Message From Newsletter Sponsor: Post University
Post University Announces the Promotion of Two Administrative Leaders
Post University has announced the promotion of two administrative leaders. Director of Nursing Education Kimberly Nerud, Ph.D., will become the dean of American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and faculty member Michael Wolter, Ph.D., will now serve as the assistant dean of undergraduate programs in The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business.
Since joining Post, Nerud has leveraged her 20 years in nursing education to expand the university’s healthcare programs. She has been extremely active within the American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Sciences, serving as program chair and mentor for the DNP nursing candidates. Prior to joining Post University, she served as the academic director of the RN-to-BSN program at the University of South Dakota and was an online instructor for Western Governors University (WGU). Nerud earned her Doctorate in Nursing from South Dakota State University.
Michael Wolter has spent the past five years at Post University teaching and inspiring students within The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business. In his new role as assistant dean, he will work directly with the school’s leadership to advance the quality of its undergraduate programming and course instruction. Prior to joining the Post University team, Wolter was an assistant dean and associate professor in the School of Business, Management, and Advanced Manufacturing at Goodwin University in East Hartford, Connecticut. He earned his Doctorate in Organization and Management from Capella University, his Master of Science in Organizational and his Bachelor of Science in Communication from Eastern Connecticut State University in Windham, Connecticut.
“We are pleased to celebrate the success of Kimberly and Michael as they take on greater leadership roles on our campus,” said Provost Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D. “Both bring a depth of knowledge and experience to our team that will ultimately prepare our students for successful careers.”
HR Corner: Federal Trade Commission Seeks to Ban Non-Compete Agreements
This HR Corner is brought to you by Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP. Written by Attorney Nick Zaino
On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a new rule that, if implemented, would prohibit employers from entering into non-compete agreements with their workers (with limited exceptions). The proposed rule would also require employers to rescind existing non-compete restrictions with current and former workers. 

The FTC asserts that “the new proposed rule could increase wages by nearly $300 billion per year and expand career opportunities for about 30 million Americans.” The FTC further asserts that the rule is “based on a preliminary finding that noncompetes constitute an unfair method of competition and therefore violate Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.”

The proposed rule has garnered a lot of attention in the business community as many businesses rely on non-compete agreements to protect their confidential information and customer good will. It’s not certain if the proposed rule will be revised or blocked prior to implementation. As many remember, the proposed Overtime Rule that was issued by the Department of Labor in 2016 was blocked by a federal judge and never went into effect. Whether the FTC’s proposed rule suffers the same fate is uncertain. Therefore, employers should have at least a general understanding of the proposed rule given its broad-sweeping nature. 

What does the proposed rule provide?
In a nutshell, the proposed rule would make it illegal for an employer to: (1) enter into or attempt to enter into a noncompete with a worker; (2) maintain a noncompete with a worker; or (3) represent to a worker, under certain circumstances, that the worker is subject to a noncompete. Employers would also be required to rescind existing noncompetes and actively inform workers that they are no longer in effect. The FTC has provided a model notice that employers could use to provide such notice.

The proposed rule would apply to independent contractors and anyone else who works for an employer, regardless of whether the worker is paid for their service.

Does the proposed rule prohibit confidentiality and non-solicitation covenants or agreements?
It does not appear so. The proposed rule defines a “non-compete clause” as including any contractual term between an employer and a worker that prevents the worker from seeking or accepting employment with a person, or operating a business, after the conclusion of the worker’s employment. Confidentiality and non-solicitation covenants do not prevent workers from seeking or accepting employment with another employer and, therefore, do not seem to fall within the scope of the proposed rule’s prohibition. 

Are there any exceptions to the proposed rule?
The only exception to the proposed rule applies to non-compete agreements that are entered into in connection with the sale of a business, an ownership interest in a business entity, or all of a business entity’s operating assets. The exception would only apply to a “substantial owner, substantial member, or substantial partner” who holds at least 25% ownership interest in the business entity that is being sold.

What is the timeline for when the proposed rule could go into effect?
Stakeholders have 60 days to comment on the proposed rule. The FTC would then review the comments and may revise the proposed rule before it is finalized. Once the proposed rule is final, it would take effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register, and employers would then have 180 days after its publication to comply with its requirements. Therefore, the earliest possible date for compliance would be around November 2023.

What should employers be doing?
For now, employers should closely monitor the status of the proposed rule. Employers should also review their existing noncompete agreements to determine if they contain non-solicitation language and “blue pencil” and severability language that should allow the enforceable provisions to remain intact even if certain provisions of the agreement are later determined to be unenforceable. 

If you have questions, please contact a member of Carmody's Labor and Employment team.

