What is the Difference Between Garden Leave and a Notice Period?
We have seen people use these terms interchangeably but they are not necessarily the same thing.
"Garden leave" under the Massachusetts Non Compete Agreement Act is the period of time during which you are restricted from competing and being paid at least 50% of your base salary.
A "notice period" refers to a period of time in which you may still be paid after giving notice of your resignation, or after being given notice of termination. This usually only happens if you have an employment contract providing for a certain amount of notice.
Why is this important? Because from the employer's perspective, your employment does not end until after the notice period is over. So, although they may be referring to it as "garden leave," your restricted period does not begin to run until your employment ends.
For example: you have a 30 day notice period in your contract, and your employer tells you to stop working but still pays you through the 30 days. If you have a 6 month non compete, that non compete lasts for six months from the end of the 30 days, not from when you stopped working. Of course, the employer's obligation to make garden leave payments continues for that same amount of time.
Learn more here about the garden leave requirement of the Massachusetts Non Compete Act.
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