Proposed bill would restrict non-compete agreements

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BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – House Speaker Robert DeLeo wants to re-evaluate state laws concerning contracts with non-compete clauses. Former Governor Deval Patrick tried to ban non-compete agreements back in 2014, but didn’t get very far.

Non-compete agreements prevent employees from quitting a job and then using the knowledge they’ve gained to either work for a competitor or start their own company. Many of the state’s high tech companies make use of non-compete agreements.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo wants to restrict their use to one year and require employers to tell prospective employees about these restrictions upfront. Corporations support non-compete clauses, saying that they keep workers from leaking “trade secrets” to future employers or starting their own companies.

DeLeo’s House bill could also ban non-compete agreements among low wage workers. “When you’re talking about low-income workers,” said State Rep. Aaron Vega, “salon workers or summer camp workers, I don’t think there should be a clause for those people who really would be detrimentally affected by a non-compete clause.”

Only a few states in the country have outright bans on non-compete agreements. These states include California and Hawaii.

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