Howard County Non-Solicitation Agreements Lawyer
Before you sign any non-solicitation agreement your employer gives you, you might need to understand the scope of the agreement and whether it will be enforceable against you. If you have concerns about whether a former employer could enforce a past non-solicitation agreement against you, the need for legal advice may be even more pressing.
An experienced Howard County non-solicitation agreements lawyer is available to help you understand your agreement. Our skilled employment attorneys at the Spiggle Law Firm could review your non-solicitation agreement, advise about its present and future impacts, and suggest actions you could take to protect your rights.
Basics of Non-Solicitation Agreements
A non-solicitation agreement is a contract between an employee and their employer in which the employee agrees not to solicit customers or clients of the company in the future. It may also include an agreement not to recruit co-workers after the employment relationship ends. Typically, employers require new employees to sign these agreements when they come onboard, but they could ask for them at any point.
While many industries use non-solicitation agreements, they are most common in sales or service businesses where there may be a limited number of customers or clients. Employers who require non-solicitation agreements often reasonably want to prevent employees from poaching their customers or other employees if they leave and take a job with a competitor.
Employees need to be able to continue with their careers if they decide to move on or are fired. Courts typically only enforce agreements that fairly and reasonably balance these competing interests. A Howard County non-solicitation agreements lawyer could advise you about whether a particular non-solicitation agreement is valid and enforceable against the signing employee.
When Are Contracts Enforceable?
Non-solicitation agreement contracts are typically only enforceable when they are reasonable and necessary to protect a legitimate business interest of the employer. Under Maryland law, this may include the restriction of “unfair” competition from a former employee. Unfair competition might include the use of trade secrets such as plaintiff identities or customer routes after an employment relationship ends.
To be enforceable, a non-solicitation agreement must not impose an undue hardship on the employee. Courts typically only enforce a non-solicitation agreement if it does not unduly restrict an employee’s ability to pursue gainful employment and protects legitimate business interests of the employer. To enforce a non-solicitation agreement, the business must also show that the agreement was in fact breached and that the breach caused them specific harm.
Since non-solicitation agreements may be binding no matter how an employment relationship ends, an employer that fires someone for unfair reasons could also seek to enforce a non-solicitation agreement. If an employee is fired for protesting against unfair hours or pay, their employer could use the agreement to go after them. This may make it all the more difficult for the fired employee to find another job. Legal advice may be crucial for employees who need to understand their rights and obligations in this situation.
Maryland courts follow the “blue-pencil” doctrine. Under this rule, a court may enforce valid parts of a non-compete agreement even when other parts are unenforceable. You may need to understand all aspects of their non-solicitation agreement and how it may affect your future employment prospects, which is precisely what an experienced non-solicitation agreements attorney in Howard County could help with.
Benefits of Retaining a Howard County Non-Solicitation Agreements Attorney
If an employer asks you to sign a non-solicitation agreement or any other employment contract, you need to review it carefully to make sure that you understand what you are signing. Getting legal advice at this stage could help you to understand the agreement and minimize future troubles. If a former employer is now trying to enforce a past agreement against you, your need for legal help may be even more urgent.
In any of these circumstances, a Howard County non-solicitation agreements lawyer could take the time to review your agreement, consider your circumstances, and advise you about actions you could take now to protect your interests. Contact the Spiggle Law Firm through our free online case review tool to learn more about how the skilled employment attorneys at our firm could help with your case.