Gov. Deval Patrick Supports Rendering Non-Competes Unenforceable in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki recently announced that the administration of Governor Deval Patrick had changed its position on the enforceability of non-compete agreements in Massachusetts, and now supports eliminating their enforceability in the state (presumably, like California’s famous prohibition against non-competes, exemptions would be carved out for situations like the sale of a business or the goodwill of a business). Massachusetts legislators have been debating amending the law to limit the enforceability of non-competes for several years, introducing a variety of bills making all levels of changes during the past few legislative sessions. While no proposal has gained a significant amount of steam, with the support and endorsement of the Governor, proponents in the legislature of making non-competes unenforceable may be able to rally enough support to pass a bill to that effect, which would apparently be signed into law by Governor Patrick. However, Governor Patrick has announced he will not seek reelection next year, so it remains to be seen whether a bill can be successfully pushed through the legislature before the end of Patrick’s term.

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