If you are being to asked to sign a non-competition agreement, or have signed a non-competition agreement Robert Maizel can assist you regarding the issues and pitfalls of the non-compete agreement.
In some cases employers require new employees to enter into non-competition agreements before beginning work, to protect what occurs after an employee leaves employment. Employers may require non-competition agreements for a variety of reasons, including protection of trade secrets or goodwill. Courts generally disapprove of non-competition agreements as limitations on a former employee’s right to earn a living. Therefore, non-competition agreements are closely scrutinized in the court system.
Job seekers should be honest with prospective employers as to the existence of a Non Compete Agreement. Many employers will “work out a deal” with the right candidate regardless of the existence of a Non Compete Agreement.
In order to be considered valid, a non-competition agreement must:
Non-competition agreements must generally be supported by valid consideration received at the time of signing the agreement. This means that the consideration must be given at the time of employment, which can be the employment itself, or if signed at a later time, some additional consideration. Such additional consideration may consist of a promotion or other additional benefit that was not part of the original employment agreement.
The goodwill developed by an employer in terms of customer relations is an asset, so an employer may use a non-competition agreement to prevent a former employee from capitalizing on that goodwill and competing with the original employer. Likewise, an employer may use a non-competition agreement to protect its confidential information. Generally, in order for the information to be entitled to protection, the employer must show that it took reasonable measures to keep the information secret, and that the information gives the employer a competitive advantage.
In deciding whether to enforce a non-competition agreement, the court will balance the need to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests with any burden that enforcement of the agreement would place on the employee.
Non-competition agreements must be reasonable in duration and scope. The reasonableness of the duration of the agreement will depend on the specific facts of each case. For instance, if the non-competition agreement is designed to protect confidential information, the duration should be no longer than the time for which the information has value. The geographical area covered by the agreement must also be reasonable considering the circumstances. This will depend greatly on the services provided by the employee, and the importance of the services to the employer’s business. Generally, courts will not allow a non-competition agreement to prevent an employee from working in a geographical area where the employer does not do business.
If a court finds that a non-competition agreement is overbroad, it may narrow the scope and duration of the agreement and enforce it as modified, or it may refuse to enforce the agreement entirely if it finds that it was clearly intended to prevent legitimate business competition by the former employee.
I am an experience employment lawyer who handles these matters regularly. Our team investigates your claim to secure all of the information to help obtain a positive resolution to your case. We know the law and we understand your needs. No matter what your question, please feel free to call us at 215-695-3000 to discuss your case. All consultations are free of charge.
Robert Maizel is an Experienced Trial Attorney in Philadelphia with over fifteen years of trial experience.
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Saffern & Weinberg has offices located in both Center City Philadelphia and Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Attorney Robert Maizel is a Partner with the Law Offices of Saffren & Weinberg.
Robert Maizel is associated with, and is Special Counsel with the Law Firm of Saffren & Weinberg. Robert Maizel is not a Law Firm, and rather Robert Maizel is affiliated with the Law Firm of Saffren & Weinberg. All clients shall formulate an agreement with the Law Firm of Saffren & Weinberg, with the option of hiring Robert Maizel as lead counsel on your case to be heard in the State Courts of Pennsylvania, and Marc Weinberg as the lead counsel in cases to be heard in the Federal Courts of Pennsylvania. Mr. Maizel handles all actions in the Administrative Courts of Pennsylvania including the EEOC and PaHRC.
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