Non-compete Clauses May be Here to Stay in Employment Agreements

non-compete-agreement-massachusettsFor the last few years, Massachusetts has been moving toward banning non-compete clauses in employment agreements.

Non-compete clauses prohibit an employee from working within a certain field, or within a geographic area, for a defined period of time.

Due to the appointment by Governor Charlie Baker of an opponent of non-compete reform to an advisory panel, some are speculating that Baker will slow down the trend toward outright banning of non-competes, reports Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Although employers claim that non-compete agreements are necessary to protect business interests, employees and aspiring entrepreneurs argue that non-competes prevent innovation.

Under current Massachusetts law, non-compete agreements must be reasonable as to duration, geographic location, and the scope of the type of employment that is prohibited. Massachusetts courts have held that agreements are valid, even if they restrict employment for two or three years.

There is no easy formula for determining when a non-compete agreement is valid or invalid. A non-compete agreement is only enforceable if it protects an employer’s legitimate business interests. The non-compete cannot prevent an employee from working in an area that does not affect the employer.

Joe Culik

Joe Culik

Attorney Joe Culik has built his reputation on helping people and has dedicated his practice in Boston, Massachusetts to consumer protection, employee rights, and small business and franchise law.