In light of Governor Deval Patrick’s proposal to ban noncompete clauses, most of the talk around the controversial practice has focused on the tech sector.
That’s with good enough reason. The big companies in that industry are notorious for their use of the clauses, and with the conversation around noncompetes so focused on economic opportunity, the continued growth of tech as a staple of the wider Massachusetts business climate makes it a worthy battleground for the issue.
However, as the Boston Herald noted last week, they affect far more than just that one industry. Perhaps most grotesquely, teenagers working at the LINX summer camps in Wellesley are asked to sign noncompetes, which according to the Herald bar them from even babysitting for families met through the camp for a full year.
LINX defended the action to the Herald, claiming its training methods as the same sort of confidential intel that tech companies with noncompetes claim they worry about as well.
The Herald story includes more instances of noncompetes in other industries and is worth a read if you’re interested in the topic. It’s a useful reminder that not just glamorous tech workers are caught up in employment and career limbo by these clauses.