Why Massachusetts plans to end its non compete agreement law

Massachusetts' governor plans on ending a dated rule that may inhibit growth in its technology sector.

Massachusetts' governor plans on ending a dated rule that may inhibit growth in its technology sector.

The technology sector is a highly competitive one, driven by trade secrets and intellectual property. Due to the nature of the market, Massachusetts hasn't changed its law on non-compete agreements, which bars employees from applying for positions at rival organizations for one to two years on average, according to the Boston Globe.

Human resources departments are responsible for drawing out the language for these documents in HR software, might have to get to the drawing board because Governor Deval Patrick is proposing to end this clause to increase competition. Patrick believes ending this requirement could create a larger technology presence in the Bay State, one that is trying to keep up with Silicon Valley, which also got rid of its own non compete agreement laws.

''In California, another tech hub, they don't have non competes and they're doing pretty well,'' Patrick said on his radio show that's aired on a PBS affiliate. ''We want to enable that same free flow of talent in an innovation hub here in Massachusetts which is booming and it ought to have as few restraints on it as possible.''

Massachusetts' non compete laws have been around for nearly as long as the United States has, even though its technology sector generates millions of dollars. Although a majority of the state's startups bring in less than $5 million annually, there are more than 20,000 enterprises that have posted more than $20 million in revenue, Chris Anderson, president of the Massachusetts High Tech Council explained to the Associated Press.

''The appropriate place to address concerns of the large employers is to strengthen trade secrets protections,'' he said.

To prepare for these potential changes, human resources should update HR software solutions as soon as possible, giving workers enough time to evaluate these new rules.