What is Garden Leave Under the Massachusetts Non Compete Act?
The Massachusetts Non Compete Act states that an employer must pay at least half of your average base salary for the duration of the restricted period unless the employer chooses to waive the non compete restrictions. This is called "garden leave" in the statute.
That means if you were earning $100,000 per year and you have a 12 month non compete, your employer must pay you $50,000 over that period. This provision is a required element of any non compete signed after October 1, 2018.
The statute says that garden leave is applicable unless the employer waives the noncompetition restrictions. It does not specify when or how that waiver has to be made. Most likely this will be governed by what the agreement itself says on the subject, which you should review with a lawyer if you have questions.
Though the words in the statute regarding garden leave appear straightforward, there are employers advancing various arguments for the validity of agreements even without garden leave provisions. It will likely be some time before courts resolve this issue. This means it is a good idea to consult an attorney even if you are very confident that your agreement does not meet the garden leave requirement, so that you understand your options and level of risk.
Learn more here about the garden leave requirement of the Massachusetts Non Compete Act.
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