Washington D.C. Non-Solicitation Agreement Lawyer
At The Spiggle Law Firm, we have a skilled group of Washington D.C. non-solicitation agreement lawyers who are dedicated to helping people deal with all aspects of employment contracts. Sometimes a non-solicitation agreement can limit your potential to obtain future employment because they limit the geographic area you can work in and the skills you can use with another company. Luckily, these contracts may not always be enforceable.
If you have questions regarding the scope, enforceability, or purpose of a non-solicitation agreement, our team of dedicated employment lawyers could get you the information you need to make an informed decision. Contact an experienced employment attorney to reduce the chances that you will be bound to an agreement that limits your future opportunities.
Defining a Non-Solicitation Agreement
A non-solicitation agreement is a type of restrictive contract, similar to a non-compete agreement or other employment contracts. A standard non-solicitation agreement prevents employees from taking an employer’s customers or employees for their personal business ventures. A non-solicitation agreement may be part of an overall non-compete agreement or it may be a separate, more specific contract.
Solicitation of Customers
Companies that focus on sales or providing services rely on their client base to continue conducting business. Under a non-solicitation agreement, contacting your employer’s customers either during or after your employment may be prohibited to protect their business.
Solicitation can be direct or indirect. Direct solicitation includes communication with a customer or client in attempts to secure their business. Indirect solicitation involves actions other than the direct communication to attract a client.
If a customer voluntarily decides to follow an employee to their new company, a non-solicitation agreement may not apply or prevent this from happening. The terms and arguments for direct versus indirect solicitation are varied. It may be beneficial to contact a non-solicitation agreement lawyer in Washington D.C. for clarification on your specific case.
Solicitation of Employees
Losing talented employees to a competitor can undoubtedly cause harm to an employer. When an employee attempts to recruit other employees to leave their current employer to join them in a different venture, this is a form of solicitation. Washington D.C. employers often include provisions in non-solicitation agreements prohibiting employees from soliciting other employees upon their departure.
Enforceability of Washington D.C. Agreements
Employers and employees have competing interests when it comes to enforcing non-solicitation agreements. Employers are interested in retaining their employees and clients to protect confidential information and other trade secrets. Employees, on the other hand, are interested in having the freedom to pursue employment opportunities without restriction.
The Washington D.C. courts recognize the importance of limiting restrictions on trade. The determination of whether the terms of a non-solicitation agreement will be binding often hinges on how reasonable the court determines it to be.
What is reasonable will be established on a case by case basis. In general, a non-solicitation agreement is reasonable if it does not violate public policy and only imposes a restraint on trade that is necessary to protect the employer’s business.
Although reasonable non-solicitation agreements are enforceable in Washington D.C., other states consider agreements that restrict trade to be unenforceable because they violate public policy.
Enforcement Through Injunctions
The courts will most often enforce non-solicitation agreements by issuing an injunction. An injunction is an order for someone to cease what they are doing. When seeking a preliminary injunction or immediate temporary relief, the burden is on the employer to demonstrate that their case is strong enough to succeed on its merits and that the harm they stand to suffer if the injunction is not granted is greater than the harm the employee will suffer. Granting the injunction must also be in the public interest.
Speak with a Washington D.C. Non-Solicitation Agreement Attorney Today
Entering into a non-solicitation agreement can have significant consequences. Contracts often contain technical legal language that can be easily misinterpreted or overlooked. It is important to consult with a Washington D.C. non-solicitation agreement lawyer before signing any major contract to prevent legal errors.
Without proper counsel, you may inadvertently be waiving your rights. Our employment lawyers at The Spiggle Law Firm could help you fully understand the ramifications of a non-solicitation agreement. For a free online consultation, click here to see how much your case is worth.