People are often excited when they start a new position. Looking forward to the challenges and rewards ahead, they may sign a pile of paperwork on their first day. Sometimes they are not fully reading every document they sign. One of the items might be a non-compete agreement or non-solicitation agreement.
Then, as time moves on, the individual may find themselves thinking about new places to work, how to expand their career. If you are considering other employment opportunities in Ohio and are wondering if your non-compete agreement is enforceable, talk to a Columbus employment attorney.
What Happens When a Non-Compete Agreement Is Violated?
If an employee signs an agreement and violates it, the company may pursue legal action. They could file a breach of contract lawsuit, for instance. But the ability to do this depends on the terms of the agreement. Non-compete are not always enforceable and courts may find that the non-compete is not reasonable and should not be permitted to be enforced.
An employer would have to prove the agreement needs to be enforced to protect their business interests. Often there are geographic restrictions or timeframes included into the agreements so the employee can have opportunities, as long as they do not impede the employer from doing business.
If an employee moves on, how a non-compete agreement might be violated may be covered during the exit interview. Security measures may be put in place and the employer may insist an employee hand over any client contacts or other information considered proprietary.
When a court of law is evaluating the agreements they will also take third party relationships into account. So if the employee has a skill that benefits the public, and that skill is taken out of the community due to a non-compete agreement, the court could rule in favor of allowing that individual to share their talent with the community for the betterment of all.
When a Former Employer Reaches Out to a New Employer
Sometimes, if a company learns someone that was on their team is now working for a competitor, they may reach out to the new employer. If they feel an agreement was violated, they could explain to the new employer that contractual obligations are in place. That the interests of their company need to be protected.
This is often a preferred route for businesses who want to stop the problem immediately. Prompt action means a former employee will be told to stop contacting clients they agreed to sever relationships with, for instance.
Agreements and contracts differ from company to company. You need a Columbus employment attorney to help you understand the complexities and what is enforceable in a court of law.
Did you sign a non-compete agreement? Do you have questions about your rights as you transition to another employer? The lawyers at Coffman Legal LLC are strong and committed advocates for all Ohio workers. They can guide you through the process of protecting your rights and securing compensation that you deserve, when appropriate. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation.