Does an Older Non Compete Apply if I Was Terminated Without Cause?
Effect of No Fault Termination on Older Non Compete Agreements
If you signed your agreement before October 1, 2018, there is no absolute bar to enforcement of a non compete simply because you were laid off or terminated without cause.
That is not to say that the nature of your termination is irrelevant to the analysis. A court still must determine that the agreement is reasonably necessary to protect a legitimate interest of the employer. If the company has re-organized, for example, and what you do is no longer relevant to that business, a court may well find there is no legitimate reason to enforce the non compete.
In addition, most times when employers seek to enforce a non compete, they do so by asking the court to issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting you from taking the competitive job. This is what is called an equitable remedy, and the court is required to consider the "balance of the equities"- in plain English, what is fair- in deciding whether to grant that remedy. If you were let go, and set loose on the marketplace, through no fault of your own, a court may well consider that in its analysis.
Learn more here about non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.
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