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Terms of Employment: Massachusetts

Terms of Employment requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Lisa Stephanian Burton and Peter J. Mee, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Summary

  • Massachusetts employers must make certain that all terms of employment comply not only with federal law, but also with Massachusetts antidiscrimination laws. See Massachusetts Antidiscrimination Laws.
  • In Massachusetts, an employee who is not a member of a union is typically an employee at-will, whereby the employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time for any lawful reason. Likewise, an employee can end the employment relationship at any time for any reason. See The Employment At-Will Relationship.
  • Massachusetts will recognize contractual exceptions to the at-will employment relationship that can be express or implied, written or oral. See Exceptions to the At-Will Relationship.
  • Massachusetts has common law exceptions to the employee at-will relationship. See Common Law Exceptions.
  • Massachusetts will enforce noncompetition agreements so long as they are: necessary to protect a legitimate interest of the employer; reasonably limited in time, subject matter, and location; and consistent with public interest. See Restrictive Covenants.