The Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Robert DeLeo, announced last week that he will introduce a compromise bill this session to place limits on the enforcement of non-competes in Massachusetts.
The Speaker’s stated motive is to find a balance between the goal of protecting businesses in Massachusetts and fostering a business environment that encourages the incubation for talent. The proposed bill would place a 12-month limit on non-compete agreements, require prior notice to workers, and ban non-competes for low wage workers.
We have been following previous attempts over the years to limit or make non-competes unenforceable in Massachusetts. For example, several bills proposed two years ago, including a compromise bill to limit the enforcement of non-competes to 6 months and another one filed by the former Governor to ban the enforcement of non-competes, failed to pass the Legislature. See our previous blog post "Massachusetts Legislature Fails to Pass Any Proposed Bills on Non-Compete or Trade Secret Law," which discussed these bills.
Some say the proposed bill does not go far enough. Like the prior ones, this one should generate lively debate.
We will continue to keep you posted.