We believe that employers have a right to protect their intellectual property. We support the adoption of rigorous non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements that do just that—without preventing employees from achieving professional growth, or discouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.
By eliminating noncompetes, employees are free to seek out the best opportunities for themselves and their families. With non-disclosures and non-solicitation agreements in place, employers are protected from malicious behavior, but law-abiding employees are not stifled by the specter of retribution.
An Act relative to the judicial enforcement of noncompetition agreements
Chapter 149 of the General Laws of Massachusetts shall be amended by inserting the following as Section 19D:
Section 19D. Noncompetition Agreements
Any written or oral agreement arising out of an employment or independent contractor relationship that prohibits, impairs, restrains, restricts, or places any condition on a person’s ability to seek, engage in, or accept any type of employment or independent contractor work, for any period of time after an employment or independent contractor relationship has ended, shall, to that extent, be void and unenforceable. This section does not render void or unenforceable the remainder of the agreement containing the unenforceable noncompetition agreement, nor does it preclude the imposition by a court, through a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, permanent injunction, or otherwise, of a noncompetition restriction as a provisional or permanent remedy for a breach of another contractual obligation or violation of a statutory or common law duty. Nor shall this section affect (i) covenants not to solicit or hire employees or independent contractors of the employer; (ii) covenants not to solicit or transact business with customers, clients, or vendors of the employer; (iii) nondisclosure agreements; (iv) noncompetition agreements made in connection with the sale of a business or partnership or substantially all of the assets of a business, when the party restricted by the noncompetition agreement is an owner of, or partner with, at least a ten percent interest of the business who received significant consideration for the sale; (v) noncompetition agreements outside of an employment or independent contractor relationship; (vi) forfeiture agreements; or (vii) agreements by which an employee agrees to not reapply for employment to the same employer after termination of the employee.
This section shall apply to all contracts and agreements executed after the effective date of this act.