Can I Be Sued if I Hire Someone Who Has a Non Compete?
An Employer's Liability if an Employee Breaches a Prior Non Compete Agreement
Generally, a new employer is not liable for an employee's breach of a non compete agreement with a prior employer. This is because you as the new company have no contractual duty to the other employer.
You can be liable, however, if you have done anything otherwise unlawful to interfere with the employee's contract, such as misrepresentation or helping or encouraging the employee to take trade secrets or other confidential information from the prior employer.
In all events, even if your company has no legal liability, a fight over the non compete could be disruptive to your business. It is important to ask prospective employees if they have a non compete. That should not necessarily kill the deal, however. There are many reasons a non compete might be unenforceable under Massachusetts law. The job you are offering also may not in fact fall within however competition is defined in the agreement.
If you have any doubt, you can consult with an employment lawyer to help you assess the risk and understand the scope of the non compete.
Learn more here about non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.
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