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Monday, May 19, 2014

Employment Law: What is a Non-Compete Agreement?

At what point does an employees’ ambition cross the line into stealing trade secrets?  The answer may be in your non-compete agreement. 

As an employment lawyer in Georgia, I am often asked about non-compete agreements. 

In short, a non-compete agreement is a promise an employee makes to an employer not to compete for customers within a certain timeframe, geographic area or in a certain way outlined in the agreement.

It could be part of a larger agreement, or a stand-alone document.  Either way, it may or may not be enforceable.

In order for a non-compete agreement to stand up in court, it must be deemed “reasonable.” An effective non-compete balances between protecting proprietary information and giving employees the ability to find new employment and build on their industry knowledge. 

Employers and employees should know that major legal changes were made in 2010 that affect how non-compete agreements are enforced.  The new law empowers the court to modify or partially enforce restrictive covenants.

A good rule of thumb if that a non-compete agreement should be specific and current.

If you have signed or drafted a non-compete agreement before 2010, you may want to consult with an experienced employment law attorney who can advise on the document’s validity in today’s legal environment. And if you, or your employer, have questions about whether a current non-compete agreement is reasonable and enforceable, you also would benefit from consulting with an attorney.  The specifics of the document may affect your business and your career. 

For more information about Employment Law, contact Lajuana Ransaw or call 770-957-3937.  Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the State of Georgia with expertise in this area of law. We have an uncompromising commitment to serving our clients and our community. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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