The conduct that the agreement seeks to avoid should not be contrary to the public interest. In general, public policy promotes an employee`s ability to move from one job to another without restriction. Only a closely adapted agreement to protect the legitimate interest of businesses will be integrated into public order. Although many U.S. states have had non-competitive laws on their books for years, Massachusetts was just one of the most recent laws signed by Governor Baker. Instead, the courts used a precedent to determine whether a non-competition agreement should be applied. A few key words from previous judicial findings were enacted in the new law, since the language`s intention was to strike a balance between competing public policies: only a reasonable agreement is imposed by the Massachusetts courts. The adequacy is examined objectively and takes into account the circumstances of the parties and the public interest. Non-competition agreements must not exceed a reasonable period of time set by law beyond one (1) year after the end of the worker`s employment.
This is an exception in cases where a worker violates a retention obligation, with a duration of two (2) years. The reform of the non-compete clause arrived in Massachusetts, with important legal and practical implications for all employers with Massachusetts workers. Employers have only six weeks to review and adopt a new approach to non-competitive agreements for their employees. The new law, which will come into force on 1 October 2018, comes after years of debate and radically changes the restrictive legal landscape of Confederation in the Commonwealth. The Act also sets standards for other traditional common law requirements for reasonable non-competition obligations, such as .B extent of restrictions and protected interests. Non-competition in Massachusetts is applicable in time, geographically and in terms of activity only if the time limit is one year or less after employment (unless the worker violates its loyalty obligation or steals the property of the employer, in which case the non-competition clause can take up to 2 years). In addition, a non-competition clause is considered appropriate when it is limited (i) to geographic areas in which the worker has been exempt from services or has had a significant presence or influence in the last two years of employment, and (ii) is limited to the specific types of services provided by the worker during the last two years of employment. The law also recognizes three legitimate business interests, at least one of which must protect non-competition prohibitions to be applicable: trade secrets, confidential information and employer goodie.
For public policy reasons, Massachusetts passed a law prohibiting the application of non-compete measures to certain professions: under Massachusetts law, a non-compete clause does not apply to a low-wage employee. The law provides that workers considered “tax-free” by the FLSA may not be required to sign a non-compete agreement. Non-competition agreements are subject to very specific legal requirements. If your company intends to use a non-compete clause in contracts or enforce an agreement, or if you are an employee who is the subject of legal action, you should contact an experienced Massachusetts lawyer for help.