Tradesmen to end non-compete agreements, pay workers

About 1,200 workers could be eligible for restitution after Tradesmen International LLC hit illegal non-compete agreements, the attorney general’s office said.

TACOMA, Wash. — An Ohio-based recruitment agency that has placed thousands of Washington workers will end its existing non-compete clauses and pay affected workers compensation, the Washington state attorney general’s office announced Thursday.

The Attorney General’s investigation found that Tradesmen International LLC unlawfully entered into non-compete agreements with workers that prevented the workers from finding permanent employment at the companies where they were placed. Dealers continued these arrangements after January 1, 2020, when Washington’s law prohibiting non-compete agreements for low- and middle-income workers went into effect.

Tradesmen, which operates seven offices in Washington state, recruits, places and places employees with companies. As of 2020, it has placed about 1,200 workers at more than 300 Washington companies, most of them for construction-related work.

Under an agreement, merchants will pay $287,100 in refunds. About 1,200 current and former Washington State employees may be eligible for a claim.

The company must also inform these workers that its non-compete obligations are no longer enforceable and it cannot require them to continue.

In July 2021, the General Prosecutor’s Office was informed of craftsmen’s practices.

As part of his investigation, a government investigator applied for a position with Tradesmen and reported that at no point in the interview process did Tradesmen disclose its non-compete agreements. One interviewer even told the investigator there were no restrictions on accepting future jobs with the host.

Dealers signed a consent order filed in Pierce County Superior Court to avoid a lawsuit, according to the attorney general’s office.

Anyone employed by tradespeople since January 1, 2020 should contact the DA at Tradesmensettlement@atg.wa.gov by October 15 to see if they are eligible for a refund.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/tradesmen-international-llc-non-compete-agreements-restitution/281-43d326e4-ec64-4aa7-8b07-6a8b49a62fd2 Tradesmen to end non-compete agreements, pay workers

Alley Einstein

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