Anne Arundel County Non-Compete Agreements Lawyer
Non-compete agreements used to be rare in Anne Arundel County and were reserved for special situations. Now, however, companies frequently require employees to sign non-compete agreements as part of the terms of their employment.
Ideally, you should consult an Anne Arundel County non-compete agreements lawyer before signing a non-compete agreement, but we can also assist after you have signed an agreement. Whether you want to know if your agreement is likely to be enforceable or a former employer is attempting to enforce a non-compete agreement, a qualified employment attorney from the Spiggle Law Firm could help.
Understanding Non-Compete Agreements
A non-compete agreement contains terms that restrict an employee’s ability to compete with an employer in the future after their term of employment with them has ended. These terms can be placed in a clause as part of another agreement or exist as its own document, and contracts for the sale of businesses also frequently include non-compete clauses. Sometimes these agreements are referred to in Anne Arundel County as restrictive covenants or covenants not to compete.
If a former employer believes that you violated the terms of a non-compete agreement, they may bring legal action to enforce the provision. A court would examine the terms of the agreement and its application before deciding whether it should be enforced. This is just one scenario that exemplifies why enlisting the help of an Anne Arundel County non-compete agreements attorney as soon as you are presented with an agreement may be a good idea.
Court Enforcement of Non-Compete Agreements
Courts look at several factors to determine whether they should enforce the terms of a non-compete agreement. A judge must examine if the terms are “reasonable” by considering the following criteria:
- Whether the employer has a legally protected interest
- Whether the agreement’s scope is broader than necessary to reasonably protect the employer’s interest
- Whether the agreement causes undue hardship to the employee
- Whether the agreement violates public policy
If the duration of the agreement is too long or the applicable geographic area is too broad, the courts could be less likely to uphold those terms. For example, five years was deemed to be too long for a non-compete agreement to last in Allied Fire Protection, Inc. v. Thai.
However, terms that may be overly broad in one context could be reasonable in another. A non-compete agreements lawyer in Anne Arundel County could review your situation and evaluate these factors to determine whether your agreement is likely to be enforced.
Damage Clauses and Other Remedies
If a court finds a non-compete agreement in Anne Arundel County to be enforceable and determines that a former employee violated one or more terms of the agreement, the court may declare that the employer is entitled to certain remedies. This usually comes as payments of damages, but a court may order injunctive relief as well.
Non-compete agreements frequently contain liquidated damage clauses specifying an amount the employee must pay if they breach the agreement. If this amount is considered reasonable, the court may require payment of that amount. For more information about damages, consult with one of our dedicated lawyers.
Contact an Anne Arundel County Non-Compete Agreements Attorney Today
The best time to contact an Anne Arundel County non-compete agreements lawyer is before signing an agreement. An employment attorney familiar with how courts typically interpret these agreements could review the terms and ensure that you understand the potential ramifications as well as negotiate more favorable terms.
However, if you have already signed an agreement, a seasoned attorney from the Spiggle Law Firm could help evaluate relevant grounds to challenge the enforceability of a non-compete clause. If you are concerned about the effect a non-compete clause may have on your future, call today for a consultation.