Is My Non-Compete Agreement Valid?

handing over contract

Once you receive a job offer from a company, there is a chance that the employer will give you a non-compete agreement to sign. You may feel pressured to sign this right away, as you may be worried that your job offer will be rescinded if you delay your completion of it. However, if you feel any sort of hesitation, you should not be quick to sign. Follow along to find out the legitimacy of your non-compete agreement and how a proficient New York employee contract lawyer at Bell Law Group can help you decipher this.

What is considered a non-compete agreement?

Before all else, you must understand what a non-compete agreement is. Put simply, it is a contract between your new employer and you, as their new employee. Such a contract restricts you from working for a competing organization or starting a competing organization during your current employment or after your current employment for a stated period of time. The purpose of this is to prevent you from using your current employment’s trade secrets or other confidential information to directly compete with them.

What is considered a valid non-compete agreement?

Upon receiving a non-compete agreement, you must be well aware of whether it is considered valid and enforceable under New York law. That said, the following are characteristics of such a valid agreement:

  • A valid and enforceable agreement is necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate interests.
  • A valid and enforceable agreement places a fair time limitation on the employee.
  • A valid and enforceable agreement places a fair geographical scope on the employee.
  • A valid and enforceable agreement places a fair tailoring of who or what is considered the employer’s competitors.
  • A valid and enforceable agreement otherwise does not place undue hardship on the employee.

Overall, the New York courts understand an employer’s right to protect their business. However, they will not accept a non-compete as valid if it is overbroad or otherwise unfair. This is not to say that sometimes, they require you to comply with some parts of a non-compete agreement, even if other parts of the agreement are unreasonable.

With all that being said, if you believe that the non-compete agreement you received violates any of the above qualifications, then you must consult with a talented New York employee rights lawyer. If you are an employee, we will review your non-compete agreement. And if you are an employer, we will draft a valid and enforceable agreement on your behalf. We understand that you have a lot on the line, so do not hesitate in retaining our services today.

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