When you first started your job, you may have not thought twice about signing a non-compete agreement. You may have thought that you would stay at the same company for the duration of your career, or you may not have even fully understood what you signed. Nonetheless, signing that contract may be coming back to haunt you.
You now have a new employment prospect lined up, but your current employer may have indicated that you cannot work for the competing company because of the agreement. Understandably, you may have concerns about how this agreement might hinder your job prospects.
Challenging an agreement
Fortunately, you do not have to take your employer's word that the non-compete agreement stops you from working for your prospective employer. You can go over the details of the agreement, and you may have reason to challenge the validity and enforceability of the document. If you do want to take this route, you will likely have to move forward with litigation, and the court will come to a decision regarding whether the contract legally binds you from working for the intended company.
Some reasons you may have to challenge a non-compete agreement include the following:
- Your employer does not have a legitimate business interest that exceeds standard competition. For example, if your current employer does not have trade secrets to protect, specialized training techniques, valuable confidential business information or other details that could damage the company if released, it is likely that a need for a non-compete agreement does not exist.
- Overbroad restrictions in the agreement could also render it unenforceable. If the terms state that you cannot work for a competitor in a substantial area range or for a significant length of time, the terms may be too broad.
- If your employer breached your employment contract, that action could also result in voiding your non-compete agreement.
Of course, other reasons may also exist for challenging this agreement. If you have concerns that your employer is trying to unjustly hold you back from working for another company, you may want to consider your legal options. A Florida employment law attorney can assess your exact predicament and help you find the best options for addressing your concerns. Your legal counsel can also help you work through the litigation proceedings that may ensue.