Can a Health Care Professional be Held to a Non Compete?
Massachusetts law specifically exempts physicians, registered nurses, and psychologists from non compete agreements. These provisions are intended to protect a patient's freedom of choice in their health care providers.
Curiously, however, the same statute includes licensing and other provisions covering a much broader range of health care professionals, but does not provide a similar exemption for the others. A recent decision in the federal court in Boston denied a motion to dismiss a non compete claim against a chiropractor, for example. Rather than extending the same principal (patient freedom of choice) to other health care providers, the court relied on the absence of a specific exemption in the law for chiropractors.
This still leaves open the question of whether other health care professionals can be held to a non compete- the decision above was a trial court decision on a motion very early in the case, and therefore does not control how another judge may look at the issue.
Even if exempt from a non compete, a health care professional may still be held to other provisions in an employment contract, such as nondisclosure and non-solicitation clauses.
Learn more here about non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.
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