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Noncompete agreements often center stage in business spats

| Jul 23, 2020 | Employment Contracts |

You can’t assume that position with our business rival, given that a prerequisite for doing so will be your use of proprietary information that you took from us when you quit our company beforehand.

Yes, I can, because my new job description differs markedly from what I did during my previous employment. There is no overlap, and thus no need for you to fear my unlawful use of sensitive data.

That above exchange typifies the competing arguments that often come to the fore when a key worker quits one job and lines up another with a prior employer’s business competitor.

A so-called “noncompete agreement” often commands the spotlight when such a tiff gets taken to court. An ex-employer will demand its enforceability, and a potentially affected former worker will forcefully respond that it cannot be ethically and/or legally enforced.

Candidly, such contracts are in progressive retreat mode, with courts across the country routinely subjecting them to closest scrutiny and, often, intense criticism. We note on our website at Sterling Employment Law that noncompetes “are always loaded in the company’s favor” and can materially erode a worker’s rights and opportunities when he or she seeks new employment.

As such, it is hardly surprising that news stories recurrently feature litigation spotlighting such clauses and contracts. A common judicial focus in noncompete cases centers on whether a given agreement is reasonably drafted based on future restrictions relevant to time and geography.

That turns out often not to be the case, which is a point prominently made in a recent media article on noncompete lawsuits brought by corporate giants like Amazon, Microsoft and IBM.

Employees having questions or concerns can contact a proven employment law firm for candid counsel and, when necessary, aggressive representation in a noncompete or other contractual matter.

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