Five Tips For Employees With Noncompete Agreements
1. Don’t Assume Your Employer Cannot Enforce A Noncompete Agreement.
Do not listen to friends or other employees who tell you that noncompete agreements are unenforceable and cannot hold up in court. The fact is that a well-drafted noncompete agreement between an employee and an employer generally may be enforceable to the extent it protects the employer’s legitimate business interests. Ignoring a noncompete and assuming it is unenforceable could end up being a costly mistake.
2. The Best Time To Review Your Noncompete Is Before You Resign.
Early consideration of your noncompete agreement could result in avoiding enforcement by your employer. Addressing issues with your noncompete agreement before departure can be critical to a smooth transition to a new place of employment. Too many employees wait and end up inadvertently violating the noncompete agreement, leading to a lawsuit.
3. Read The Plain Language Of The Noncompete Agreement.
In general, courts will strictly construe a noncompete agreement because it is a restraint on trade. The plain language of the noncompete agreement may not cover or fit the circumstances of your new employment. Courts typically will not enforce a noncompete agreement that is overly broad. For example, many employers lose the value of a noncompete agreement by making it overly broad not only in scope, but also in geography and time.
4. Determine If You Can Comply With The Noncompete Agreement.
Depending on the language of the noncompete agreement, there may be a variety of ways to gain new employment without violating the terms of the noncompete. Additionally, there may be a variety of ways to mitigate any potential damages for any minor violation. Further, there may be some aspects of the noncompete that an employer is less likely to seek to enforce. Generally speaking, courts are more likely to enforce an agreement when it involves protection of trade secrets and solicitation of clients. Courts are less likely to enforce an agreement if it means preventing someone from gainful employment without legitimate business concerns to support it.
5. Contact A Massachusetts Or Connecticut Noncompete Attorney
Many times, employees wait too long to engage an attorney to address issues or concerns with noncompete agreements. An attorney with experience in noncompete law can help an employee with an effective exit strategy to try to avoid costly litigation or reduce the risks of successful enforcement by the employer.
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