Some employers may require new employees to enter into non-competition agreements before beginning work, and such agreements usually take effect after the employer-employee relationship has ended.
Employers may require non-competition agreements for a variety of reasons, including protection of trade secrets or goodwill. However, courts generally disapprove of non-competition agreements as limitations on a former employee’s right to earn a living. Therefore, when made the subject of a legal dispute, non-competition agreements are closely scrutinized in the court system.
Employers have a right to protect their relationships with their customers and their confidential information, but former employees have a right to earn a living. When the employer and the employee have entered into a non-competition agreement, these interests must be balanced. If you have questions related to the enforcement of a non-competition agreement with a former employer, contact an attorney for additional information regarding your particular circumstances.