Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
FILE - Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY — State lawmakers passed a bill Monday to restrict the use of noncompete contracts in Utah's broadcast media.

The House voted 55-11 to concur with technical amendments the Senate made to HB241, sending it Gov. Gary Herbert for consideration.

"These are so unfair and so lopsided," said Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, holding up a noncompete contract. "I just want to remind everyone that we are still on the side of angels with this legislation."

The governor will look "closely" at the bill when it gets to his desk, said Herbert spokesman Paul Edwards.

"Gov. Herbert wants to carefully consider the potential unintended consequences of this modification to our contract law," Edwards said.

3 comments on this story

Noncompete contracts prevent employees from going to work for a competitor for a prescribed period of time. Utah law limits the time to one year.

The bill restricts noncompete contracts to employees who make more than $47,500 a year. If an employee is fired for just cause or quits, the noncompete clause would be enforced. If the employer fires an employee without cause or doesn't renew the contract, it would not be enforced.

Utah's major TV stations oppose the measure, arguing they invest thousands of dollars into promoting and developing their on-air personalities to build their brands.

— Dennis Romboy