In a speech this week, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo promised a new bill putting limits on the use of non-compete agreements. While the bill has yet to be released, Speaker DeLeo stated that non-compete agreements should be no more than 12 months; employers must notify applicants about non-competes before a job offer is accepted; and restrictions on employment of low wage earners would be banned. Should the bill pass, this would be a major change for employers who seek to protect their interests.
Restrictions on employment have long been lamented by the high-tech sector. The claim by tech and startup groups is such restrictions hamper innovation and limit the pool of talented workers. Some states have successfully limited non-compete restrictions and California has largely eliminated the practice. Of course, many businesses feel strongly that a non-compete agreement is the best way to prevent workers from taking valuable trade secrets and company practices with them. We agree and have drafted hundreds of these contracts, which require thorough knowledge of the controlling law in order to work.
The timing of the release of the bill is unclear. We will keep you updated. If you have any questions on non complete agreements or any other workplace issues, we can help.