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Employment Law Clip: Non-Compete Agreements & the Material Change Doctrine

June 5, 2014

The success of a company often relies on its ability to attract and retain key employees, and to safeguard their know-how, customer relationships and trade secrets. To this end, many companies put in place non-competition agreements with their employees at the time of hire and assume that these agreements remain enforceable even if changes occur to the employee’s job. However, recent Massachusetts trial court decisions confirm that is not always so. The “material change doctrine” can be invoked by former employees to void non-competition agreements signed at the inception of employment, which may leave an employer’s customer relationships, i.e., “goodwill,” and confidential proprietary information exposed to misuse and misappropriation. Today, former employees are raising this defense more often and with more success.

In this video Massachusetts Employment Lawyer Christopher J. Perry explains the “material change doctrine” and the importance of carefully considering the potential impact of job changes on the enforceability of non-compete agreements. For more information, see our article: Material Job Changes May Void Employee’s Non-Compete

Please feel free to contact any member of our Employment Law Group with any questions.

MBBP’s Employment Law Clip Series provides quick, easy-to-digest snapshots of common Employment issues, as well as practical information on how to avoid complicated, expensive and time-consuming pitfalls. Stay tuned for the next topic on Restrictive Employment Agreements.

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