What Are Legitimate Business Interests That Justify Enforcing a Non Compete?
An employer may only enforce a non compete agreement if it is necessary to protect a "legitimate business interest." What counts as a legitimate business interest may be narrower than you think.
Basically, there are two categories: protection of trade secrets or confidential information, and protection of employer goodwill. Making more money, retaining key personnel, or simply keeping top talent from working for a competitor do not count as grounds for enforcement of a non compete agreement in Massachusetts.
Trade secrets or confidential information can encompass many things beyond technical secrets, including customer lists, business plans, marketing strategies, and the like.
"Good will" is the employer's interest in the relationships you have built under their name. This is most commonly applied in the context of sales, where an employee may have cultivated prospects and customers over the years. There are, however, other public or customer facing roles where an employer might claim an interest in the good will.
Learn more here about legitimate interests to protect through a non compete agreement.
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