Editor’s Note: The White House issued a fact sheet about the executive order after this article was published. View the fact sheet here.

An expected executive order from President Joe Biden curtailing employers’ use of noncompete agreements and banning some occupational licensing agreements could represent federal government overreach when it comes to regulating long-term care providers, according to one industry association.

The Hill reported Wednesday that the president is planning an executive order that would encourage the Federal Trade Commission to ban or limit noncompete agreements, which are used by employers to try to prevent employees from accepting a position with a competitor.

Details of the executive order are murky, particularly as to how they might relate to healthcare, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a Wednesday press briefing that the president “believes that if someone offers you a better job, you should be able to take it.”

Noncompete agreements, she said, affect more than 300 workers nationwide at various levels of employment.

Maggie Elehwany, senior vice president of public affairs at Argentum, told the McKnight’s Business Daily, however, that “there is a concern that statutory authority may be exceeded with this proposed executive order.

“States currently have statutes and regulations pertaining to noncompete agreements and, in the case of senior living, license and regulate specified employees,” she continued. “Argentum will closely review the proposed order once released, but would oppose any new federal burdens on private business agreements and licensure functions.” 

Cristina Crawford, senior manager of public affairs at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, told the McKnight’s Business Daily that members of those two groups have not reported issues with noncompete agreements.

Regarding occupational licensing, she added, “We support efforts to expand workforce availability, and the idea of addressing unnecessary occupational licensing restrictions sounds like it could be helpful, but I don’t know the extent of application.”

A LeadingAge spokesperson said the group would need additional details on the order and how it might affect members before commenting.