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June 04, 2020

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Massachusetts Non-Compete Legislation Awaiting Governor Baker’s Signature

Employers in Massachusetts are watching closely as a non-compete bill was recently passed by the Legislature and is now on Governor Baker’s desk. Currently slated to take effect on October 1, 2018, the law will significantly impact the drafting, implementation and enforcement of non-compete agreements in the Commonwealth. Governor Baker is expected to sign the bill into law, but before doing so, he may amend and send the bill back to the Legislature to be voted on again.

The legislation imposes several key restrictions on employers using non-compete agreements in Massachusetts, including:

  • limiting the post-employment non-compete restriction period to a maximum of one year;
  • requiring employers to offer a “garden leave” for the length of the restricted period providing for at least 50% of the employee’s highest base salary during the prior two years (or some “other mutually-agreed upon consideration”);
  • prohibiting employers from enforcing non-compete agreements against certain categories of workers, including non-exempt employees and employees who have been laid off or whose employment was terminated without “cause” (currently an undefined term); and
  • no longer allowing continued employment to serve as consideration to support non-competition agreements signed after employment has commenced.

Once signed into law, we will provide a full breakdown of the law’s key provisions and an overview of the law’s practical implications for employers with Massachusetts employees and independent contractors. Stay tuned!

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About this Author

Emma Follansbee attorney MintzLevin Employment Counseling and Training, Employment Litigation & Arbitration, Discrimination & Harassment, Employee Mobility & Trade Secrets
Associate

Emma counsels clients on a wide variety of employment issues and litigates employment disputes before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Her litigation practice includes restrictive covenant agreements; discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation claims; and wage and hour compliance.

Emma regularly advises clients on compliance with federal, state, and local laws, including changes in Massachusetts non-compete laws and leave entitlements. Her practice also encompasses assisting clients with terminations and reductions in force, WARN notifications, workplace...

617-348-4732
Katherine Beattie, Mintz Law Firm, Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney
Member

Kate’s work primarily involves litigation and counseling on federal and state labor and employment matters, including issues involving discrimination and harassment, leaves of absence, wage and hour disputes on an individual and class-wide basis, employee classification, wrongful termination, trade secret protection, and the enforcement of noncompetition and nondisclosure agreements.

Kate handles employment litigation before federal and state courts, arbitrators, and administrative agencies, including state fair employment and human rights agencies. She has also represented clients in cases pertaining to the False Claims Act, insider trading, and shareholder disputes.

Kate also counsels clients on a wide variety of employment issues, such as leaves of absence, independent contractor and employee classification, wage and hour law compliance, reasonable accommodation for disabled employees, employee discipline and terminations, and the protection of trade secrets and confidential information. She manages and conducts internal investigations of harassment and discrimination claims, wage and hour compliance issues, whistleblower claims, and allegations of ethics and code of conduct violations. She also provides training on anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and procedures as well as effective management practices.

Kate frequently provides employment and labor guidance on corporate merger and acquisition transactions, and regularly negotiates and drafts executive employment, separation, and related agreements on behalf of both publicly and privately held companies.

In her labor practice, she advises clients on a range of collective bargaining issues, and represents clients before the National Labor Relations Board with respect to unfair labor practice charges and union election proceedings.

Prior to rejoining the firm in October 2016, Kate was Vice President, Employment & Litigation Counsel at NTT DATA, Inc., a global IT services company which provides professional services, including consulting, application services, business process and IT outsourcing, and cloud-based solutions. In this role, which spanned across North America and in India, Kate managed commercial and employment litigations, provided human resources and business executives with employment law advice and counseling on all aspects of employment law, handled internal investigations, training, and compliance, and supported all phases of corporate merger and acquisition transactions.

From October 2006 through mid-2013, Kate was an Associate at Mintz. In law school, Kate served as a Special Assistant Attorney General in the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General’s Office, where she represented state agencies before state courts. Her experience also includes four years as a legislative aide in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

617-348-4445