Help! I Signed an Unfair Non-Compete Agreement. Now What?

07/14/2013 // Dallas, Texas, United States // Attorney Keith Clouse // Keith Clouse // (press release)

Question: When I started my job, I signed a non-compete agreement without really trying to understand it. Now I’m ready to leave the company. But, after reviewing my non-compete agreement, it sounds like I’m prohibited from working in any capacity in my industry, anywhere in the country, for two years! What should I do?

Answer: A business has the right to protect its proprietary information and goodwill with non-compete agreements. But, a Texas court may refuse to enforce a covenant not to compete agreement if the agreement contains unreasonable limitations as to the time, geographical area, and scope of activity to be restrained or if the agreement imposes a greater restraint than is necessary to protect the goodwill or other business interest of the company. The inquiry into “reasonableness” is fact-specific; a two year term may be unreasonable for some employees but reasonable for others. To gain clarity on whether a court would likely enforce your non-compete agreement, you should speak to an employment law specialist. An employment law specialist can work with your current employer (and your prospective employer) to try to narrow the non-compete agreement’s prohibitions before the situation escalates into litigation.

To speak to Dallas non-compete lawyer Keith Clouse or to another Dallas, Texas employment law attorney at Clouse Dunn LLP, please send an email to [email protected] or call (214) 239-2705.

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