Is New Non-Compete Language in a Severance Agreement Enforceable?
Some severance agreements include a clause stating you acknowledge and reaffirm a pre-existing non compete. Others include new non compete language, imposing a restriction on your work activities that you did not previously have.
If it is a new non compete, you should know that the terms of the Massachusetts Non Compete Act do not apply to severance agreements, so long as you are provided seven days after signing to rescind the agreement if you change your mind. This means you could be held to the non compete even if it does not provide garden leave payments as required by the Non Compete Act, or comply with the other limitations on enforcement under the Act.
If you are simply asked to acknowledge and reaffirm an existing non compete, it is still a good idea to speak with an employment lawyer before you sign, as this reaffirmation may affect some defenses you otherwise might have had to the underlying non compete.
Learn more here about non competes and severance agreements.
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