Non-Compete Agreements

What Happens If You Violate a Non-Compete Agreement?

In the following educational legal video, Andrew P. Fleming, an experienced Hamburg labor lawyer discusses non-compete agreements and what the penalties are for violating a non-compete clause.

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One area of our practice that has picked up immensely in the past five or six years involves litigating issues regarding non-competing agreements. You’ll know if you have a non-compete agreement. Some people will say, “Well, the employer says I have to agree not to work in this area for six or eight months after I quit, or I’m fired.” The employer can’t say that unless they have it in writing – and the agreement is signed by you. Commonly referred to as a non-compete agreement, these documents usually include confidentiality and proprietary protections as well. New York State currently frowns upon non-compete agreements, but a signed non-compete agreement is a contract, and under certain circumstances, it is an enforceable one.

Litigation in these cases can be intense because, oftentimes, an employee who leaves one place of employment to go – and I use the expression, jump – to another employer is a valuable employee. He or she might have a book of business if they’re in sales, and the employer they left is not happy about that – especially if they have a legitimately signed non-compete agreement for which they paid appropriate consideration.

What do I mean by that? When it comes to litigation, non-compete agreements are factually intensive matters. A unique employee may have access to specific confidential proprietary information, been with a company for awhile, and received money to sign the non-compete agreement. Generally speaking, if that person jumps – especially if they affect market share – the employer will come after them. Not all non-compete agreements are enforceable. In fact, many are not.

Are you an employee who was given a non-compete agreement? To ensure you are not in violation of that agreement, you should consult with an experienced Hamburg labor lawyer. The employment attorneys at Chiacchia & Fleming, LLP have extensive experience in aggressively representing the rights of employees in all kinds of workplace disputes including non-compete agreement violations. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Let our experience work for you.

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