The New York Times recently ran a piece on the fact that non-compete clauses are increasingly popping up in employee contracts in a vast array of jobs. The article was written on the context they current Massachusetts legislative debate whether or not to pass legislation that would invalidate non-compete agreements. The article seems to complain that non-competes are turning up in jobs ranging from camp counselors to hair stylists and that it may be stifling competition and are generally unfair.
In all of the states that currently accept non-competes, which are all states but California and North Dakota, there is typically a threshold question that needs to be answered and that is whether or not the non-compete serves a legitimate business interest of the employer. We have been able to invalidate non-competes for clients where they serve no legitimate business interest of the employer in the context of different state laws. Don’t assume that your non-compete is valid simply because you signed a non-compete agreement. Non-compete agreements may be challenged on a number of different basis but the primary one and initial threshold for virtually all non-compete agreements is whether or not they serve a legitimate business interest. In the case of many lower level employees that do not and are not exposed either confidential or proprietary information or have a close relationship to customers, it is often very difficult for an employer to establish it is protecting a legitimate business interest with its non-compete.
If you have a non-compete agreement and are interested in having it assessed concerning its validity, the experienced non-compete lawyers at Traverse Legal can provide you a review. Don’t assume your non-compete is valid simply because you signed it.