- Associated Press - Monday, August 1, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - A legislative effort to restrict non-compete clauses in employment contracts has fallen short.

State lawmakers failed to reach agreement on the bill Sunday in the closing hours of the formal 2015-2016 session on Beacon Hill.

Non-compete clauses restrict the ability of workers to leave a company and immediately go to work for or start a competing firm.

The House passed a bill during the session that would limit to 12 months the length of a non-compete clause. But the Senate went much further, limiting the duration to just three months.

A House-Senate conference committee met over the weekend to try to hammer out a compromise, but was unsuccessful.

Companies defend non-competes as necessary to protect trade secrets and intellectual property.

But critics say they stifle innovation and entrepreneurship

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