Reston Non-Compete Agreements Lawyer
Employers in Reston frequently ask their workers to sign non-compete agreements either before starting employment or while they are employed. These agreements are contracts often with serious penalties for noncompliance. Accordingly, it is important to understand all applicable terms before signing.
A Reston non-compete agreements lawyer from the Spiggle Law Firm could help ensure you are complying with a non-compete agreement or defend your rights if you have been accused of violating a non-compete agreement. If you act promptly, one of our skilled employment law attorneys may also be able to negotiate more favorable terms before you sign a non-compete agreement.
An Overview of Non-Compete Agreements
A non-compete agreement — also known as a covenant not to compete — may be incorporated into an employment contract or presented as a self-contained document. Sometimes, employees agree to abide by the terms of a non-compete agreement without even realizing it. If you are not certain whether you are bound by the terms of a non-compete agreement, a Reston attorney could review your employment documents with you to help answer your questions or concerns.
A typical non-compete agreement prohibits an individual — usually an employee of a particular company — from starting a similar business or working for a competitor in the area for a set period of time. This type of agreement allows employees to learn trade secrets without their employer having to fear that they will immediately use those secrets for the benefit of a competitor. However, these agreements may restrict the opportunities of employees or entrepreneurs selling their businesses in certain circumstances, so the courts may invalidate provisions if they are too burdensome.
Issues That Could Make Non-Compete Agreements Unenforceable
In general terms, the constraints in a non-compete agreement should be no more restrictive than necessary to protect bona fide business interests of the employer or another affected party to the agreement. If the agreement violates public policy or unfairly inhibits an employee’s capacity to earn a living, a court may be more likely to refuse to enforce some or all of the provisions.
A non-compete agreements lawyer in Reston could review your employment contract to determine whether restrictions are reasonable in a particular situation. Geographic restrictions that are broad or lengthy time limits on competition could provide grounds for invalidating portions of an agreement. It should also be noted that limits which are reasonable in one situation could appear unconscionable in another.
What Happens if a Non-Compete Agreement Is Violated?
A non-compete agreement is a contract, and if not overly restrictive, courts have the authority to enforce such a contract’s provisions. In many cases, a non-compete agreement will specify damages that the person subject to the agreement would need to pay if they violate any of the provisions. Alternatively, they may need to pay an amount equal to actual losses suffered due to the violation.
Qualified legal counsel could work to demonstrate that a violation did not occur or that an agreement was not enforceable. However, it is often better if an attorney can negotiate livable terms from the beginning, so inadvertent violation of those terms does not become an issue.
Consult a Knowledgeable Reston Non-Compete Agreements Attorney
Non-compete agreements can cause confusion for both employees and employers. To ensure that an agreement is not overly broad and that everyone involved understands the expectations, it may be wise to work with a Reston non-compete agreements lawyer during the process of drafting an agreement or even before signing one.
An attorney could also help with compliance or defending against allegations of breach of a non-compete agreement. To learn more about how a non-compete agreements lawyer could meet the needs of your situation, call the Spiggle Law Firm today for a consultation, or click here to receive a free online case review.