California Restrictive Covenant/Non-Compete Agreement Lawyer
Do you have questions about your Employment Agreement, including a non-solicitation agreement, non-compete agreement, or confidentiality agreement?
At Scott Wagner and Associates, we represent employees in negotiating and defending against claims related to your employment agreements. We assist physicians/practitioners, managers, executives, and employees for their questions regarding enforceability of the agreements and provide defense in matters of litigation.
Generally speaking, there are three different kinds of restrictive covenants that can appear in employment contracts: non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements, and non-disclosure agreements. A non-solicitation agreement usually restricts an employee’s ability to solicit employees or customers in a certain manner, while a non-disclosure agreement prohibits an employee from disclosing information about the employer, such as trade secrets.
A non-compete agreement, differently, restricts an employee’s ability to compete (typically with the employer) for a certain period of time and sometimes within a specific geographic region. In other words, a non-compete agreement is designed to prevent the employee from competing with the employer in some capacity. While non-compete agreements that prevent employees from future gainful employment are void under California law, non-disclosure and non-solicit agreements may be enforced in certain circumstances.
Some employers may try to get around California’s ban on non-compete agreements by stating that your agreement is subject to another state’s law, such as one that permits non-compete agreements. If you signed or modified your Employment Agreement after January 1, 2017, a provision like this may not be enforceable, but the question becomes more difficult for agreements signed prior to that date. A consultation with an experienced non-compete attorney can help to provide you information about your rights under the law as they relate to your agreement.
While non-compete agreements are generally not enforced against California employees working in California, the question becomes more difficult for employees who signed the non-compete while working in another state and then subsequently moved to California. In some circumstances, the non-competes the employees signed prior to relocating to California may be enforceable, even by a California court.
Still, in order to enforce a non-compete agreement, Employers must also uphold their obligations to the Employee. This includes paying the employee their agreed salary and benefits and following all other obligations in the Employment Agreement/contract. Moreover, if the employer does not act in good faith towards you during your employment – like engaging in discrimination or whistleblower retaliation – you may have additional defenses.
Commonly, issues about non-competes arise when an employee is leaving their employer and going to work in a competitive capacity. However, employees should not wait until that time period to start thinking about their non-compete. The best approach to non-competes is for a review before you sign your agreement, especially as you may have negotiation power before you sign.
Contact Our California Restrictive Covenant Lawyers Today
If you have questions about non-compete agreements and legitimate business interests, negotiating your non-compete, or enforceability of the agreement, we can help. If you have been threatened by an employer about your non-compete, non-solicit, or confidentiality agreement or sued for allegedly violating the agreement, it is important you take action to defend yourself immediately. Lack of action can result in a judgment against you. Contact Scott Wagner and Associates to schedule a consultation and discuss your questions about non-competes, non-solicits, and confidentiality agreements.