What to Do if an Employee Violates their Non-Compete

What to Do if an Employee Violates their Non-Compete
non compete agreement

With the advent of the internet, it got harder for companies to monitor their employees’ communications. Today, if an employee wants to apply for a job with your competitor, they can do without your having a clue. While they have every right to work for another company, they should not be divulging your company’s work secrets while doing so. If an employee leaves your company to go work for another, it could hurt your bottom line.

They could steal your clients or give their new company clients’ contact information. They could attempt to lure away suppliers and vendors knowing it could cost your company sales or clients. One way to prevent this from happening is to have your staff sign a non-compete agreement when they are hired. While there’s no statute that upholds these sorts of agreements, that doesn’t mean your Hartford business lawyer won’t be able to enforce one in civil court.

What is a Non-Compete Agreement?

A non-compete agreement is essentially a contract between you and your employees. The agreement limits your employee’s ability to work for a competitor of your company. Typically, these agreements outline the terms based on time and distance. For example, it may state that your employee cannot work for one of your competitors or clients for a period of three (3) years after they leave your company.

It may also indicate what sort of geography is covered by the agreement. It may indicate that your employee is barred from working for or with any of your competitors within a one-hundred-mile radius. It’s a good idea to have your Hartford business lawyer craft a non-compete for you. This way, you know it has a good chance of holding up in court. You can also ensure that it fully protects your company.

How is This Different from an NDA?

Some people confuse a non-compete agreement with a non-disclosure agreement. The two are somewhat similar. A non-disclosure agreement, or an NDA, prevents employees and ex-employees from divulging company secrets. If you run a bakery, your Hartford business lawyer could protect employees from giving the recipes out. Or, if you owned a perfume company, you could prevent employees from giving out the secret chemicals in the perfume.

When an employee violates an NDA, they are prohibited from giving away any proprietary information. If they do, your attorney can pursue them for damages or an injunction.

Are Non-Compete Agreements Legal in Connecticut?

A lot of employees think that non-compete agreements are illegal. That is not the case. The state of Connecticut has no statute regarding these agreements. It is governed by case law. If someone violates your non-compete agreement, you can have your Hartford business lawyer file suit against them.

While the suit is pending, you can ask the court to prevent them from continuing in the behavior at the heart of the violation. Just keep in mind, the court is very strict when it comes to interfering with a person’s right to earn a living. They are more than likely going to construe your non-compete agreement in a very limited way.

Your Hartford Business Lawyer Can Pursue a Violation

If you believe someone has violated your company’s non-compete, give our office a call. One of our Hartford business lawyers can review the situation and let you know what your options are. If the violation isn’t really hurting your company, you’re better off just documenting the violation and putting the ex-employee on notice. The court isn’t very likely to force the defendant to quit their new job. They may, however, order them to pay damages or order their new employer to pay damages.

Did You Suffer a Loss?

As mentioned above, it can be hard to enforce these sorts of agreements. You need to demonstrate that you suffered a loss. Even if you did suffer some sort of financial loss, it is difficult to trace that back directly to an ex-employee’s actions. Your Hartford business lawyer can review your files and let you know what your options are.

Call and Set Up a Meeting with One of Our Experienced Business Lawyers in Hartford

Whether you need to enforce a non-compete or you need one drafted, a Hartford business lawyer with Aeton Law Partners can help. They have decades of experience handling these sorts of issues and have your best interest at heart. Just call our office and set up a time to meet. You can meet with a skilled lawyer and out how to proceed.

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