In a letter to leaders of the State Legislature and the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, MassMEDIC President Tom Sommer voiced strong opposition to any call for changes in the practice of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements between employers and employees in Massachusetts.
In the past year, there have been several bills introduced in both chambers of the Massachusetts Legislature that would restrict or prohibit this practice. Recently, Governor Patrick also introduced legislation that would have Massachusetts adopt the so-called trade secrets law.
Noting abolition of non-compete/non-solicitation agreements in Massachusetts would have a negative impact on the medical device industry, Sommer wrote: “Non-compete agreements are important tools for innovative and competitive Massachusetts companies. They provide protection for both employers and employees, striking a balance between employee freedom of movement between companies and protection of intellectual property, trade secrets, confidential information and goodwill. In fact, movement of employees between MassMEDIC member companies is highly commonplace, and non-competes have neither dissuaded this movement nor hindered the growth of the medical device industry in Massachusetts.”
He also suggested that the push for prohibiting these agreements came from the technology industry and urged policy makers to consider the effect on the medical device sector, which spends many years and invests significantly in research and development efforts.