Baltimore Non-Compete Agreements Lawyer
At the start of a new job, you may be asked to sign a non-compete agreement. These agreements are a type of employment contract that may restrict your ability to seek and secure certain employment opportunities after your departure.
Non-compete agreements may or may not be valid and enforceable depending on how reasonable the terms are. However, they are often valid contracts and violation of a non-compete agreement could result in an employer taking legal action against you.
Instead of rushing into signing a non-compete agreement, you may want to work with a Baltimore non-compete agreements lawyer. Our seasoned employment attorneys at The Spiggle Law Firm can negotiate more favorable terms on your behalf and advise you of potential problems you may face in the future if you sign your non-compete agreement.
Purpose of a Non-Compete Agreement
Employees with knowledge of an employer’s proprietary information and trade secrets are often viewed as a threat to the employer’s business interests when they leave to work for a competitor. Non-compete agreements attempt to minimize this risk by creating contract terms that restrict an employee’s ability to disclose confidential information, work for a competitor in the same line of business, or work in close geographic proximity.
Enforceability of Employment Contracts in Baltimore
Non-compete agreements are generally enforceable in Baltimore. However, if a non-compete agreement contains terms that are overly burdensome or not necessary to protect an employer’s legitimate business interests, it may not be enforceable. There is no clearly defined rule that establishes when a non-compete agreement will be enforceable, but there are several factors that Baltimore courts often consider.
For a non-compete agreement to be enforceable, it must meet the requirements of a valid contract and be reasonable under the specific circumstances. As a preliminary element, there must be adequate consideration to support the contract. Consideration refers to the benefit of the bargain or value that the employer and the employee each receive in exchange for entering into the contract. Consideration for the employee is typically a job offer or continued employment, while the consideration for the employer is the agreement not to compete.
Non-compete agreements must also be reasonable in that they do not limit the ability of the employee to continue to work. An agreement that imposes an undue hardship on the employee may not be enforced.
The reasonableness of the time constraints and geographic scope of the non-compete are normally the primary indicators of whether it is reasonable. If the time and geographic scope are more extensive than what is necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests, those provisions may not be enforceable. The court will also examine the impact of the non-compete agreement on the public. Agreements contrary to public policy are generally not enforceable. For more information, get in contact with a Baltimore non-compete agreements lawyer today.
The Blue Pencil Rule
Baltimore employees familiar with non-compete agreements may have heard about the blue pencil rule. The blue pencil rule refers to the acceptable judicial modification of non-compete agreements in Baltimore.
Under this legal doctrine, if the court determines that only part of a non-compete agreement is unenforceable, the agreement may be modified. In this situation, the agreement would remain in effect, but only for certain terms that the court finds more reasonable.
Contacting a Baltimore Non-Compete Agreements Attorney
If you have questions regarding any aspect of a non-compete agreement, please do not hesitate to contact a Baltimore non-compete agreements lawyer. Our lawyers at The Spiggle Law Firm could look over the fine lines of your contract for any issues and help you understand whether your contract is enforceable. This contract could affect your future career prospects, so use our free online review for a consultation.