Governor Deval Patrick on Thursday will propose sweeping legislation to make it easier for workers in technology, life sciences, and other industries to move from job to job by banning the noncompete agreements companies use to prevent employees from jumping to rivals.
The proposal is certain to inflame a battle within the state’s business community between larger, established corporations that say noncompete agreementsprevent former employees from spreading business secrets and venture capitalists who contend they stifle innovation and undermine the state’s reputation as a haven for startups.
“We feel like noncompetes are a barrier to innovation in Massachusetts,” said Greg Bialecki, secretary of Housing and Economic Development.
Noncompete agreements are extremely popular in the tech world. The companies are afraid that designers and developers will leave and give their secrets to another company. Of course they don't really stop that; if someone wants to do that then they will. Instead, all these agreements do is prevent the decent and loyal workers from trying to improve their careers by seeking other employment.
Another problem I have always had with them is that these employers don't pay for your education, so how can they own you? If I just graduated college with a degree in Computer Science and went to work for a company as a developer, then that company decides to get rid of me, I'm not stuck with student loans and not being able to continue my career.
These agreements really do need to go, and it's welcoming to see someone finally take action to get rid of them.
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