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Posts Tagged ‘noncompetition agreements’

Round Up of Noncompete Reform Coming to New England

September 27, 2019 Leave a comment

2015-01-05_8-57-41Noncompete reform is taking over the country as more and more states – including four in New England – are making the decision to enact new laws restricting the use of noncompetition agreements by employers. Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island all recently passed legislation that is expected to take effect soon, and a similar bill is pending in Vermont as well. Dates of note include:

  • In June 2019, Maine’s governor signed into law LD 733: An Act To Promote Keeping Workers in Maine. This new law took effect September 18, 2019.
  • On July 11, 2019, New Hampshire’s governor signed S.B. 197 into law, which amends New Hampshire’s previous statute governing the use of noncompetition agreements. The amended law took effect on September 8, 2019.
  • On July 15, 2019, Rhode Island’s governor signed RI H6019 – the Rhode Island Noncompetition Agreement Act, which will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
  • In January 2019, H.1 was introduced in the Vermont legislature. The bill was referred to the Vermont House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, where it remains as of today.

Noncompete reform is gaining popularity, with more states likely to join in soon. Similar legislation has been proposed on the federal level as well, although the current federal bill, the Federal Freedom to Compete Act, has not gained much support yet and is currently sitting in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

Our Employment Law Alert explains the full extent of the bills and how they may affect you.

Important Reminder: Changes to MA Non-Competition Laws Starting October 1

September 25, 2018 Leave a comment

2015-01-05_8-57-41

By now, many employers are aware that Massachusetts law governing non-competition agreements is changing at the end of this month. A non-competition covenant or agreement is a provision in either an employment agreement, offer letter or separate agreement where an employer provides to an employee or independent contractor payment or some other consideration (for example a stock option or bonus). The employee or independent contractor in turn agrees not to compete for a period of time, customarily one year, after leaving the employment relationship. To date, whether a non-competition agreement is enforceable has been largely a matter of judicial discretion and we invariably looked to case law for guidance.

Now, after a decade plus of the Legislature considering the topic, we have a new Massachusetts law effective October 1, 2018, Mass. Gen. L. c. 149, §24L, setting forth a number of rules governing non-competition covenants. Read about the Act and what your company needs to do now in our Employment Law Alert.

Will We See Non-Compete Reform Enacted This Year?

June 28, 2016 Leave a comment

By: Scott J. Connolly

For the past eight years, legislative efforts to reform 2015-01-05_8-57-41post-employment noncompetion agreements in Massachusetts have failed. But this year, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo has signaled his support for H. 4323 and there is buzz that a non-compete bill may
SJC Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846523xB1386)land on Gov. Baker’s desk before the legislative session ends in July. 

This bill entitled, “Massachusetts Noncompetition Act” has eight key components in order for a noncompetition agreement to be valid and enforceable. If H. 4323 is enacted, employers will have to quickly and carefully revise their employee restrictive agreements to comply with the new law.

Read the full post here.

Noncompetition Agreements: Protecting Customer Relationships & Confidential Information

March 20, 2013 Leave a comment

On Tuesday, April 23rd MBBP is hosting a complimentary breakfast program titled “Noncompetition Agreements: Protecting Customer Relationships & Confidential Information“. Employers often ask: “Are our non-compete agreements with employees enforceable?” The answer often depends on whether the employer took the necessary steps to put an effective agreement in place. Courts in Massachusetts generally will enforce reasonable agreements when necessary to protect particular employer interests, such as customer relationships and trade, from misappropriation. On the other hand, courts generally do not enforce non-compete (or non-solicit and non-disclosure agreements) when no real protectable interests are at stake, the restrictions are unreasonable, or the employer has undermined its ability to enforce them.

This Program will identify the steps employers can take to increase the likelihood that a court will enforce its restrictive agreements with employees, provide education and insight into how such agreements are enforced by employers, and de-mystify the litigation process. We will also review recent legal developments that may affect whether the agreements you currently have in place with employees are vulnerable to attack by departing employees.

Our presenters have decades of experience advising employers and litigating cases in this area and we expect that attendees will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the program. Through discussion, we expect a very enlightening exchange of practical ideas and a range of employer experiences.

Please visit our event page for more information or to register.