Tag Archives: Massachusetts noncompete law

A recent paper, “The Ethics of Noncompete Clauses,” by University of Georgia Professor Harrison Frye, expands the policy discussion around noncompetes, and argues for a more thoughtful analysis. As Professor Frye details, seeing noncompetes “as solely advancing the interests of employers is myopic.”
On Thursday, July 15, 2021, United States District Court Judge Hillman issued what I believe is the first (readily available, anyway) non-dicta, substantive decision on the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (the MNAA). Read more about Judge Hillman dismissal of a claim based on a nonconforming noncompete in KPM Analytics North America Corporation v. Blue Sun Scientific, LLC (C.A. No. 4:21-cv-10572-TSH).
So far this year, there have been 64 noncompete bills pending in 25 states — excluding the two pending federal noncompete bills, D.C.’s new law to ban most noncompetes, and any proposed bills that are circulating, but have not yet been filed. Five bills have died — leaving the current tally at 59 noncompete bills still pending in 21 states. Today’s post covers the four bills pending in Massachusetts.
As set forth in the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act, G.L. c. 149, § 24L, “[a] noncompetition agreement [entered into on or after October 1, 2018] shall not be enforceable against . . . employees that have been terminated without cause or laid off . . . .” Id. at § 24L(c).

“Without cause” is not defined in the statute. Worse, its meaning – particularly when juxtaposed against the category of “laid-off” workers – is unclear.
With the continuing unfolding of the COVID19 pandemic, I remain particularly focused on identifying resources that I hope will be helpful to people while they try to cope with the new reality (hence t...