I live in Virginia but try to keep abreast of national developments on non-compete laws. Most people are aware that California has almost eliminated non-compete contracts in the employment arena. Now it looks like Massachusetts is getting into the action.

The current version of a bill under consideration looks awfully good to me and includes the following:

1. Non-competition agreements cannot be enforced against employees making less than $75,000 per year (adjusted upward by $1,500 for each year after the bill’s passage).

2. A one-year limit for the duration on non-competition agreements and non-competes lasting six months or less are presumptively reasonable.

3. The bill mandates that employees be given notice that of a required non-competition agreement seven days’ prior to commencement of employment, or when a written job offer is communicated, whichever is earlier. This prevents under-handed actions like handing the new employee the non-compete after he/she has already quit their previous job.

4. The bill mandates that a court shall award attorneys’ fees and costs to an employee if the court declines to enforce a material restriction in the agreement or finds that the employer acted in bad faith. This would prevent employers from placing unfair “financial pressure” on departing employees.

My Take: I don’t know all of the provisions of the proposed legislation from Massachusetts, but I really like what I see so far.

Dan Frith
Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at