The Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Robert DeLeo, announced last week that he will introduce a compromise bill this session to place limits on the enforcement of non-competes in Massachusetts.

The Speaker’s stated motive is to find a balance between the goal of protecting businesses in Massachusetts and fostering a business environment that encourages the incubation for talent. The proposed bill would place a 12-month limit on non-compete agreements, require prior notice to workers, and ban non-competes for low wage workers.

We have been following previous attempts over the years to limit or make non-competes unenforceable in Massachusetts.  For example, several bills proposed two years ago, including a compromise bill to limit the enforcement of non-competes to 6 months and another one filed by the former Governor to ban the enforcement of non-competes, failed to pass the Legislature.  See our previous blog post “Massachusetts Legislature Fails to Pass Any Proposed Bills on Non-Compete or Trade Secret Law,” which discussed these bills.

Some say the proposed bill does not go far enough. Like the prior ones, this one should generate lively debate.