What may result in a judge throwing out a noncompete agreement?

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2020 | Business Litigation

We live in a very competitive world where someone is always interested in getting an upper edge on another at all costs. Many Ohio employers ask their employees to sign noncompete agreements (NCAs) to protect themselves from workers from taking off their operational details and customers and starting their own thing right in their figurative backyard. Any employer looking to protect their interests by having an employee sign an NCA must make sure that they include certain information in it for it to hold up in a court of law.

Employers generally aren’t able to ask an employee to sign an NCA on a whim. They must instead offer some consideration in exchange for them doing so. You can satisfy your obligation by merely extending a job offer to a prospective employee pre-hire. You may have to give an existing worker a raise or bonus as consideration to sign an NCA, though.

Any NCA that your worker signs must be limited in scope. While you can use this type of agreement to restrict a former employee from working in your industry or a geographic vicinity for a certain period, you have to be careful that this legally-binding document isn’t too overreaching in its scope. You can’t restrict a former employee from working in virtually any field or an entirely different market from the one you operate within. An Ohio judge may invalidate your agreement if its scope is too overreaching.

The reason you require your employee to sign an NCA should be apparent. You should have something to protect, whether it’s proprietary information or customers that a former employee could use to gain a competitive advantage over you. An Ohio judge may invalidate your NCA if you don’t clearly articulate the valuable asset that you’re hoping to protect.

NCAs exist to protect your investment of time and resources that you’ve spent growing your business. A judge may invalidate an agreement that is too prohibitive or otherwise poorly written, though.

Save yourself the time and expense that comes with an employee dragging you in and out of a courtroom fighting a less-than-airtight NCA by having an attorney review your agreement long before you have your worker sign on the dotted line. Your Cincinnati attorney will make sure that your NCA protects your interests while not being too prohibitive at the same time.