State lawmakers tackle non-compete agreements

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Joint Committee on Economic Development heard three and a half hours of testimony, mostly from people who want non-compete agreements banned in Massachusetts.

“Non-competes send a very bad message. It sends a message that our employers are not prepared to provide the very best place the work or they’re worried about their employees leaving,” said Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki.

The Patrick administration believes these non-compete agreements stifle job growth and innovation in the Commonwealth, and some employers agree.

“What’s interesting is that we heard from companies that actually use non-compete agreements and the only reason that they use them is because everybody else does. It’s sort of the thing that happens in business,” said State Representative Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke).

Senate-members agreed to tuck the issue into their economic development plan, limiting non-competes to six months. That bill is headed to a conference committee. The Joint Committee may release a revised version of a non-compete agreement bill on their own.

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