Non-compete agreements are common tools used in a variety of legal settings. They hold that someone who works in a certain industry cannot leave a place of work to go work for a competitor, and these agreements are often enforced in order to ensure that a person who works in a certain industry cannot bring trade secrets, relationships and experience to a competitor. While these agreements are generally legal, there are some instances in which they may not be enforceable. These changes tend to vary from state to state, including in New Jersey.
When are non-compete agreements not enforceable?
Non-compete agreements have been used for decades in many high-skilled fields, but they are becoming more prominent in a variety of trades, including restaurants and hair care. As such, there has been an increasing amount of scrutiny over whether or not a non-compete agreement is legal.
As a general rule of thumb, non-compete agreements are enforceable if they come with a fair and reasonable timeline, have a geographic restriction, are directly related to an employer’s interest and further compensate an employee who signs them. There may be other principles at work for these agreements, but as a general rule, this is when they are typically upheld by the courts.
What legal options does a signer of such an agreement have?
An individual who has signed a non-compete agreement can always challenge the document in court. Indeed, the law surround these documents has been largely established and should be well-known by an attorney who has worked in this area before.
If you believe that the non-compete agreement you signed violates your rights, you should speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable about this area of law. A consultation may help you get a better idea of what legal options you have.