Massachusetts workers with non-compete clauses in their contracts will soon be the first in the US to benefit from a so-called “garden leave” provision, which will allow those prevented from working for competitors to continue collecting salary from their former employer during the restricted period.
The new policy, popular in England but never before implemented in the US, went into effect on October 1, 2018.
Essentially, any employer who has barred a former employee from working for a competitor due to a non-compete clause must continue to pay that former employee at least 50% of his or her base salary during the restricted period outlined in the employment contract.
There is, however, a controversial catch. “Mutually-agreed upon compensation” may be substituted for garden leave, though what such consideration could entail is not explicitly defined.
The law is not retroactive to existing agreements.
Learn more about the new policy, it’s history (including why it’s called “garden leave”), and it’s predicted effects, here.