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What Happens If You Violate a Non Compete Agreement?


Non-compete agreements are essentially a contract, agreement, or a stipulation that can appear in larger contracts between an employee and an employer. They lay out the terms that an employee is not permitted to compete with the employer after the employee leaves their position or is terminated. Other stipulations can also be included since these are generally contracts that may vary based on the parties entering them.

The terms in a non-compete agreement will generally have a time period that is usually no longer than a year, depending on the agreement. If the timeframe for the non-compete is too long, it may not be enforceable at all or at least for the full time included in the non-compete.

A non-compete agreement can raise a number of different questions for employees, such as any possible consequences for violating non-compete agreements in Ohio.

Below, we take a look at a few questions related to non-compete agreements in Ohio. This information is simply for informational purposes and is not legal advice. You should contact an experienced employment lawyer to review and advise you of any possible consequences related to a non-compete agreement.

What Happens If You Violate A Non-Compete Agreement?

If an employee has signed a non-compete agreement and then violates it in some way, the employer they had the agreement with may be able to pursue legal action.

Violating non-compete agreements in Ohio can result in an employer filing a breach of contract lawsuit. The employer might seek financial compensation or for the non-compete agreement to be enforced, thereby potentially depriving the employee of continued employment with a competitor.

In Ohio, non-compete agreements may not always be enforceable though. Non-compete agreements must be reasonable.

An employer may need to prove that the agreement is crucial to protecting their business interests.

Non-competes are typically found to be reasonable if they afford an employee some of the following;

  • Allow an employee to seek gainful employment elsewhere
  • If they are not too broad on a geographical level, and
  • If timeframes included are found to be reasonable

Are you unsure if your non-compete agreement is enforceable? Talk to an employment attorney.

How To Get Out of A Non-Compete Agreement in Ohio

For individuals that have not yet signed an employment agreement, you can reach out to an employment attorney at Coffman Legal LLC to review the entire document and the non-compete agreement. There might be room to negotiate on the non-compete agreement to reduce its impact in the event that an employee or employer end a working relationship.

To challenge the enforceability of a non-compete agreement that you are already under, you would need for the agreement to be found unreasonable (though it is important to note that if some factors are found to be unenforceable, that does not mean you may ignore every term listed in the agreement).

As discussed above, there are several different factors taken into consideration when non-competes are looked at for enforceability like how long they last and conditions that keep an individual from finding gainful employment.

In some cases, employers may breach the contract themselves.

When you are dealing with an unreasonable non-compete agreement, seeking the assistance of an employment lawyer can be beneficial because they will be able to offer expert insight.

Looking for Help with a Non-Compete Agreement? Speak with an Employment Lawyer

Have you signed a non-compete agreement in Ohio? Do you have questions tied to violating non-compete agreements in Ohio?

The employment lawyers here at Coffman Legal LLC are here to help! We take a strong stance on advocating for Ohio workers, no matter the industry they are in. We may be able to provide guidance related to non-compete agreements, whether you are interested in fighting an agreement or if you have violated one.

You can call us at 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation!


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