When you started at your current job, you may have signed an employment contract or agreement that laid out the details of your role, benefits, compensation, and other key details. Included in that contract may have been a non-compete agreement as well.
A non-compete agreement is essentially a contract between the employer and the employee that lays out that the employee will not be able to compete with the employer once the employee is no longer employed by the employer. The time period for a non-compete depends on the terms of the non-compete but it is often up to a year, though there are some that extend longer.
Typically, non-compete agreements may be included in an employment contract to ensure that a former employee does not try to actively solicit customers or clients from the employer.
But they can be restrictive to individuals who are former employees. They can keep you from seeking work inside of the industry you have experience in, which can lead to a lack of career opportunities.
With that in mind, below we are going to look at how you may try to get out of a non-compete agreement in Ohio.
Note: This is not legal advice. You should speak directly with an employment contract lawyer for advice on your individual case.
For those looking to get out of a non-compete agreement in Ohio, there are some different options. Since non-compete agreements are generally enforceable in the state of Ohio, the terms of the agreement and the laws associated with the agreement will need to be considered with each individual situation.
If you have yet to sign a non-compete agreement, there may be some room for negotiation. Employment contracts are often open to some kind of negotiation from both ends and you do have the right to review any agreements before you sign them, including with an attorney.
You may be able to negotiate on the different terms of a non-compete that has been included such as the length of time, confidentiality, and the choice of law that will oversee the non-compete agreement.
In terms of negotiation, it can be helpful to speak with an experienced employment contract lawyer who will be able to offer legal counsel on the agreement. This can help to ensure that you and your employer understand the contract or agreement fully before anything is signed.
If a non-compete agreement has already been signed, it will generally constitute a binding agreement. Since they are generally enforceable, an employer may take action to enforce the non-compete if it has been violated by an employee.
But keep in mind, that employers may also violate an agreement.
If a non-compete agreement is disputed or violated, this will generally mean that the dispute will be presented in court. From there, an evaluation will occur around the dispute and the non-compete agreement itself. Elements of the non-compete agreement that will be evaluated include:
These elements and others will be used to determine if the non-compete agreement is reasonable and thus will be enforced. The court may determine a non-compete is unreasonable for different reasons, including if an employee has a particular skill that is beneficial to the community.
If a non-compete agreement is found to be unreasonable, you can then challenge its enforceability of it. Though keep in mind, that some factors of the non-compete agreement may be found unreasonable while others may remain reasonable – meaning that the reasonable factors will still need to be followed.
If you are dealing with a violated non-compete agreement, reach out to Coffman Legal, LLC today for a free consultation. Getting out of a non-compete agreement may not be especially straightforward, and it is not always possible. However, having legal representation by an employment attorney help can go a long way.
Have you been asked to sign a non-compete agreement as part of an employment contract for a new role you are starting? Employment agreements and contracts are legally binding documents. You may often have the ability to negotiate the contracts and seek legal advice in regard to non-compete agreements and other factors.
If you are interested in getting out of a non-compete agreement or seeing what your options are, reach out to Coffman Legal, LLC today to speak with an employment contract lawyer. We offer totally free and confidential consultations.
Call us at 614-949-1181 or book your consultation online.