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Non-Compete Legislation is Back on the Agenda

By C. Forbes Sargent III on March 4, 2016

In a speech before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, Speaker of the Massachusetts House, Robert DeLeo, indicated that the House leadership is interested in putting forth legislation to limit Non-Competition Agreements in Massachusetts. According to reports in the Boston Globe, Speaker DeLeo stated that rather than banning Non-Compete Agreements altogether, he is interested in striking a balance.

His speech suggested that:

  • Non-Compete Agreements should be limited to a period of one (1) year after the termination of the employee’s employment, and that Non-Competes should not apply to low-wage workers.
  • Speaker DeLeo also indicated that any legislation would require that prospective employees be clearly told that they are being asked to sign a Non-Compete before they are hired.

Although bills limiting Non-Competes have been filed in the legislature for the past several years without success, now that the legislative leadership appears to be behind this new legislation it is much more likely that Non-Compete legislation will become a reality in the near future.

We will be watching this legislation closely and provide updates on the ways it may impact businesses operating in Massachusetts.

C. Forbes Sargent III

C. Forbes Sargent III is chair of the firm’s Corporate Department and co-chair of the firm’s Employment Law and Social Media and Digital Technology Practice Groups Read Bio

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