If you have been working in the corporate world for a while, you have probably come across a non-solicitation agreement. However, what such an agreement can cover and how it can be enforced in the state of New York can create some confusion. If you are an employee who is being asked to sign an agreement or a company that wants to write agreements that are actually enforceable, you may want to talk to a legal professional. The Long Island, NY commercial litigation lawyers from our firm can help you.
What Exactly Does a Non-Solicitation Agreement Do?
A non-solicitation agreement is designed to prevent employees from leaving a company and damaging said company in the process. Usually, non-solicitation agreements will prevent two things. They will say that employees cannot leave their jobs and then:
- Recruit former co-workers to another company, one that competes with their former employer
- Poach customers from their former employer
In either of these scenarios, the people running a company see a non-solicitation agreement as a necessity to protect their business. If employees can leave and drag away other competent employees to a competitor, that is a direct threat. If workers leave and steal clients, that is going to affect a company’s ability to survive.
How is This Different From a Non-Compete Agreement?
A non-compete agreement covers what kind of job an employee can get when they leave a company. Usually, such an agreement seeks to prevent them from immediately getting a job with a direct competitor in the field. So if a non-compete agreement is in effect, a non-solicitation agreement would not even really be necessary. If a former employee cannot join a competing firm, they cannot entice clients and employees away from your company.
However, there can be a high bar for enforcing non-compete agreements in New York. That is why some companies prefer to go with a non-solicitation agreement instead.
How Can a Non-Solicitation Agreement Be Valid in New York?
A non-solicitation agreement can be more easily enforced because it is easier to argue that such an agreement is in the interest of the company. It is also seen as more reasonable. After all, trying to bar someone from working in an industry entirely can seem far too restrictive and broad in scope. Simply asking that an employee does not actively seek to harm your company after leaving seems fairer in comparison.
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It can be tough to make sense of every state and local law that applies to your business, so do not try and do that on your own. Instead, contact David A. Gallo & Associates LLP and work with commercial litigation attorneys who know these rules and regulations inside and out. We can help you make sure that the non-solicitation agreement that you are signing is legally enforceable and valid.