New York City Non-Compete & Non-Solicitation Agreement Lawyer
Making Sure Employees Are Treated Fairly in Every Aspect of Their Employment Relationship
In today’s economy, the thought of restricting your ability to earn a living is daunting. Indeed, you don’t know if you’ll be employed next week or next month. And if you become unemployed, how long will it take to find comparable employment? These concerns highlight the importance of consulting an attorney before signing a non-compete agreement with a new or current employer and further restricting your ability to find a job in the future.
If you’ve already signed a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement and you are concerned with violating its terms, we can advise you as to the effect of your signed agreement, negotiate the terms of your agreement, or get you released altogether from the restrictions contained in the agreement. We have ample experience defending non-compete cases and can help you get back to earning a living.
We are experienced NYC non-compete & non-solicitation agreement lawyers, and our sole focus is protecting you, the worker, from unfair or illegal treatment by your employer. Call Mansell Law in New York City if you have an issue with a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement that could interfere with your prospects for employment.
What Exactly Is a Non-Compete Agreement?
A non-compete agreement, also known as a non-competition agreement or a covenant not to compete, is a binding contract between the employer and an employee that restricts the employee’s employment rights after separating from employment, whether leaving voluntarily or terminated. For instance, a non-compete could prohibit you from going to work for a rival company or starting your own competing business. You might be required to sign a non-compete as a condition of getting hired. If you are already working when your boss presents you with a non-compete agreement to sign, you should get some additional consideration in exchange for giving up your valuable rights, such as a cash payment or fringe benefit.
Are Non-Compete Agreements Legal?
A covenant not to compete doesn’t sound very fair or American, and indeed, they are generally frowned upon by the New York courts. The courts will uphold such agreements, however, provided they meet certain conditions. For one, non-competes must be reasonable in their duration. An agreement that restricts the employee’s activity for six months or less after separation is generally considered reasonable, but each situation is evaluated on its own merits, and courts have sometimes upheld non-competes that stay in effect for several years. The agreement should also be reasonable in its geographical coverage. Unless the company is national in scope, for instance, the agreement should not keep the employee from working in a similar business anywhere in the country. Instead, the agreement should be limited to places where the business is actively operating, or perhaps territory it is expanding into. Finally, the scope of the employee’s business activity that is restricted should not be overly broad but should instead be tied to the type of work the employee did for the company.
In general, a non-compete cannot be any more restrictive than necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate protectable interests, such as trade secrets, customer relationships, confidential customers, or unique services. A non-compete cannot put an undue hardship on the employee, and it can’t be seen as harmful to the general public interest. Otherwise, a non-compete agreement is not likely to be enforceable in the courts of New York.
What Do Non-Solicitation Agreements Do?
A non-solicitation agreement is somewhat different than a non-compete. Most often, a non-solicitation agreement will prohibit you from going after customers of your previous employer, should you join a competing firm or go into direct competition with your former company. Some non-solicitation agreements also prevent you from enticing other employees at your old job to leave their employment and come work with you or for you at your new enterprise. As with covenants not to compete, non-solicitation agreements need to be carefully drafted and not any broader than necessary to protect an employer’s legitimate business interests, or else they are likely to be thrown out in court.
Help With Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements in New York City
Protecting your right to earn a living and find new employment after you separate from your employer is paramount in this day and age, and Mansell Law can help ensure that this right of yours is not unduly restricted. For help negotiating, drafting, reviewing or challenging a non-compete agreement or non-solicitation agreement in New York City, call Mansell Law at 646-921-8900 for a no-cost consultation with a team of skilled and experienced New York employment law attorneys.