The Massachusetts Noncompete and Trade Secrets Bill Passes House

IMG_0017Although I am away (and posting from the Muir Woods – which are quite remarkable), I wanted to post a quick update on the status of the Massachusetts noncompete and UTSA bill. More details later. In the meantime:

Unanimous votes in the House: 150 to 0.

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act will have the fixes I’ve discussed before. (See prior posts.)

The one year limit remains in, with the same carve out for longer (up to 2 years) if the employee steals property from the employer.

Garden leave is in, but it can be negotiated in advance. Lots to discuss about the effect of that. (More when I’m back.)

Red pencil did not survive. Massachusetts will remain a reformation state, leaving the courts with the ability to revise overly broad restrictions.

Low income, student, and intern exemptions still apply.

Noncompetes also cannot be enforced against someone terminated without cause.

As for jurisdiction, there were some changes, but still, if brought in Suffolk County, jurisdiction will lie exclusively in the Superior Court and BLS. That means (among other things) that claims under the DTSA arguably cannot be brought together with a noncompete claim in the federal court.

The law, if passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Baker, will apply to agreements executed after October 1.

More details when I’m at my computer…