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It Bears Repeating: No Noncompetes

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John McEleney, CEO of Cambridge-based Onshape, wrote a terrific op-ed in the Boston Globe this week on how “Noncompetes hurt workers and their employers.

Holding that “freedom of movement is a fundamental human right,” McEleney uses the piece to announce that Onshape is dropping noncompete agreements for current employees and new hires, and to call for the Massachusetts Legislature to pass a bill to eliminate enforcement of noncompetes statewide.

His key point: “Noncompete agreements create a domino effect. When one person is blocked from furthering their career, another is denied a possible job opening.”

Amen to that.

Eliminating noncompetes has been a passion point for years for Tamr CEO and Co-Founder Andy Palmer, who who testified in June 2014 before the Massachusetts state legislature the last time a noncompete ban was under consideration.

In a post from earlier this year, “The Simple Truth: Happy People, Healthy Company,” Andy called for ALL startups to adopt Tamr’s policy to not require or enforce noncompete agreements.

“In Massachusetts, we’ve seen the deleterious consequences of noncompetes in our local startup ecosystem, including frustration, and even alienation, of top intellectual talent who want to find the right “home” for their life’s work. This results in a corresponding reduction of entrepreneurial energy and economic productivity within the startup ecosystem’s most valuable contributors.”

In the place of noncompetes, Andy calls for us “to use our inherent spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship to make ‘the US the best place for the smartest and most ambitious people in the world to start new, innovative companies.’ Noncompetes as enforced in our home state of Massachusetts undercut this very culture of innovation, squelching professional growth opportunities that depend on a certain amount of talent movement within our industry.”