Non-Compete Agreement Attorney
Non-compete agreements are an important part of many employee contracts. However, these agreements are often invalid because they were not worded correctly. It is important to get a non-compete attorney to help you draft a non-compete agreement. This will help ensure that the non-compete agreement is valid and that it effectively prevents employees from leaving to join a competitor. Read on to learn more about non-compete agreement law in Georgia.
The Basics of Non-Compete Agreements
A non-compete agreement prevents an employee from leaving your company and joining a direct competitor. These agreements are often inserted in to employment contracts when an employee is first hired. Alternatively, non-compete agreements may be added to an employment contract renewal for an existing employee. This may happen if an employee has been promoted to a high-level position since signing their previous contract.
There are limits to non-compete agreements. Such agreements are usually only valid for a set length of time, commonly one to three years. Also, these agreements often only prevent an employee from joining a direct competitor, not any company in the same industry. Finally, such agreements are often limited to a certain geographic location, such as Georgia or the United States.
Employment Lawyers Handle Non-Compete Agreements
Some companies try to draft their own non-compete agreements without the assistance of a non-compete attorney. There are templates available on the Internet. However, these templates are often too generic to be effective for a specific company.
Non-compete agreements have to be worded very carefully. If they are not, they may be legally invalid. This would make them unenforceable. An employment lawyer would know exactly how to word a non-compete agreement so that it is valid and effective. This is why it is so important to work with an attorney when drafting a non-compete clause.
Drafting a Non-Compete Agreement for Your Company
If you decide that you want to include non-compete clauses in employee contracts, you have to decide which employees you want covered. It is uncommon for companies to include non-compete clauses in the contracts of low-level employees. On the other hand, C-suite level employees are frequently covered by non-compete clauses.
Your company also needs to decide how long you want the non-compete clause to be valid. While it is understandable to want a long-term non-compete clause, this may dissuade employees from signing employment contracts. You also need to decide whether you want your company’s non-compete clause to be valid for a specific geographical area.
Why Your Company Might Want to Have Employees Sign a Non-Compete Agreement
Companies include non-compete clauses in employment contracts because they don’t want to lose their most valuable employees to a direct competitor. Not only would this significantly weaken the company, it would also strengthen a direct rival. However, this is not the only reason that a company may want their employees to sign a non-compete clause.
A non-compete clause gives a company more leverage when it comes to compensation negotiations. If they know that a highly-paid employee cannot leave at the drop of a hat, they don’t have to worry about them joining a competitor because the competitor offered them a higher salary. Employees that do sign a contract with a non-compete clause would be legally required to turn down such offers until the contract ends.
What to Do If a Former Employee Breaks a Non-Compete Agreement
Despite the potential legal consequences, it is fairly common for employees or former employees to break non-compete agreements. Former employees often feel that their old company may not find out that they have joined a competitor. They also may not think that their old company would take action to enforce a non-compete agreement.
However, companies do have legal options if a former employee breaks a non-compete agreement. Most cases can be resolved with a cease and desist letter. However, a lawsuit is an option if the cease and desist letter is not effective.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Non-Compete Agreement Case
Non-compete agreements are a complex area of employment law. It’s important that you find a law firm that has experience with non-compete agreement cases. This holds true whether you simply want an attorney to draft a non-compete agreement or if you want to file suit against an employee that has broken a non-compete agreement.
The law firm of DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin has a great deal of experience with these cases. We can help you with non-compete agreement cases and cases in other areas of employment law. Contact us today so we can guide you through your non-compete agreement case and help you achieve a positive result.