By Bronwyn L. Roberts
As reported in The Boston Globe, the Massachusetts Senate and House concluded their legislative session on July 31, 2016, without passing noncompete reform legislation. This comes as a bit of a surprise as the House and Senate have in 2016 each passed a noncompete reform bill. Additionally, Governor Charlie Baker has, through a spokesperson, recently indicated support for the House bill that sought to restrict noncompetes by creating “Garden Leave,” consisting of payment during the restricted period of at least 50 percent of the employee’s annualized base salary. However, for those who have followed this process over the years, the fact that neither bill passed is consistent with many other failed attempts over the years to overhaul the Massachusetts noncompete landscape.
Thus, the noncompete reform debate, which has been ongoing in the Massachusetts legislature since at least 2009, continues. We will keep you updated.
Continue reading The “No Update” Update: Massachusetts Legislature Concludes Session Without Passing Noncompete Reform
By Bronwyn L. Roberts
On June 29, 2016, just four months after Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo promised to put new legislative limits on noncompetition agreements, the House unanimously passed a bill (150-0) doing just that and also passed the Massachusetts Uniform Trade Secrets Act. To become law, the bill (House Bill 4434) still needs to pass the Senate and be signed by Governor Charlie Baker.
While much of the bill would merely codify some of the key issues judges already look at when analyzing whether an agreement is enforceable under Massachusetts law, there are some provisions that represent a sea change in the noncompete landscape.
Continue reading House Unanimously Passes Legislative Limits on Massachusetts Noncompetes and Passes Massachusetts Uniform Trade Secrets Act and, in Doing so, Introduces Paid Garden Leave
By Bronwyn L. Roberts and Gregory S. Bombard
On March 2, 2016, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo promised to put new legislative limits on noncompetition agreements, reigniting the debate over non-compete reform legislation that has continued since at least 2009. In a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s annual Government Affairs Forum, DeLeo said that he would push legislative reform with the following restrictions for enforceability of noncompetition agreements:
- noncompetition agreements would be limited to one year;
- noncompetition agreements would not apply to lower-wage workers; and
- workers must be clearly informed that a noncompetition agreement is required before taking a job, including a “stated right to counsel.”
Continue reading The Long Smoldering Debate About Noncompetition Reform in Massachusetts Is Re-Ignited by House Speaker