field of expertise, but only if they are prepared to relocate to another state, beyond the employer’s area of competition.
Here are my top ten suggestions for staff members who are about to sign a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement:
1. Be prepared to abide by the terms of the agreement if you decide to sign a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement. You might not have the funds to challenge it in court. Judges have a broad range of discretion and are unpredictable in how they will handle one of these contracts, even if you are able to challenge the contract in court.
2. Take every precaution to avoid agreeing to a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement. Decide up front that you won’t sign, and then observe how accommodating your company may be. If they really want you, they could be prepared to put up with a trade secret deal.
3. If you must sign a non-compete agreement, be as specific as you can in your negotiations. Make that the scope (length, market description, and geographic area) is appropriate.
4. Keep in mind that the employer must have a real commercial interest to defend. Make the employer explain to you in detail what they are trying to safeguard. Typically, this entails safeguarding business secrets, sensitive data, or an investment in the education and training of staff members. Get it down on paper. You will be in a good position to challenge the non-compete if you are never exposed to any such material or do not obtain the training.
5. If you are required to sign a non-compete agreement, ask for additional salary, a signing bonus, or payment for the time remaining on your job (severance package).
6. Try to avoid non-compete clauses in favour of ones that forbid you from initiating contact with your employer’s clients in the event that you quit. If properly written, this will still let you to work for a rival company and will also allow clients to contact you in the future to continue receiving services from you. Finding a job for you that does not compete with your old employer is far easier than insulating you from interaction with specific consumers by a new employer.
7. If you are required to sign a non-solicitation provision, be sure to differentiate between clients you bring to the employer and those offered by your new company. After you depart, only promise not to “solicit” consumers. If they contact you or are already clients of your new employer, don’t commit to stop providing services to them.
8. If you decide to contest the non-compete clause, never agree to foot the bill for the employer’s legal counsel. Employees are frequently compelled to appear in court to ask the judge to restrict the non-compete provisions. You will be responsible for paying your own legal bills; you do not want to be responsible for paying for the employer’s attorney as well.
9. Keep an eye on any employees that leave the business while you’re still working there to see if the non-compete clauses are being enforced. Employers may not “cherry pick” workers to be subject to a non-compete agreement. Your non-compete may no longer be valid if you can prove that the business failed to enforce it against rivals.
10. Be sure to disclose any non-compete agreements you have signed to potential employers. Getting a new job is pointless if 30 days into your new position, your company receives a threat letter. It is preferable to be open about this and let your new company try to work out the non-compete clause so that it permits your employment.
Once an employee signs a non-compete agreement, their choices for finding other work are more constrained. In court, non-compete clauses can be challenged. Yes, in order to establish a non-compete agreement, an employer must have a legitimate business interest to safeguard. Some non-compete clauses are excessively vague or fail to safeguard reputable company interests. Courts ought either invalidate such non-compete agreements or restrict their terms to a more acceptable range. Employees sometimes lack the financial means to hire a lawyer for several thousand dollars to challenge a non-compete in court, though. The final resort for an employee who wants to contest the non-compete is to file such a lawsuit.
If an employee signs a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement, they must be very careful. Too frequently, workers tell themselves that they are so desperate for the job that they would sign anything. These same employees may discover that they have no future career options if the job doesn’t work out. The majority of sophisticated businesses won’t hire candidates who have signed non-compete agreements because they actively ask prospective hires whether they have. Many potential employers are aware that if they recruit someone who is supposedly breaking a non-compete agreement, they would be seen as the ‘deep pockets’ and will be prosecuted. If the employee’s abilities and client relationships were used to their advantage in violation of the non-compete agreement, the new employers might be held liable.
No job is secure in the economy of today, especially the IT industry. There is no assurance of permanent work in Michigan, even if you are lucky enough to have an employment agreement that requires the employer to keep you on staff for a period of years. I frequently advise my customers to “hope for the best while preparing for the worst.” In other words, go into your job with the expectation that it won’t work out. As with many legal matters, spending a few hundred dollars up front for legal counsel might save the employee thousands of dollars later on and position them to find productive work in the event that they lose their job. In terms of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, prevention is definitely preferable to cure. Want to know more about the best Miami non-compete attorney? Visit our website for more information.