Treasury-sealOn March 31, 2016, the United States Department of the Treasury issued a report entitled, “Non-compete Contracts: Economic Effects and Policy Implications,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden’s 50 State Noncompete Survey.

As the Treasury Department explains, the “report seeks to begin a discussion of potential reforms in the usage of non-compete agreements.”

Drawing on substantial research, the Treasury Department summaries some of the effects of noncompetes as follows:

Non-compete agreements have economic benefits in some situations.  They can make firms more comfortable sharing their trade secrets with employees, which, in turn, can boost employees’ productivity and wages.  In addition, because non-compete agreements make workers more reluctant to leave a firm, employers may be more willing to invest in training for their workers.  Thus, when used appropriately, these benefits can provide real value to both firms and workers.

The Treasury Department also noted certain adverse implications of the use of noncompetes:

However, a growing body of evidence suggests that non-compete agreements, as currently experienced by workers and enforced by states, are often deployed in ways that lack transparency and fairness.  For instance, workers are often presented with a non-compete agreement only after they have accepted a job offer or started work.  In addition, workers are frequently not well-informed about the laws associated with non-compete agreements in their states, allowing employers to write broad contracts that may not be enforceable but nonetheless have a chilling effect on workers’ perceived mobility.  They are also deployed in ways that may serve little social purpose—for example, many workers who appear unlikely to possess valuable trade secrets are still bound by non-competes.  The practical effect of all this is to reduce worker bargaining power, sometimes causing workers to leave their fields entirely or to forego valuable opportunities for advancement and career growth. 

For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

Beck Reed Riden LLPBLF 2014_Silver_Generalis among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over twenty years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters

  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (5th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2015), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases

  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law

  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law

  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law

  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 2,200 members around the world

  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP is noted for his extensive experience of handling trade secrets and noncompete matters. Peers identify him as ‘one of the top noncompete experts in Massachusetts.'”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.