Maryland Non-Compete Lawyers
A non-compete agreement is a contract, generally between an employer and an employee, in which the employee promises not to compete with the employer for a specified length of time after the termination of employment.
These agreements exist to prevent competition – fairly or unfairly – from a former employee, especially one with access to a business’s confidential information. At the same time, a Non-compete Agreement should not be so restrictive as to hinder the employee’s future employment options. As attorneys specializing in employment law in Maryland, it is our job to help ensure that this delicate balance is maintained when parties enter into a Non-compete Agreement.
Legal Requirements For Non-Compete Agreements
As experienced non-compete agreement attorneys, we can provide guidance on the most current legal requirements for Non-Compete Agreements. For instance, these agreements must be limited geographically and by time duration. If the agreement sets unreasonable time or location limitations on an employee, the agreement may not be enforced by the courts. At the same time, there are no specific rules as to how large the geographic or time duration limitations must be; these rules vary depending on the type of job and are open to interpretation.
Clearly defining the employer’s business is another potential problem area in a Non-compete Agreement that can leave room for interpretation for either the benefit of the employee or the employer. With such ambiguity, the advice of employment law attorneys who have the value of experience with past court cases to guide them is critical.
Who Should Sign a Non-Compete Agreement?
It is not necessary for all employees to sign Non-compete Agreements, but employees who have enough information about a business to start the same or similar business are often required to sign a Non-compete or Confidentiality Agreement. Our team is happy to consult with employees about whether their position should be covered with a Non-compete Agreement.
Some employees who are typically asked to sign a non-compete agreement include:
- Employees who do research or product development work
- Sales or service employees who suggest solutions to problems that customers encounter with the business or business’s products
- Engineers or drafting employees who do design or engineering work
- Employees who do creative work with trade names, advertising and sales promotion of the business or business products
- Employees in manufacturing, maintenance, and production who oversee or work with the production of machines or other products made by the business
- Employees who have knowledge of the mechanics of products sold by a business
Challenging the Terms of a Non-Compete Agreement
On the positive side, Non-compete Agreements can be difficult to enforce because the courts do not look favorably on limiting an individual’s choice of employment. At the same time, it remains critical to have an experienced non-compete attorney to represent you who will evaluate applicable state laws and past court findings to ensure that all of your interests are protected.
Our experienced non-compete attorneys can also review Non-Compete Agreements for employees before signing to ensure that their choices are not unfairly limited for future employment.
Contact Our Maryland Non-Compete Agreement Attorneys
If you have questions about a Non-compete Agreement you have signed or are being asked to sign, you may benefit from a consultation with one of the experienced non-compete attorneys at Zipin, Amster & Greenberg.