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Non-compete clauses are becoming more and more common as employees tend to now move from employer to employer in a shorter amount of time. Non-compete agreements were originally used for only top level executives, scientists, and sales people with information and training that gives the employer a competitive advantage. However, employers are increasingly requiring their employees to sign non-competes in all types of jobs.
Non-compete clauses usually specify three major areas: the geographic area where the employee may or may not work; the range of the services, roles, and skills that can or cannot be used for a competitor; and the total time duration of the clause to be in effect. A non-compete clause is required to protect a legitimate business interest of the employer, such as trade secrets, trusted information, and customer relations. When non-competes are written fairly, they try to strike an important balance between the employer’s rights to protect its assets and intellectual property with the employee's right to work. Unfortunately, too many non-compete agreements heavily favor the employer.
If you are looking for a new job and are being asked to sign a non-compete agreement, you'll need to take some time to evaluate the pros and cons of signing it and working for that employer. Elzer Law Firm, LLC can review your proposed non-compete and advise you on whether to sign it. We can also discuss whether to try to negotiate a more favorable non-compete agreement before you sign anything.
If you already signed a non-compete and are now looking to make a move that may be in violation of that agreement, please contact us for a consultation. Not all non-compete agreements are enforceable. Attorney Christine T. Elzer has experience litigating non-compete cases, and has had courts issue orders against their enforcement.