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Non-Compete Agreements

image-sample-non-compete-agreementFor many employees, the first thing they must do when accepting a new job position is sign an employment contract which includes a non-compete agreement. The difficulty in these types of situations is that most new job hires do not want to have a disagreement with their new employer just days or weeks into their new job, but unfortunately, presentation of a non-compete frequently occurs almost immediately on or after a new employee’s hire date.

In our current economy, most employees are uncertain whether they will have long term employment with their employer. Thus it has never been more important to protect your legal rights to seek another job should there be a job opportunity outside of your current employer. Unfortunately, many employers have asked their employees to sign non-compete agreements which restrict the movement of an employee to seek new employment even in areas where non-compete agreements have traditionally not been signed. Understanding your rights in regard to a non-compete agreement before you sign the agreement has never been more important. Even if the non-compete agreement has been signed, an understanding of your options as well as your employer’s options is important before making any decision about your employment.

Important Considerations of a Non-Compete Agreement

There are good reasons for an employer to have an employee sign a non-compete agreement. A non-compete agreement will seek to protect an employer’s business interests and property. If such an agreement did not exist, many employees would leave their employer and wrongfully use information obtained while at their prior employer to their own personal benefit.

Generally, three things will be considered in evaluating whether a non-compete is enforceable. First, what is the time period an employee will be enjoined (prevented) from competing with the prior employer? Second, what is the geographical limitation of the non-compete clause (i.e., the State of Ohio or 100 miles from a specific address)? Third, what is the employee prevented from doing during the non-compete period (in what specific employment actions is the employee enjoined from engaging)? All three of these things must be held to be reasonable by a court to protect an employer’s legitimate business interests to be an enforceable non-compete contract.

In addition, most non-compete agreements are drafted by an employer or their agent and such documents are generally construed against the drafter of the non-compete agreements. In other words, if there is any ambiguity or confusion concerning a specific part of the non-compete agreement, it may likely be held against the party drafting the document.

Just because you have signed a non-compete agreement does not mean that you are out of options. First and foremost, it is important you fully understand the non-compete agreement which you have signed. Attorney Collum would be happy to review your non-compete agreement and provide you with an opinion concerning the enforceability of the document.

Importance of Retaining a Lawyer Familiar with Non-Compete Agreements

Attorney Collum routinely reviews non-compete agreements and has been involved with a large number of lawsuits where an employee’s non-compete agreement was central to the case. Please contact Attorney Collum for a FREE CONSULTATION regarding your current non-compete agreement or a prospective non-compete agreement you may be asked to sign by an employer at (330) 494-4877 or by e-mail at jcollum@collumlawoffice.com.

Attorney Collum is an Ohio non-compete lawyer who represents individuals in regard to their non-compete disputes in cities all over Northeast Ohio including, but not limited to, the cities of Canton, Akron, Alliance, Canal Fulton, Massillon, Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Fairlawn, Green, Macedonia, Munroe Falls, New Franklin, Norton, Stow, Tallmadge, Twinsburg, Kent, Ravenna, Streetsboro, Aurora, Brunswick, Medina, Rittman, Wadsworth, Dover, New Philadelphia, Uhrichsville, Orrville, Wooster, Columbiana, East Liverpool and Salem.

 

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