This information is for educational purposes only to provide general information and a general understanding of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any attorney-client relationship.
Welcome New Members:
A warm welcome to our newest members!* We encourage you to connect with them soon and see where your next partnership can be!

*Joined 12/10/22 to 1/10/23
Submit Your News and Social Media Content
Do you have upcoming events, company news, or other-related information you'd like the Chamber to promote in our February Chamber Member newsletter or on one of our many social media platforms? You can submit your content by emailing Communications Director David Huck or Social Media Associate Amy Wergin.
Upcoming Events & Opportunities
The Chamber is Hiring: Director of Public Affairs and Economic Development
Key Role Responsibilities:
The Government Affairs & Economic Development Director will play a key role in developing the Chamber’s official position on policy initiatives and advocating that position to local, state, and federal elected officials. The Director will also work to educate Chamber members on upcoming legislation and programs that may affect their business, as well as lead the Chamber’s workforce development initiatives and work closely with the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board to meet the Chamber’s contractual obligations. 
Jan. 25: Out for Business Networking at Holy Cross in Waterbury
The Waterbury Regional Chamber’s Young Professionals (YP) group is kicking off its new “Power Player Speaker Series” on Friday, January 27 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. with a talk by Andrew Razz, Managing Partner at Waterbury’s La Bella Vista Wedding & Banquet venue.

During the talk, Razz will share his personal and professional experiences of running a family-owned wedding and banquet facility, which also offers catering services. The discussion is one of many upcoming events as part of YP’s new “Power Player Speaker Series,” which will feature top Waterbury regional leaders and influencers who will share their experiences and successes working in the area’s business community.

While the event will be in a hybrid format, in-person attendance for the event at Post University Downtown, 140 Bank Street, 3rd Floor, is encouraged. A Zoom option is available. Those who attend in-person will be treated to a continental breakfast and parking reimbursement for the Buckingham Garage, which is located at 210 Bank St.

The cost to attend is $10 for Chamber and YP members; $20 for non-Chamber members. Register now by clicking here.
Feb. 13: Legislative Summit in Southbury
27th Annual Malcolm Baldrige Chamber Awards Evening: February 16
Leonard Mecca, the president of AI-Tek Instruments, has been named the recipient of the Waterbury Regional Chamber’s 2023 Malcolm Baldrige Community Award.
The award is the Chamber’s most respected, named in honor of Malcolm “Mac” Baldrige, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Ronald Reagan. Baldrige, who also was a former chairman of the Chamber, continually demonstrated his belief in community, leadership, and volunteerism as he worked to promote economic development in Greater Waterbury.
The award will be presented during the 27th Annual Malcolm Baldrige Chamber Awards Dinner on Thursday, February 16, 2023, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. The evening will include a silent auction and is a major fundraiser for the not-for-profit Waterbury Regional Chamber, supporting the Chamber’s public policy and economic development efforts. 

In addition to Mecca, the Chamber will honor Jason Van Stone, Vice President-Leisure Segment, at Drew Marine with the 2023 Leadership Award, and Janice Mitchell-Smith of Benefit Solutions by Janice, LLC with its 2023 Volunteer of the Year Award.

To read more about this year's honorees, click here.
World-renowned fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff will be the keynote speaker during the Business Women’s Forum on March 15, 2023.

The Business Women’s Forum, which is now in its 40th year, is Connecticut’s largest and longest running conference for women in the state devoted to professional and personal development. The event will take place at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. Throughout the day, attendees will hear from a variety dynamic speakers and trainers, get the opportunity to network with hundreds of other professional women, and get the chance to win prizes. 

Additional speakers for the 2023 event will be announced in the coming weeks.
Applications are now being accepted for the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation's new economic investment initiative, the Central Business District Investment Program, aimed at helping central business district property owners to lease their vacant storefronts.

The program uses $1.5 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to establish a matching grant program that would support property owners within the district who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the program, eligible property owners can receive up to $100,000 to be used for interior or exterior buildout costs for vacant ground floor-level retail space. Property owners with vacant storefronts are eligible for a grant of $50 per square foot, up to $100,000. Any grant awarded to a property owner must be matched at 100 percent by the owner of the property, the tenant, or a combination of both parties. Additionally, Waterbury businesses can be eligible for up to $10,000 to relocate to the Central Business District or to another location within the City.
Southbury Chamber News
Have you seen our new billboard near the intersection of Main Street South and Flood Bridge Road? Now is the perfect time to encourage a fellow business owner that you know to join the growing membership of the Southbury Chamber, as all memberships, regardless of the size of your business start off at a limited, introductory price through March 31.

For more information, visit: