Are Non Compete Agreements Enforceable in Massachusetts?
The rules on enforcing non compete agreements are a little different depending on when you signed the agreement. If it was on or after October 1, 2018, the new Massachusetts Non Compete Act applies and contains specific requirements for the agreement to be enforceable. Even if your agreement is older than that, courts in Massachusetts have always subjected post-employment non compete agreements to special scrutiny, because they restrict individuals' ability to earn a living.
Both before and after October 1, 2018, non competes are only enforceable to the extent reasonably necessary to protect a legitimate interest of the employer (usually either trade secrets or employer goodwill), and can only last as long and cover such geographic areas as needed to protect those interests.
Agreements signed after October 1, 2018 are expressly limited to 12 months in length, must include a "garden leave" clause providing for continuation of at least 50% of your base salary during the restricted period, and categorically cannot be enforced against certain types of employees, or if you are terminated without cause.
Learn more here about non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.
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