Securing talented workers is of critical importance when starting a business. Yet, if you are in this process then you might be concerned about employees’ access to sensitive information. After all, in many instances, employees are free to leave employment whenever they want, would could put your business’s information and processes, the things that differentiate you from the competition, at risk of being spread to others in the industry.
Don’t let your business be put at risk like this. Instead, consider utilizing employment contracts and non-compete agreements that lock individuals into certain terms of employment and prevents them from working in the same field for a certain period of time after leaving your employ. A non-compete agreement can also prevent an individual from sharing proprietary information after leaving your business.
Non-compete agreements, and other terms of an employment contract, have to be carefully negotiated to ensure that they are legally valid and to your benefit. For example, if a dispute arises over the legal validity of a non-compete agreement, a court will consider whether the length of the restriction contained within the agreement, as well as the geographic scope, is overly burdensome on the former employee’s ability to secure work.
Therefore, a non-compete agreement that disallows a former employee from working in the industry anywhere in the U.S. is likely going to be unenforceable. However, an agreement that restricts his or her ability to work for competitors within a 50 mile radius for two years after leaving employment is much more likely to be enforceable.
Non-compete agreements can be crucial to the success of your business by protecting your interests while ensuring that you can secure the talent you need to driver your business toward its goals. However, these agreements need to be carefully negotiated and drafted to ensure the best outcome possible. For this reason, many Charleston-area businesses choose to seek out legal counsel for assistance with these matters.