WASHINGTON, DC — The corporate-funded U.S. Chamber of Commerce has officially sued the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today over its new rule banning noncompetes nationwide which will safeguard the right of workers to seek better opportunities and open the door for up to $488 billion in increased worker earnings over the next decade, or an estimated $524 in earnings for the average employee per year. Predictably, the U.S. Chamber has once again filed their lawsuit in Texas federal court to ensure it falls under the jurisdiction of the conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals despite facing increased scrutiny for venue and judge shopping with lawsuits aiming to block pro-consumer and worker regulations to protect record corporate profits.

A recent analysis from government watchdog Accountable.US found that since January 2017, 63 percent of the U.S. Chamber’s lawsuits challenging federal regulations were filed within district courts under the jurisdiction of the Fifth Circuit — including its active lawsuit seeking to block the Biden administration’s new final rule capping most credit card late fees at $8, down from an average of $30.

In their extreme efforts to avoid fair and impartial judges, the U.S. Chamber filed their latest lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas, home to Trump appointed U.S. District Judge J. Campbell “Cam” Barker who recently ruled in favor of the U.S. Chamber and big bank trade groups seeking to reverse the Biden administration’s crackdown on illegal discrimination in the financial industry. As Accountable.US has documented, Judge Barker’s record revealed a bias he may hold against consumer financial regulators, with potential conflicts of interest, industry sympathies, and a long history of defending discrimination. And the U.S. Chamber got exactly what they wanted: according to Pacer, Judge Barker has already been assigned to the case.

Yet again, the U.S. Chamber went judge shopping in the conservative Fifth District territory for another corporate bailout that could have nationwide consequences for workers that just want more opportunity to get ahead. What’s really alarming is how much these conservative judges have been complicit in the U.S. Chamber’s transparent venue shopping game that undermines the entire judicial system, rigging it against everyday workers and consumers.”

“The U.S. Chamber is channeling their corporate funders that love non-compete clauses that force employees to endure low wages and poor working conditions,” added Zelnick. “The CEOs behind the U.S. Chamber’s latest lawsuit hate that the Biden administration is opening the door for millions of American workers to pursue better pay and benefits, and fairer treatment.”

Accountable.US’ Liz Zelnick


  • Nearly 30% of non-competes apply to employees who make less than $13 per hour.
  • The practice often disproportionately affects women and people of color whose earnings are reduced nearly twice as much than their white male counterparts when non-compete contracts are enforced.
  • The FTC estimates that banning non-competes could cut health care costs by $74-$194 billion over the next decade and generate 8,500 additional new businesses each year.


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