Against the backdrop of consolidation in the anesthesia market, the unilateral reduction by some employers of agreed-upon compensation for physician anesthesiologists during the initial COVID-19 outbreak, and termination by some hospitals of their relationships with their longstanding anesthesia groups, a longstanding debate about the pros and cons of noncompetes has reemerged. Employed physician anesthesiologists whose employers had cut their pay, notwithstanding contracts ensuring a guaranteed base salary, protested that they should be released from the restrictive covenants in light of the employers' breach. Physician anesthesiologists who lost their positions when hospitals terminated their groups' contracts argued that they should not be subject to noncompetes. Anesthesia group employers, on the other hand, continue to seek noncompete protection to “promote stability in the workforce” and the group's operations, by limiting the ability of its personnel to “jump ship” for a higher...

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