Montgomery County Non-Compete Agreements Lawyer
If an employer asked you to sign a non-compete agreement as a condition of your employment or you have questions about a non-compete agreement that a former employer required you to sign, you may benefit from legal advice. A Montgomery County non-compete agreements lawyer could help you ensure your rights are being upheld in these situations.
If you are an employee with a non-compete agreement, you should understand the scope and enforceability of your contract. These contracts have the potential to put your ability to earn a living at risk. An experienced employment attorney at the Spiggle Law Firm could help you read the terms of your agreement and guide you through your options.
Elements of a Non-Compete Agreement
Maryland law sets restrictions on whether non-compete agreements are valid and enforceable. A court considering an agreement will examine whether a non-compete agreement was supported by adequate consideration, which means that the employee received something of value in exchange for entering the non-compete agreement. The agreement must also be ancillary to the employment contract, or important to support the purposes of the employment relationship.
The agreement usually will limit both the length and geographic scope of the terms to protect business interests and should be reasonable. Finally, a non-compete agreement is should not impose an undue hardship on the employee or be contrary to public policy. If you have any questions about some of the elements in a non-compete agreement, contact a Montgomery County non-compete agreement lawyer.
Enforcement of Montgomery County Agreements
Non-compete agreements are only enforceable when they are reasonably necessary to protect a legitimate business interest of the employer. Maryland laws define two types of protectable employer interests. The first is unfair competition from a former employee. This includes the use of trade secrets such as business techniques, customer routes, or client lists after the employment relationship ends. Even when other terms of an employment agreement are deemed unenforceable, these restrictions will generally be upheld.
The second type of protectable business interest occurs when an employee provided unique services to the employer. The company hired someone because of their unique qualifications and/or reputation and thus may restrict the future employment of the employee within reason.
In addition to protecting a legitimate business interest, a non-compete agreement must be reasonably limited in its scope so that it does not put an undue hardship on the employee. This includes the geographic area that the employee is excluded from working in.
The third requirement is that the time limit of a non-compete must be reasonable. A restriction that endures for two years following termination may be reasonable in many situations. One that has no end, however, is not likely to be enforced. Courts in Montgomery county hold that a non-compete agreement is not enforceable when it seeks to completely prohibit working for a competitor in any capacity. One of our accomplished attorneys could determine whether a non-compete agreement is reasonable or not.
Actions Against Employees for Breaches of Contract
There are consequences for breaching a non-compete agreement. In enforcing non-compete agreements, an employer can seek:
- Liquidated damages
These consequences could be financially or professionally disastrous if a contract is successfully enforced by the employer. Non-compete agreements may be binding regardless of how an employment relationship ends. This means that even if you were fired under unfair circumstances, you may have to worry about running afoul of a non-compete agreement.
In addition, courts in Montgomery County follow the blue-pencil doctrine, under which a court may enforce valid parts of a non-compete agreement even when other parts are unenforceable. For these reasons, it is important that you understand all aspects of their non-compete agreement and how it may affect your future employment prospects. A Montgomery County non-compete agreements lawyer could help you understand your contract and how it impacts your future employment.
Let a Montgomery County Non-Compete Agreements Attorney Assist
If you have questions about a non-compete agreement, a Montgomery County non-compete agreements lawyer could help regardless of whether you are considering a new agreement or navigating the enforcement of an old agreement.
In any of these circumstances, one of our Montgomery County non-compete agreements attorneys could take the time to understand your circumstances, review your agreement, and advise you about actions you can take now to protect your interests. Both federal and private employees are welcome to contact the Spiggle Law Firm today. You can also click here to check out our free online review.