If you have signed a non-compete agreement, you may be wondering whether you need to abide by its terms. It can be dangerous to make any assumptions on your own and breach a non-compete agreement. You should always contact an attorney to learn how to proceed when you have already signed a non-compete agreement. Generally, there are two options; you can breach the agreement and force the company to sue you, or you can seek a declaratory judgment from the court that the agreement is invalid.
Non-competes may sometimes be enforceable. In general, courts do not react favorably when a company tries to make an employee sign an agreement that curtails their ability to earn a living. If your company forced you to sign a broad non-compete as a condition for getting the job, the court might not enforce it. A judge is more likely to enforce a more limited non-compete agreement that is intended to protect against the disclosure of corporate knowledge and secrets. Still, the company must narrowly tailor the agreement to meet those needs without needlessly keeping someone from being able to work in their chosen field. If a company overreaches, it may render the agreement unenforceable. The Biden Administration may propose new regulations that would ban non-compete agreements as a condition for employment.
Non-compete agreements may be enforceable under other circumstances. For example, if someone sells a business, there may be a valid reason for the purchaser to insist on a non-compete agreement to keep from harming the value of the company that they just bought. Still, the court would look at the specifics of the non-compete agreement to see if it is too broad.
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Battleson Law LLC can work with businesses or individuals when important legal agreements are involved. You can reach out to us online or call us today at 470.766.0811.