Non-competes are an insult to our Massachusetts culture of freedom, innovation, and enterprise. These non-competes are a form of bondage that extend an unfair burden on ‘the little guy’ for long after the employer has stopped paying them or providing benefits. Getting rid of this is long overdue. (I almost hate to throw this rhetoric in, but to quote my dad “Ever since Lincoln freed the slaves we all should be able to work for who we want when we want.”}
We’re an at-will work state – which basically means an employer can fire you for no reason at all at any time. The employees should also get some benefit to “at-will” and that’s the right to work for whomever they please whenever they want. Make no mistake – the employers hold all the power in these situations and people usually HATE signing non-competes but feel they have to in order to keep a pay check coming in.
I’m personally still under a non-compete I signed 2 years ago. I had been doing a fantastic job and bringing lots of revenue to the company. As a side effect I was well compensated. I thought I was set for a long time due to my productivity and leadership. Unfortunately the son of the owner came in and basically said “hey I can do everything John does, get rid of him and pay his income to me”. The owner was worn down over time by the son and I was out the door.
In the mean time I have all the confidence in the world that I could provide better service to all my clients, and many of them reached out to me and said just that. However due to an overly long non-compete I don’t even speak with them for fear of being sued. I guess I could ask for a judge to void the agreement but I don’t know how much that would cost or how long it would take.
I think it’s important to point out as well that the primary opponents of banning non-competition agreements are not businesses or employees so much as they are employment lawyers. They blast these bills because it’s money out of their pockets for the work they do around these issues. For them I say: too bad.
Will – I think I and others really appreciate your dedication to this issue over the years. These non-competes have real and deleterious effects on real people. Thanks for your continued efforts on this front and I pray some success finally comes our way. If there is anything I could do to help please email me.