There appears to be some movement on the effort to cut back on the use of non-competition agreements in Massachusetts. This has been a long-term priority of mine.
These agreements restrict employee mobility, hampering new venture formation and contributing to unemployment. They are bad for the innovation climate. At the same time, employers feel them necessary to protect their business assets.
I started five years ago with a proposal to abolish non-compete agreements. In the face of business community opposition, I have sought various compromise formulas which would reduce the abuse of over-reaching non-competition agreements — agreements which prohibit employees from working for an unnecessarily long period, within an unnecessarily expansive geographic area or across an unnecessarily broad field of activities.
So far, old-line businesses like EMC Corporation, working through organizations like the Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce have defeated efforts to end the abuse.
This week the Governor came out strongly for outright abolition of the practice. I do hope that his support enables some progress. See stories at the following links:
- Governor’s Press Release
- Nick DeLuca at BostInno
- New England Venture Capital Association
- Scott Kirsner at Beta Boston
It remains to be seen whether we’ll be able to make something happen on this legislatively.