Massachusetts Noncompete Law

covenants not to compete, non-solicitation, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secrets

This blog focuses on developments in Massachusetts in the areas of covenants not to compete, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements, trade secrets and the many related issues that arise when employees move between employers. As court decisions and other legal developments arise, this blog will describe them and discuss their implications for the businesses and individuals affected by them.

Latest from Massachusetts Noncompete Law

Last week U.S. District Judge Zobel denied a road assistance service provider’s motion to stop its former vice president of sales from working for a competitor, citing the employer’s enforceable customer non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions as a reason not to enforce a broad non-compete provision.  The ruling on the preliminary injunction motion in Agero Administrative Service Corp. v. Campolo allowed the former employee to work for the competitor but prohibited him from soliciting certain customers…
In a decision that could affect Massachusetts companies with employees in California, a California appellate court voided a non-solicitation clause in former employees’ agreements. It is well known that under California law, post-employment non-competition agreements are unenforceable, except in very limited circumstances. California courts have been slightly more forgiving of non-solicitation provisions, both as to employees and customers.  Employee non-solicitation provisions occasionally have been upheld when tested against a reasonableness standard. For this reason, many…
As previously reported, the new Massachusetts law governing non-competition agreements takes effect on Monday, October 1.  A comprehensive summary of the law is here.  The most significant takeaways are the following: The law applies to post-employment noncompetes entered into on or after October 1, 2018 by Massachusetts workers and residents. The law does not apply to other kinds of restrictions, including non-solicitation agreements.  It also does not apply to noncompete restrictions that apply during employment. Noncompetes…
After years of debate, the Massachusetts Legislature recently passed a comprehensive noncompete reform law, and Governor Baker signed the bill on August 10, 2018. The new law overhauls existing law and imposes new prohibitions and requirements for noncompetes signed by Massachusetts workers as of October 1, 2018. Every Massachusetts employer that uses noncompetes will need to change its agreements and practices. Partners Jonathan Keselenko and Michael Rosen present a webinar discussing what employers need to…
As expected, yesterday (August 10, 2018) Governor Baker signed the new Massachusetts noncompete bill into law.   A summary of the law is here.  Although some industry groups were urging the governor to reject the bill or send it back to the legislature to correct flaws and ambiguities, he signed it without changes. The law takes effect on October 1 and will apply to non-competition agreements entered into on and after that date.  Employers of…
After years of debate, the Massachusetts legislature late last night passed a comprehensive noncompete reform law.  If, as expected, Governor Baker signs the bill in the next 10 days, it will take effect on October 1, 2018 and apply to agreements executed after that date.  (It does not apply retroactively to existing agreements.) As the summary below makes clear, the law represents a compromise between those who believe noncompetes should be abolished because they are fundamentally…
As expected, the Massachusetts Senate last night passed comprehensive legislation on non-competition agreements that imposes significantly more stringent requirements and limitations on noncompetes than is present in the legislation passed by the House two weeks ago (which already would significantly alter current law).  The bill passed by the full Senate differs only slightly from the the proposal advanced by the Rules Committee earlier this week and described in this post.  The only material change…
The Massachusetts Senate’s Committee on Rules is advancing legislation on noncompetes that differs markedly from the bill passed by the House and described here last week.  (Thank you to Brad MacDougall of AIM for bringing this to my attention.)  The bill, S.2418, is structured similarly to the House bill, but has the following significant differences: Noncompetes generally would be limited to 3 months in duration, compared with 12 months in the House bill; Garden leave pay would…