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Houston & Fort Worth Noncompete Violation Attorney
Legal Representation for Employers & Employees in Texas
Noncompete agreements are basically contracts between employers and employees that prohibit the employee from competing with the employer during or after his or her term of employment. These prohibitions include preventing the employee from engaging in markets or careers that would be in direct competition with that of the employer. Because it is a legal contract, if an employee violates the terms of the contract, he or she can be subject to legal consequences; the employer has the option of enforcing the contract through the courts.
If you are a business owner or manager with a case where an employee has violated the terms of a valid noncompete agreement, you may have grounds for such a legal claim. At Keith Morris Attorney at Law, we can apply our 20 years of negotiation and litigation experience to help you resolve the issue. We can also represent employees and former employees accused of noncompete violations in the same manner. Our firm is well-versed in Texas law regarding these civil claims; we can get to work investigating and researching your case to give you the best strategy for resolving it as favorably as possible.
More About Noncompete Agreements
Noncompete agreements are generally used on behalf of an employer who wants to prevent an employee from competing with them when the employee leaves the company. This prevention involves going to work for a competitor who operates in the same or a similar industry or prevention from starting up one’s own business in the same industry.
It can also involve the prohibition of the following:
- Taking customers or clients with them when they leave
- Recruiting and taking company workers with them when they leave
- Leaving with company formulas or methods
- Leaving with company marketing plans
- Leaving with company intellectual property
- Leaving with company ideas or strategies
Taking any of the above with them could lead to the detriment of the employer. These types of agreements are often used on employees such as consultants and independent contractors.
What is Required in Noncompete Contracts?
In order to be enforced, these contracts must contain certain information such as a date when they will go into effect, the reason for the contract, dates set forth as to when the employee will be prohibited from competing in a similar industry, the geographical areas covered by the contract, and information as to the compensation that will be provided to the employee for agreeing to the contract terms. It can also contain the penalties that can occur if the noncompete is violated, such as the potentiality of a lawsuit. In general, the contract commonly remains in effect for a specific time period after the employee’s employment is terminated.
To be valid and enforceable, these contracts must be “reasonable.” Putting unreasonable restrictions on an employee may not hold up in court. For example, barring an employee from engaging in similar work for five years after leaving the company may be seen as unreasonable. Another example of an unreasonable restriction may be for competing with you on the other side of the country from your geographical area after leaving your employ.
Violations of a Noncompete Agreement
A violation of a noncompete agreement that may lead to legal consequences such as a lawsuit could include the violation of any of its contractual terms. In Texas, these agreements are enforceable in the courts if they are reasonable in their scope, their timeframe, and in the activities that are to be restricted. If you are an employer or an employee facing this issue, you should seek knowledgeable legal guidance to best prepare your case for the most favorable outcome possible. At Keith Morris Attorney at Law, our attorney has the resources, knowledge, and skills that can be invaluable.
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