Some employers might require you to sign different agreements when you get an employment offer. One of the common types of contracts is a non-compete agreement. This agreement is a type of contract between an employee and an employer. It prevents an employee from working for a competing company or opening a competing business.
A non-compete agreement only lasts for a specific time after an employee leaves the company. The contract is binding whether your employer terminated your employment or you voluntarily quit. Sometimes, signing an agreement may prevent you from exploring opportunities in the future, making you not want to sign. In this article, the employment lawyers at Aeton Law Partners will explain if your employer can enforce a non-compete agreement or not.
Overview of a Non-Compete Agreement
A non-compete agreement protects the employer’s interests as they invest in you. This agreement prevents you from working for your employer’s competitor immediately after leaving the company. It restricts the type of job you can take within a location and a time frame. Finally, it prevents the employee from using their experience and education to help the competitors succeed.
A non-compete agreement usually contains the rights of employees to work after their employment with their current employer is over. This agreement includes some information about the type of work the employee can do. The contract also details how long the agreement is enforceable and the distance it covers. The agreement also outlines the employers to avoid when looking for new employment.
Can Non-Compete Agreement Stop Employees From Finding Employment?
The idea of a non-compete agreement is to protect the employer’s interest. However, it cannot deter you from finding employment or starting your own business when you leave the company. It also doesn’t prevent the employee from leaving the company in search of better opportunities.
A non-compete agreement usually features reasonable and precise parameters. For instance, an agreement could prevent you from working for a competitor within 50 miles of your current office location. It is usually in effect for quite a short time, but it mostly depends on the industry.
The agreement should also clarify why the restrictions are in place. For example, your employer needs to provide a valid reason why you should stay miles away from your current employer when you start working for a new company. Additionally, they cannot prevent you from working in a related industry.
The non-compete agreement often contains names your current employer doesn’t want you to work for within the contract’s time limit. However, the agreement should exclude related industries and opening your own business. If these salient points are not met, the agreement will be considered a void contract.
Can Your Employer Force You to Sign a Non-Compete Contract?
Most times, the non-compete agreement is a part of the employment contract. If you choose not to sign, you might not gain employment in the company. However, sometimes the employer requires employees to sign a non-competition agreement after employment.
To escape it without losing your job, you have to prove that the agreement is unenforceable. If the agreement is too extensive, you can disagree with it. For example, if the agreement states that you can’t work for any competing company within the same state, it is too broad and prevents you from finding meaningful employment.
If you can also prove that there’s no legitimate interest for your employer to enforce the agreement, you can also get out of it. Additionally, your employer cannot also force you to sign a non-compete agreement if the time is too long. If the period stated is over two years, it is invalid and unenforceable. Finally, sometimes, if you can prove that the agreement will cause untold hardship on you by preventing you from getting new jobs, you can also get out of signing a non-compete agreement.
Speak to a Connecticut Employment Lawyer You Can Trust!
Leaving your job to find something similar can be pretty tricky when there’s a non-compete agreement in place. If you want to seek employment or start your own business, but it is viewed as a competition by your employer, you need an expert employment lawyer to protect your rights. At Aeton Law Partners, we’ll explain how non-compete agreements work and your rights regarding this agreement.
Sometimes, non-competition agreements can be complicated. That’s why you shouldn’t sign anything without reviewing it with your attorney. Our employment lawyers will help you negotiate the terms of your agreement to ensure you and your employers are protected. So call our dedicated Connecticut employment lawyers to review your non-compete agreement today.