The legislative debate continues on the necessity for noncompetition agreements under Massachusetts state law. On the one hand, noncompetition agreements severely limit workers from changing companies, often requiring individuals to leave the state or work elsewhere altogether. On the other hand, employers complain that they must keep their workers from joining competitors in order to protect their investment in those individuals.
For now, there are currently five bills before the legislature that seek to eliminate or greatly limit these agreements in the workplace.
- Two bills seek to ban most noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements, while allowing nondisclosure agreements.
- Two bills only seek to ban noncompete agreements, with no consideration to nonsolicitation and nondisclosure agreements. These bills also do not seek to make retroactive changes that would affect previously executed agreements.
- One bill seeks to ban all workplace restrictive covenant agreements entirely and retroactively.
The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development is expected to meet in June to consider the various proposals.