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Still Want to Sign a Non-Compete in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts new economic development bill (Bill H.4714) changed how non-compete agreements are treated and enforced in the Commonwealth. You need to pay attention to the following:

  • Non-compete agreements must be in writing (well, yes, I saw that one coming);

  • Your new employee should receive the non-compete agreement together with any formal offer letter or 10 days before employment starts (whichever happens earlier);

  • If you are enforcing a non-compete agreement, you must pay "garden leave" (half the employee's salary) or negotiate other compensation;

  • New non-compete agreements for existing employees require actual consideration (unclear if continuing employment is still a sufficient consideration);

  • Hourly employees, minors, and employees terminated without a cause cannot be held to a non-compete agreement; and

  • Non-compete agreement cannot extend beyond a year.



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