Maryland Non-Compete Agreements Lawyer
Many companies rely on proprietary information and trade secrets for their continued success. To protect this information from being shared with competitors, employers often require employees to sign a non-compete agreement. The purpose of this agreement is to prevent employees from sharing confidential information that could damage the company if someone leaves the organization and shares that material.
Our Maryland non-compete agreements lawyers know the importance of balancing the interests of the employer with the employee. Enforcement of a strict non-compete agreement can be detrimental to your livelihood. We do not want to see anyone unfairly disadvantaged by the terms of a non-compete. If you would like advice regarding the provisions in an existing or a proposed non-compete, our experienced attorneys at Spiggle Law Firm can help.
Enforceability of Maryland Non-Competes
Non-compete agreements in Maryland are governed by case law as opposed to a specific statute. As a result, the enforceability of a non-compete agreement may depend largely on an individualized analysis of the terms and application of the agreement. Non-competes may be upheld in Maryland if five basic elements are satisfied:
- There is sufficient consideration to support the contract
- The agreement is ancillary to an employment contract
- The geographic restraints and duration are limited to what is reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s business
- No undue hardship is imposed on the employees
- The agreement is not contrary to the public interest
In general, the broader a non-compete agreement is, the less likely it is that the court may enforce it. However, in certain circumstances, even a far-reaching non-compete may be reasonable. This determination may be based on the particular circumstances surrounding each case. To know more about enforcement of non-competes, you should call a seasoned attorney.
Court Alteration of an Agreement
If the Maryland court finds that only certain aspects of a non-compete agreement are problematic, those provisions may be blue-penciled. If a non-compete is blue-penciled, the court may alter the agreement without ruling the entire contract is void by striking those portions that are considered unreasonable.
The ability of the court to be able to modify the terms of a contract in this way may make it more difficult for both employers and employees to predict the enforceability of their contract. A Maryland non-compete agreement attorney who knows the case law in this area may be able to provide a helpful background on the types of provisions that courts typically favor or disfavor.
Choice of Law Clause
Maryland allows non-competes to contain a choice of law provision as long as there is a legitimate reason for that selection and it does not violate the public policy of a state with a greater interest in the outcome of the case. This means that although a non-compete may be signed by an employee living and working in Maryland, another state’s laws may control the enforceability of the agreement.
Parties seeking to enforce a non-compete agreement typically seek the equitable remedy of injunctive relief. Injunctive relief is a court order to specifically do or refrain from doing something.
In this context, an example of an injunction in favor of the employer would be issuing an order to prevent an employee from taking a position in violation of the non-compete. In addition, the court may also award damages or liquidated damages if authorized in the contract.
Work with a Maryland Non-Compete Agreements Attorney
In any non-compete agreement, it is important to find a balance. If you are unfairly disadvantaged by the terms of an unfair non-compete contract, you should take action.
If you are interested in learning more about the enforceability of non-compete agreements or our legal team, click here to check out our no-cost online review. The Maryland non-compete agreement lawyers at the Spiggle Law Firm are ready and available to answer questions.