Non-compete agreements are under fire lately, raising several questions about whether or not they go too far in restricting employees. The Massachusetts Senate advanced a bill in July that would limit the time period of a non-compete agreement to just three months. The bill also redefined “garden leave,” meaning the practice where an employee leaving a job is directed to stay away from work during the notice period, while still remaining on the payroll.
The Masachusetts bill would require companies to pay a departing employee his or her full salary during this non-compete period.
Non-competes, which ban workers for a period of time from taking jobs with competitor companies, certainly, are not uncommon. A May 2016 report from the White House cited research estimating that 30 million American workers (18 percent) were covered by non-compete agreements. Even more U.S. workers, according to the research — roughly 37 percent — have worked under a non-compete agreement at some point during their career.