Employers use non-compete agreements to prevent the competition from unfairly hiring away key employees. However, non-compete agreements must allow an employee the right to make a living. Reasonableness is the key to drafting an enforceable non-compete agreement. The test for reasonableness is highly fact-dependent. A reasonable non-compete agreement may limit a person from working within a few miles of his former employer, or it may limit the person from working anywhere in the world if necessary to protect a business. The employment relationship, and contractual relationship of the parties to a non-compete agreement is the most critical factor in the analysis of enforceability. A non-compete agreement that is unreasonable because it is too broad, will be scaled back if it is in fact capable of being narrowed.
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At Phillips Law Firm, Inc. we help analyze your non-compete agreement to ensure that its duration, geographic reach, and scope, will be enforced “only to the extent . . . necessary to protect the legitimate business interests of the employer.” Recognized legitimate business interests are generally identified as the protection of trade secrets, confidential information, and goodwill. Similarly, we have represented individuals in negotiating an exit from an employer with a non-compete requirement, and when necessary, we have represented employees in overturning non-compete agreements that were unreasonable. Beware that except for very limited situations, certain jurisdictions like California do not enforce non-compete agreements based upon “public policy” considerations. If you or your business need help with a Non-Compete Agreement, contact the experienced attorneys at Phillips Law Firm, Inc.