Next Draft of Non-competition Legislation — Hearing on October 7

We’ve had great input from many sources regarding our proposed legislation on non-competition agreements which we last released in July.  Representative Ehrlich and I are pleased to now publish a next draft for continued input.

Click  here to see the full text of the new draft.   We’ve attempted to simplify and clarify the legislation and also to respond to numerous specific points.  We look forward to continuing to listen to reactions to the draft.

The legislation is designed to give employers incentives to consistently write narrow, fair non-compete agreements — agreements that protect legitimate emloyer interests without unduly hampering employees who need to leave their job.  The basic approach is to create safe harbor terms — six month agreements narrowly limited in geographic and activity scope — that will be reliably enforced, while placing employers at risk of non-enforcement and attorneys fees awards if they go beyond those terms.  For a more detailed analysis, see the website of the lead attorney drafter of the legislation, Russell Beck.

A formal hearing on the legislation will be held at 10:30AM on October 7 in Room A-2 in the state house.   If you know you would like to testify and would like to coordinate with our testimony, please be in touch with Caroline Huang at the following e-mail:

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

6 replies on “Next Draft of Non-competition Legislation — Hearing on October 7”

  1. 27L(b)(m) shall not apply to … covenants not to solicit employees of the employer

    That makes me sad.

    These covenants severely hamper employee mobility, and vibrant tech markets are all about employee mobility. Restricting the ability of people to find out about better opportunities is bad for our economy.

    We no longer work for the same company for our entire career. We move from company to company. We no longer owe any one company the entirety of our professional development. It’s ethically questionable for a company to lay claim to something it didn’t create: the professional network of the employee.

    If you cannot reverse the sense of that statement, then I hope you’ll take this up on the next round. So called “anti-poaching” agreements are far more damaging to high-tech workers than non-competes.

    1. Thanks, Chris.

      I take your point and I expect to look at the issues further. I do think it has to wait for the next round — we have enough on our hands with changes in one law. We can look at related areas after we see where we stand with this.


  2. Will, I haven’t had a chance to study this particular bill, but I do generally feel that some employers have abused noncompete agreements and employees in these situations are in a very weak bargaining position. Establishing the kinds of guidelines that you describe sounds like a very positive step.

  3. Will, I have taken the time to review the bill and would like to know the status of where it is at now? The most current information I can find is 3 months old. I strongly support this bill. As a small business owner I have the opportunity to hire unemployed salespeople from a national competitor but they are all tied to an unreasonable nationwide non-compete. I look forward to your response.

    1. HI Gary, Thanks for your support. The bill is still in committee. We are still hopeful, but I can’t give you a timeline — it’s up to leadership to schedule and we don’t have any commitments yet.

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