A noncompete agreement is in place for a reason: to protect your company, inner workings and trade secrets. This is a critical legal document and contract that spells out the rules and guidelines between your company and your employees if they choose to leave the business.
However, sometimes, an employee neglects to heed the words within a noncompete agreement. He or she may surreptitiously leave your company in order to take a job with a competing firm that operates in the same industry. Such an employee dismisses the legal ramifications from a noncompete agreement. Upon the violation of this legal agreement, you must act to enforce it to the best of your abilities with the guidance of a skilled business litigation attorney.
Take action, make sure it is enforceable
A noncompete agreement restricts employees from working with other, similar companies for a specific time period as well as within certain geographical regions and markets where your company does business.
Your choice in enforcing this agreement is dependent on certain matters. Did the employee’s abandonment lead to irreparable harm to your company’s stake in the market? Did that employee flout the rules on certain restrictive covenants and attempt to steal your clients or customers?
If you and your company are in this situation, here are some matters to consider:
- Make sure that the noncompete agreement is enforceable.
- Seek immediate insight from a skilled attorney, who can explain the available options. One of those options could be a lawsuit. Please do not delay. If you do, there are chances that the court will waive your right to enforce the noncompete agreement.
- A lawsuit likely will be costly and time-consuming. If you choose this route, seriously consider suing not only the ex-employee, but also his or her new employer.
In the business world, employees frequently leave companies to take on new roles elsewhere. But when they depart, they cannot walk away with a briefcase filled with trade secrets and knowledge from your company. A noncompete agreement is supposed to prevent this from happening.