When you are running a business, you have to do everything that you can to protect your business and keep your position in your industry. That is why many companies try to ensure that the employees that they train and mentor do not go on to compete with them later, using the skills they learned at a company to build up a competing firm. Non-compete agreements are one way to do this, but they can be tough to enforce. Our Long Island, NY commercial litigation lawyers can help you develop an enforceable agreement that protects your company.
What is the Goal of Non-Compete Agreements?
The goal of non-compete agreements should be obvious. It tells a new employee that they cannot take the training and skills they learned at your company, and then turn around to take another job at a direct competitor. This seems like a move that any company should be able to make, but trouble arises when employers make employees sign agreements that are far too broad. Overreach here and you could end up with a non-compete that is completely useless and unenforceable.
What Kinds of Rules Does New York Have for Non-Competes?
Non-compete agreements are still legal in New York, for now. Recent legislation sought to ban them completely, but it has yet to receive the governor’s signature. So let’s talk about what is legal for now.
First, a non-compete has to be shown to protect the legitimate interests of an employer. It also cannot harm the public or cause an undue hardship on the employee. The latter could mean that non-compete agreements that make it nearly impossible to seek out other employment after they quit your company would not be valid.
That brings us to the last point. A non-compete has to be reasonable in time and geographic scope. Telling an employee that they cannot work at any similar company in the United States, for example, would probably not be enforceable. Saying that they could not work at a competitor in the New York Metro area might be more acceptable.
Can I Be Taken to Court Over Non-Compete Agreements?
You can be taken to court over non-compete agreements. In some cases, a court will find that a non-compete is completely unenforceable. Sometimes a judge can take issue only with certain parts of the agreement, leaving other parts of it in place.
This kind of litigation can waste a lot of time and money. This is why it is a good idea to have a lawyer on your side who can help you craft non-compete agreements that will not land your company in court.
Talk to a Lawyer Today
When you are looking for ways to protect your business, you need an attorney who knows New York laws and the corporate world well. Contact David A. Gallo & Associates LLP and schedule an appointment with our team if you have questions about any business litigation matters. We are ready to assist you.