Bill H 1701

Non Compete Act thumbnail

Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act

By Andrew P. Botti

Out of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development has come the proposed “Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act,” which would be an amendment to Chapter 149 of the General Laws.

The major provisions are as follows:

  • the non-compete must be provided to the employee with a formal offer of employment or 10 days before employment, whichever is earliest;
  • restrictive period of no more than 12 months;
  • requires that the non-compete contain a garden leave clause such that the employee will be paid for the duration of the restrictive period;
  • prohibits enforcement of non-competes against certain types  of workers including those classified as nonexempt under FLSA, as well as employees that have been terminated without cause or laid off.

The proposed Act would also eliminate the Superior Court present ability to reform the given contract in such a way as to better fit its provisions to the situation at hand.

The Act does not apply to covenants prohibiting the solicitation or hiring of employees; covenants not to solicit a former employer’s customers; non-compete agreements tied to the sale of a business; and non-disclosure agreements.

The proposed bill would also adopt in modified form the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.