In this latest Legislative session on Beacon Hill it appears that the House and the Senate have reached certain compromises concerning non-compete legislation which would alter considerably the existing non-compete legal landscape in Massachusetts. The new version of the bill – HO 4434 – would alter Chapter 149 of the General Laws and provide generally as follows:
Click the image to the right to read the “Gender Identity Guidance for Public Accommodations” document filed by Attorney General Maura Healey on September 1, 2016.
The document is pursuant to Chapter 134 of the Acts of 2016, “An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination.”
The law is effective October 1, 2016.
Although burning the midnight oil last night, a Joint Conference Committee failed to reach agreement on a compromise bill by the established deadline of midnight, July 31.
Among other differences, the House and Senate versions of so-called non-compete reform contained very different “garden leave” provisions.
The House version required 50% pay for a one year “sit it out” period, while the Senate version required 100% pay for a maximum 3 month non-compete period. The House version also allowed the parties to come up with another form of acceptable consideration to support the non-compete period.
The Governor indicated that he favored the House version of the proposed reform.
At this point, the issue of non-compete reform is off the table until January 2017, the start of the next legislative session on Beacon Hill.
Gabriel Care, LLC vs. Borden Care, LLC, & another
For the first time a case involving competing visiting nurse associations has been reported out of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Although by statute nurses are not subject to non-competes, there are still common law restrictions on what a present employee may do in preparation to compete.
“A duty of loyalty is imposed on an employee who occupies a position of trust and confidence.” Gabriel Care, LLC v. Borden Care, LLC, et. al., 2016 Mass.App.Ct, at page 10. With respect to a registered nurse who was planning to quit her current position with a foster care agency and start her own competing business, the Appeals Court held:
On Friday, July 22, 2016, the Governor’s office released the following statement concerning the various legislative reform bills recently promulgated by Beacon Hill lawmakers:
“The Governor favors the House version of the non-compete legislation because he believes it better balances workers’ abilities to seek new employment while ensuring cutting edge businesses can protect essential intellectual property. Finding the right compromise on this issue is essential to ensuring innovative businesses want to stay and grow in the Commonwealth.”