Should I Sign a Non-Competition Agreement?
If your prospective new employer asks you to sign a non-competition agreement, do not sign it without reading it thoroughly. Your non-competition agreement could include terms for you are are unreasonable or unfair. Bring it to an experienced employment attorney to have him or her read through the proposed agreement and determine if any of its terms can be amended to be more fair to you. If so, your attorney can draft a new agreement for you to resubmit to your employer, who may then accept these terms or amend them further.
Remember, you do not have to sign any agreement with which you are not comfortable. Signing a non-competition agreement might be required for your job, but it does not have to constrict your employment opportunities to the point that you can not progress in your career.
What is a Non-competition Agreement?
A non-competition agreement, also sometimes known as a non-compete agreement, is a clause in an employment contract that states that the employee may not work with competitors, as defined by business type and proximity to the employer, for a specified length of time following the employee’s termination or resignation from the company. This type of agreement is designed to protect a company’s investment in its employees by prohibiting them from using their specialized training and skills for competitors.
Is Your Non-Competition Agreement Reasonable?
Before you sign a non-competition agreement, work with your attorney to determine if its terms are reasonable. Some questions to ask to determine this include the following:
- Does the company truly compete within the entirety of the radius blacked-out in the agreement?
- Are the skills you acquired or will acquire with the company specialized to the point that using them elsewhere could potentially harm the company?
- Would being out of the workforce for the length of time specified in the agreement cause you to become unemployable in your field?
A non-competition clause must be reasonable to be valid. If you have a non-competition agreement dispute with your employer that you cannot work out, you may bring your case to court to have a judge determine whether your agreement is reasonable. The court will examine whether the company has trade secrets or other information that needs to be protected, an approximate monetary amount for its investment in you, and whether the terms in the agreement are restrictive to the point of hindering your career. You can avoid the stress of taking legal action against your employer by developing a reasonable agreement with help from an attorney. However, sometimes a case needs to go to court to reach a satisfying resolution.
Business and Employment Attorneys in Winter Park
For help working out the terms of your non-competition agreement, contact Hornsby Law Group in Winter Park at 407-599-3800 today to schedule your legal consultation with a member of our firm. During this consultation, we will work with you to determine how to proceed with your case.