidence and chart a path toward a fulfilling career in veterinary medicine. If there are any questions you have about any aspect of a new employment contract, seeking professional and experienced counsel is absolutely vital to the security of your future. As you embark on this journey, remember to thoroughly explore this newfound freedom wisely and advocate for your professional interests.(Note: This article does not serve as legal advice. Any questions you may have about any aspect of an employment contract should be brought to the attention of your legal counsel.)


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