Massachusetts is thinking about non-compete agreements, per this post from Employment Matters. Whether non-competes should be permitted at all, or whether their scope should be cut back, is an emerging policy issue. In Massachusetts the debate seems to be developing along a new versus old economy fault line. The newer companies, where tomorrow's growth will come from, want few if any non-compete provisions. More established companies seem to prefer the status quo or something close to it.
We have already suggested that the time may be here for New Jersey to revisit legislatively the degree to which non-competes will be enforced in the Garden State. There are implications not just for the companies and employees directly involved, but also for state-wide economic development. States are competing as never before to retain established businesses and to attract emerging industries and developing companies. It should come as no surprise that among the vocal supporters in Massachusetts of eliminating non-competes completely is a venture capital trade association.
Business, including small and medium sized business, needs to follow this issue and make its voice heard. And it may be time for the Legislature to take a look at the issue, too, before New Jersey loses a business climate battle to a significant competitor.